Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Nia & Ness use dance, poetry to tell story, analyze identity
by John Stadelman
2018-11-26

This article shared 1738 times since Mon Nov 26, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Brooklyn-based dancer-poet duo Nia & Ness will bring their unique storytelling experience, run., to Chicago in four shows during the first week of December.

The intersections of identity play a key element in run., as Nia & Ness describe and analyze their experiences and struggles as a Black lesbian couple in New York City. They hope to have their audience question how they see and move through the world, for their own betterment.

"[We] definitely want people of color to feel empowered," said Nia Shand, "and for white people we want them to feel empowered to do something to be seen as better allies."

Accurate, honest representation is also important. "When it comes to the people of color in the audience I want them to feel like their stories are being told," said Ness White. "Sometimes [their stories] are being told but not by the right people and not in the right way, so I want them to feel like, 'Okay, our stories are being told correctly by people that need to be telling them.'"

And although establishing connections with their audience is important, they understand the complexities that come from creating an emphasis on intersecting identities.

"I don't mind when they find themselves within our stories," said White, "because we have all this intersectionality, because we are Black lesbian women so we'll have women who connect with us, we will have lesbians who connect with us … and there are some people of color who might not connect with us."

This awareness of the identities being brought to the performance interacting with a multitude of other identities showcases a profound thoughtfulness on their part. Not everybody will see themselves within the performance, but the connections can be surprising.

After some discussion, Shand related back a situation from New York that shows the connective power of shared experience with people they wouldn't initially expect to reach.

"A random guy from our building came up to me and asked if I had weed just because of what I look like. … I had straight male friends go through similar situations."

Their unique blend of dance and poetry, of expressive movement with powerful words, showcases not only the strength that each woman draws from the other, but their strong mutual trust from being in a committed relationship.

"We work with each other so well," said Shand, "and when there's a trust in each other's stories that are being told through each medium. I feel like there's a whole layer to it because we love each other so deeply. I feel safe when I perform because I know I have White by my side and I know that I can say and dance and be in my shoes. It wouldn't be our work if we weren't in a relationship."

"For me working with Shand has become much more expressive and [I] use only the words that are really necessary," said White.

However, run. doesn't just use dance and poetry as two separate elements—each performer and her work play off the other, shifting and metamorphosing run. into something new. They know how to rely on each other while performing.

"[It helps] the audience," Shand said, "because if they can't understand or interpret what White is saying they can get it with my body and vice versa. We each have the strength in what we're doing and the power with each other in our mediums. For me, as a dancer, I've been able to work with White and find my voice as a mover and as an artist for my truth and our truth."

A third element, music, is provided by friend, collaborator and musician Garrett Miller, who created an entirely original score for run.

"It makes our work even feel more intimate," said Shand. Originally, they would "create some content and then I would go find the music, and now instead we have someone who we know … [who] sits in our conversations, and he's also our friend and he's also really passionate about our work. So having someone who loves us as people and … as artists come and create something for us, [there's a] level of just love and passion in the music that wouldn't be happening when we were looking for music out there."

The result is an organic accompaniment that enriches the performance. "The music [is] driving enough for my movement, but not overpowering where you can't hear what White is saying. It's a really beautiful collaboration."

Most of the time, the duo performs in small venues such as bars, rooftops and even apartments. This preference aids the performance, utilizing the space of the "stage" to further the experience.

"It makes our work feel more real," said Shand. "The experiences that we have gone through … [and] the trauma we deal with constantly happens in places like that." They are "reclaiming these space when we're performing in a nonconventional place."

The Chicago shows mark their first time in the city.

"We're really excited about performing in Chicago!" Shand said. "That's really exciting, performing in a new state. I feel like the audience is probably very receptive and open and ready for our work."

Nia & Ness will be performing run. in four shows on the first week of December. Information can be found at www.niaandness.com/tour/ .

For a preview of their work, check out their pre-run. performance of "blind spot" at youtu.be/XFIjXQDUp2k .


This article shared 1738 times since Mon Nov 26, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Writers Theatre's 2022-23 season to include 'Tiger Style!,' 'Once' and other productions
2022-06-21
-- From a press release - Glencoe, IL—Writers Theatre Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma and Interim Artistic Director Bobby Kennedy announce the company's 2022/23 four-play season, to include Mike Lew's Tiger Style!, directed by Brian Balcom; ...


