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
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

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

This article shared 1321 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 1321 times since Mon Nov 26, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Hell in a Handbag Productions to present Out, Darn Spot!
2021-01-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Jan. 15, 2021) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to present the campy comedyOut, Darn Spot!, written by and starring ensemble member Tyler Anthony Smith* and directed, filmed and edited by Stephanie Shaw. ...


Gay News

Artemisia Theatre announces entirely virtual 2021 season
2021-01-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO - In order to continue its strong feminist story-telling tradition, Artemisia Theatre announces an entirely virtual 2021 season. The new season includes two World Premiere theater productions and eight audio performances airing on its podcast ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Laverne Cox, lesbian coach, Jim Parsons, 'Brokeback,' theater items
2021-01-11
Laverne Cox is teaming with Meryl Streep and Rashida Jones to executive-produce a new documentary exploring one of the most critical issues at the intersection of race, feminism, and power: the sex industry, out.com noted. Sell/Buy/Date ...


Gay News

African American Arts Alliance, Black Ensemble to present MLK event Jan. 18
2021-01-08
The African American Arts Alliance of Chicago and Black Ensemble Theater will present the 10th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration on Monday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m. The online event will be free. This ...


Gay News

Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special extended through Jan. 17
2021-01-06
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Jan. 4, 2021) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce one additional week of performances of its streaming holiday hit The Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special, now playing through Jan. 17, 2021. ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag announces annual benefit, "The Morning After"
2020-12-23
CHICAGO (Dec. 17, 2020) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce its annual benefit "The Morning After," featuring the streaming world premiere of the smash hit musical that started it all for them, ...


Gay News

PrideArts to screen one-night-only live virtual readings
2020-12-21
--From a press release - PrideArts series of one-night-only live virtual readings resumes with TWELFTH NIGHT on the Twelfth of January Peter Vamvakas to direct a cast of seven Click here for a Word doc version of this release CHICAGO — ...


Gay News

Bechdel Fest 8 to highlight femme, female-identifying, non-binary, trans, queer actors
2020-12-21
Broken Nose Theatre (BNT) will present Bechdel Fest 8: Realign—the company’s annual festival of new short plays featuring an ensemble of femme, female-identifying, non-binary, trans and queer actors talking about things other than men. ...


Gay News

OUTSpoken: LGBTQ storytelling event Jan. 5 on Zoom
2020-12-16
Another OUTspoken Storytelling Night will offer the perspective of four Chicagoans telling life stories from their LGBTQ+ viewpoint or that of their close friends and relatives, Tuesday, Jan. 5, starting at 7 p.m. on Zoom. The ...


Gay News

Pegasus holding Young Playwrights Festival Jan. 7-31
2020-12-10
On Jan. 7-31, Pegasus Theatre Chicago is presenting the 34th Young Playwrights Festival (YPF), which selects winning high school-age scribes to apprentice with theater professionals to workshop and produce their ...


Gay News

THEATER About Face airing festival with Black LGBTQ+ artists
2020-12-04
About Face Theatre is launching its 25th season with Kickback—an online festival of 10 newly commissioned short plays and performances by Black LGBTQ+ artists, inspired by the Rebuild Foundation's collections at the Stony Island Arts Bank. ...


Gay News

Black Ensemble Theater's 'Holiday' event Dec. 18-25
2020-12-03
The Black Ensemble Theater is celebrating the 2020 holiday season with The Black Ensemble Virtual Holiday Extravaganza, written and directed by Producing Managing Director Daryl D. Brooks. Filmed from the performers' homes and the theater, the ...


Gay News

Billy Masters
2020-11-30
"Will you issue pardons before leaving office? Will you be issuing a pardon for yourself?"—A reporter asked El Presidente this question after the traditional pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkeys. And by turkey, we don't mean anyone ...


Gay News

'The Prom' out Dec. 11 on Netflix
2020-11-27
The Prom—a musical-comedy film directed by Ryan Murphy and adapted by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin (from their and Matthew Sklar's 2018 Broadway musical of the same name)—will be out on Netflix on Dec. 11. The ...


Gay News

New narrative podcast offers lesbian rocker slice of life
2020-11-26
Podcast attached below - For audiophiles in search of punk rock tongue-in-cheek lesbian dramedy-driven narrative storytelling, look no further: "Tampon Rock" is here. The podcast, from Anthem and iHeart Radio, focuses on lesbian bandmates Deja and Chloe as they navigate ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
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      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      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.