Jumatatu Poe: "Android Tears" with Saori Tsukada/Nikki Appino's "Club Diamond"
Android Tears, the new piece by versatile choreographer and performer Jumatatu Poe (recently seen in Marissa Perel's More Than Just a Piece of Sky at The Chocolate Factory), premieres at JACK in its completed form after work-in-progress performances at Brussels' Volksroom (Belgium) and in Philadelphia this past summer. The self-performed solo the first in many years from Poe, an enthusiastic and prolific collaborator with other artists derives its title from Poe's ongoing interest in fantasy and in ever-changing nature of perception, reality and identity. For Poe, the eponymous android, the ultimate image of perfected super-human, points toward an evolving human trend of multitasking and of competing forms of consciousness existing within the same person. Poe's examination revolves around the balance of representing and experiencing self. Appearing onstage in elevated black platform shoes and costumed in hot pink ribbon, the artist toys with the use of strategy in performance of "self." "Signifying and subversion come up a lot in my work and my life." explains Poe. "I am interested in how they connectthese strategizing tools, these rhythms of relating, these disruptors, these renderers of confusion. I'm interested in how they connect me to my Blackness, my African-Americanness, my queerness. What is the operation of subversion in my own artistic practice?"
Club Diamond, a brief work-in-progress performance created by Saori Tsukada (a veteran of John Moran's work) in collaboration with media and theater artist Nikki Appino, is the story of Saori coming to America. Part installation, part absurdist provocation mirroring the irrationality of the world around us, the work is a Rashomonlike exploration of unreliable narration. The narrative spine of the piece consists of ten vignettes, based on different modalities live performance, live music and sound effects, silent film and puppetry. As each medium tells the same story, they all try to seduce the audience by fraud and misappropriation, with each character providing alternative, selfserving and contradictory versions of the same event.
Photo of Saori Tsukada by Nikki Appino
Photo of Jumatatu Poe by Tayarisha Poe.
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