Gay News

Goodman Theatre running musical 'Life After' through July 17
2022-06-20
Goodman Theatre is running the musical Life After through Sunday, July 17. With humor and wit, this "luminous new musical…lush, poetic and surprisingly funny" (The San Diego Union-Tribune) explores how people move through and live with ...


Gay News

Billy Masters
2022-06-20
"u don't know my alphabet."—Sexy Lukas Gage (from The White Lotus; Love, Victor; and the rebooted Queer as Folk) tweets his response to criticism that Hollywood shouldn't hire him to play LGBTQIA+ roles. When asked to ...


Gay News

WORLD Pride disruption, trans journalists, Tunisian play, marriage bills
2022-06-19
Turkish police officers carrying clear-plastic riot shields, wielding batons and deploying pepper powder balls as well as tear gas violently broke up a Pride parade that Middle East Technical University students organized in the capital of ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Lightyear,' celebrity event, LGBT runner, Mariah Carey
2022-06-19
Video below - Pixar's latest film Lightyear is hitting theaters, and it has a special moment for gay fans—a same-sex kiss between the character Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her female partner—that almost didn't happen, Out Magazine note ...


Gay News

Steep Theatre's race-centered 'Paris' running June 17-July 23
2022-06-17
Steep Theatre, 1044 W. Berwyn Ave., will run the Eboni Booth work Paris on June 17-July 23. Jonathan Berry will direct. Returning home to the small town of Paris, Vermont, Emmie tries to make ends meet ...


Gay News

PERFORMANCE 'Moonset Sunrise' at Navy Pier on June 16 and 18
2022-06-15
Collaboraction announced that Moonset Sunrise, its 25th-anniversary production, with live performances on June 16 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Beat Kitchen's new Bar Sol on Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave. Through healing ritual, storytelling, ...


Gay News

Queer-themed plays win Tonys; Hudson reaches EGOT status
2022-06-13
On June 12, the 75th annual Tony Awards were held to honor the top performances from the theater industry. The event—hosted by LGBTQ+ Oscar winner/Tony nominee Ariana DeBose at New York City's Radio City Music Hall—followed ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jodie Comer, 'Queer As Folk,' trans film, Tom of Finland photos
2022-06-12
Jodie Comer—the Emmy- and BAFTA-winning actress perhaps best known for playing LGBTQ+ assassin Villanelle on BBC America's Killing Eve—will make her Broadway debut next spring in Prima Facie, a new play by Suzie Miller, Deadline noted. ...


Gay News

Theo Ubique marks 25th-anniversary season with four musicals
2022-06-11
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (JUNE 10, 2022) Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre's Artistic Director Fred Anzevino and Managing/Casting Director Christopher Pazdernik announced the 25th Anniversary season today with four musicals including a Midwest Premiere ...


Gay News

Strawdog Theatre announces new managing director and production manager
2022-06-10
Strawdog Theatre Company announced the appointments of Paul Cook (he/him) as its new managing director and Donna "Dante" Gary (they/them) as its new production manager. Cook has been the production manager at Strawdog since 2019 and ...


Gay News

TRAVEL Chicago theater blooms outside and out of town
2022-06-08
Chicago Shakespeare Theater is keeping its show docked at its Navy Pier facility and Oak Brook's First Folio Theatre is taking the summer off before re-commencing in the fall, but playgoers eager to swap the urban ...


Gay News

Drama Desk Awards to be presented June 14 in NYC
2022-06-08
-- From a press release - Winners for the 66th Annual Drama Desk Awards were announced today. This year's Drama Desk Awards will take place at Sardi's Restaurant (234 W 44th Street) on Tuesday, June 14, 3-6 p.m. The full list of ...


Gay News

Theater Wit to run 'Hurricane Diane' starting June 17
2022-06-03
Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., will run Hurricane Diane on June 17-July 31. Hurricane Diane is described as "a hilarious whirlwind of a play about a butch lesbian gardener who just might be the Greek ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Magnolia Ballet
2022-06-02
Title: The Magnolia Ballet. Playwright: Terry Guest At: About Face Theatre at the Den, 1333 N. MiIwaukee Ave. Tickets: $5-$35. Runs through: June 11 Ignore the play's title. Ignore the publicity photo, too. In fact, you ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.