CoMMunity EngageMent

MBDance centers people of color whether in community engagement, performance, ideas and bodies, without tragedizing or tokenizing us. We joyously undermine white patriarchy by being and by boldly performing our being-ness. MBDance dances from the imaginations of our ancestors, from the imaginations of our future selves, and from our collective and interconnected imagination. Via community engagement exchanges and workshops, we invite regular folks to do that with us and to build their own capacities for living.

Community engagement is foundational to Desire: A Sankofa Dream (DESIRE). With DESIRE, performers practice radical consent and sovereignty in an intentional, public, digital performance-ritual environment. They display Black Queer desire and care, transgressive to do in public. The work also inspires and empowers witness-participants by portraying us as autonomous artists, not victims, in a QTPOC-centered work. Maria Bauman-Morales and MBDance offer this rich experience to Queer and/or Trans People of Color (QTPOC) who are local to each host partners’ community.

Prior to the performances for each host partner, MBDance will offer “Imagining Consent, Dancing Desire: A Performance Lab for Queer and/or Trans People of Color,” a workshop for QTPOC as a way to choose and be chosen by two local people who want to participate in their respective community’s performance of DESIRE. All local performance participants are paid for participation.

The workshops build a broader network of relationships between QTPOC artists in each host community and New York-based QTPOC artists. During Bauman-Morales’s recent DiP residency at Gibney, she used an open call to test the workshop with three different groups in her own community. Participants’ feedback helped her establish the best ways to engage folks.