Over 15 years in the making, No Boundaries: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers existed as an evolving repertoire of solos choreographed by the nation’s leading contemporary African American choreographers that Gesel Mason performed in one evening. The performance project featured works by Kyle Abraham, Robert Battle, Rennie Harris, Dianne McIntyre, Bebe Miller, Donald McKayle, Reggie Wilson, Andrea E. Woods Valdéz, David Roussève, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. After collecting more than seven decades of choreographic vision in her body, Gesel Mason Performance Projects in partnership with 651 ARTS present No Boundaries as a digital humanities archive, a new and innovative platform to disseminate, access, and interact with the legacies of African American choreographers. More than a documentation of choreography, the dance is a point of entry to understanding a distinctly African American theme of resilience in spite of a history of silencing and erasure of African American cultural contributions. By expanding the genre of Black dance and interrupting the systematic erasure of names lost to the archive, No Boundaries reveals the tenacity of resilience and the diversity of Black performance.
Since 1988, 651 ARTS has been committed to developing, producing and presenting performance and cultural programming rooted in the African Diaspora, with a primary focus on contemporary performing arts. It is the mission of 651 ARTS to deepen awareness of and appreciation for contemporary performing arts and culture of the African Diaspora, and to provide professional and creative opportunities for performing artists of African descent.
Gesel Mason Performance Projects is a project based dance company that seeks to create meaningful, relevant, and compelling art events as a way to encourage compassion and inquiry. Artistic Director Gesel Mason utilizes dance, theater, and storytelling to bring visibility to voices unheard, situations neglected, or perspectives considered taboo.
Header photo credit: Enoch Chan