Nearly Sighted is a solo project, performed and produced by Kayla Hamilton that gives the audience an opportunity to see through her eyes. She moves through the world with a chronic illness that has left her with sight in one eye, loss of peripheral vision, double vision, blurred vision, and difficulty seeing in low light. Integrating the voices and aesthetics of five black female choreographers; Francine E. Ott, Nia Love, Christal Brown, Crystal U. Davis and Jaimè Dzandu, the work draws attention to new stories. With interviews of each choreographer woven between dances, Nearly Sighted generates discussion around the ideas of race, gender and visibility.
meet the choreographers
Christal Brown is the Founder of INSPIRIT, Project: BECOMING, the creator of the Liquid Strength training module for dance and the Chair of Dance at Middlebury College. Brown is a native of Kinston, North Carolina, where she remembers cleaning up on Saturday mornings as a child to the music of the Chi-Lites, Marvin Gaye, and Shirley Caesar. These rituals innately produced a strong desire in her to make all work melodic, sensual, meaningful and set to music. Brown combines her athleticism, creativity, love for people, and passion for teaching to create works that redefine the art of dance and the structure of the field.
Chrystal U. Davis
Crystal U. Davis is currently Assistant Professor of Dance at Columbia College in Columbia, SC. Ms. Davis is also founder of the Movement Artistry Project (M.A.P.) © 2006, a holistic educational organization that brings the movement arts to venues within the arts community and beyond. Her work has been renowned by an eclectic community of adjudicators and audiences from Donald McKayle to Peggy Hackney to the royal family of Jodhpur, India. Originally from North Carolina, Ms. Davis earned her B.A. in Religious Studies from Emory University, her M.F.A. in Dance from Texas Woman’s University, her Masters in Performance Studies from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and her Laban-Bartenieff Movement Analysis certification from Integrated Movement Studies. Her academic research and performance works focus on the relationship between religion and movement, belief systems and behavior.
Jaimé Dzandu is a black American Ghanaian movement artist, choreographer, educator and community arts practitioner from Hampton, VA. Jaimé holds a B.F.A in Dance & Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. As the daughter of Patricia Dzandu and James Dzandu, she is inspired by the legacy of her family, works to create participatory art-based experiences rooted in an African Diasporic movement practice. Her ritual choreographic work honors the sacred in performance and investigates black womanhood, nature, healing, celebration and transformation. As an educator she holds space for young movers, facilitating an environment of creativity and imagination. Jaimé is committed to the wellness of women and girls of color. She bows in gratitude to all that guide her along her journey.
Nia Love is an artist, activist, choreographer, educator, installation artist, mother/ grandmother and co-founder with of LOVE|FORTÉ the collective. Love apprenticed with Havana’s world renowned Ballet Nacional de Cuba in 1978. Fulbright Fellow awardee 2001-03. Two time recipient of BAX AIR 2011-12 and 2013-14, two time recipient of Suitcase Fund Award/ Africa and Middle East Cultural partnership 2013-14, recipient of the 2014-15 CUNY Dance Initiative and presently MR Artist-in-Residence 2016-17. Nia Love has worked and studied Butoh since 1986 and had the ultimate privilege of studying, working and dancing with the celebrated Japanese Butoh master, Min Tanaka. Her work has been presented at NOLA Cultural Arts Center, Bates Dance Festival,Snug Harbor-PASS, Harlem Stage, Judson Church, and Nafasi Art Space- Tanzania. Currently the Air artist Advisor for BAX, and asst. professor at Queens College and Hunter College.
Francine E. Ott
Francine E. Ott, a native of New Orleans, received her B.F.A in Dance from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and has the had the pleasure of studying with many artists that she admires. She has worked and danced with Camille A. Brown and Dancers, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company, Brian Green, and Tony Kundu, among others. Francine has received her Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling at Nyack College, and is currently the Interim Administrative Assistant for Nyack College's Counseling Department. Ms. Ott has her own company, Francine E. Ott/The Walk, where she is able to integrate the mental health field with the arts, which allows one to further their creativity through a unique therapeutic process---providing a space for growth, change, and transformation in one's life.
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