The past several months have been amazing! Not only have I had a rewarding time teaching some fabulous students, and engaging with people here at Amplify, but I’ve also made 6 stunning new friends! In January of this year I saw a call for fat dancers at my friend Joe’s blog. When I heard about the Jiggly Boo Dance Crew (JBDC) it was like my life finally began to make sense.
I not only was I immediately interested, because I love to dance, but because this was a space that people were seeking to create with dancers who are often excluded from dance communities. The call stated:
Jiggly Boo Dance Crew is a much needed project for exploring the intellectual and creative potential of the fat dancing body. Within the Western performance context, fat bodies are systematically excluded or typecast into demeaning or ancillary roles.
Within this framework, Jiggly Boo Dance Crew (founded by Alice Fu and Kantara Souffrant) will run a series of workshops which will culminate in a performance. These workshops will create a space in which other self-identified female “fat” dancers, movers, and performers, can dialogue about the following questions: What is a “fat dancing body”? How are fat bodies read, understood, felt (emotively and viscerally) and represented? What does it mean to identify oneself as a “fat dancing body” and what are the political implications of identifying oneself as such? How can (re)presentations of fat dancing bodies be understood alongside critical discussions of race, gender, sexuality, and the political movement of bodies that have been traditionally marginalized and invisibilized within Western stage dance?
Regarding their use of the word “fat” co-founders Kantara and Alice write:
On the usage of “fat”: Jiggly Boo Dance Crew intentionally reclaims and uses the word “fat” as opposed to other euphemisms (i.e. “plus-sized” or “big-boned”) to explore the politics of size-deviant bodies. Our reclamatory gesture also pays homage to area studies, such as queer studies, that have viewed the reappropriation of words as part of a larger political process of creating visibility and challenging hegemonic discourses and systems of oppression.
I knew I wanted to join. Every part of my body and mind and spirit needed this. I even began to shamelessly plug the crew to my friends, encouraging them to join with me. One of my current homegirls, Sparkle, who I’ve mentioned before , decided to go for it and signed up for an interview. When we first met Kantara and Alice at the NYU campus, of which I graduated from 10 years ago with a masters degree but still got lost, I knew it was love. Not just love like puppy, butterflies-in-the-stomach love, but love in all the most revolutionary ways. Love for our bodies, love for how we move, love for what we bring, love for simply surviving in a world that doesn’t love us back in the same way we love the world.
Read more & see fotos here