Tendayi Kuumba and Greg Purnell: Residency at Petronio Residency Center

Tendayi Kuumba. Photo by Greg Purnell.

Year: 2020/2021
DanceForce Member: Judy Hussie-Taylor
Artists: Tendayi Kuumba, Greg Purnell
Community Partner: Petronio Residency Center
Audience: 325
County: Greene

Danspace Project (DSP) proposes a 7-day residency during the summer of 2020 at Petronio Residency Center (Greene County, NY) for emerging dancemakers Tendayi Kuumba and Greg Purnell to create a new, collaborative work. The work will premiere at DSP in the East Village, Manhattan, NYC, April 22-24, 2021 for a three-night run and reach approximately 250 audience members, preceded by a week-long production residency at DSP.

Petronio Residency Center (PRC) is located in Round Top, NY, in the Catskill Mountains of Greene County, and is a new residency center founded by choreographer Stephen Petronio. DSP and PRC are interested in reaching beyond the walls of the residency center so that Kuumba and Purnell may have the opportunity to interact with youth and others in the local community, likely hosting a workshop and/or public showing. DSP and PRC plan to approach NYS DanceForce member Elena Mosley of Kuumba Dance and Drum to advise on outreach to youth groups and the works in progress showing. The goal is to reach a minimum of 10-20 youth and an additional 40-50 people with the public showing.

Kuumba and Purnell have been collaborating on multidisciplinary projects since 2016. Their new work, to be developed at a residency at PRC, is titled “Rites of Savage” and dissects Kuumba’s coming of age story. The work will take the form of a performed journal entry following a child travelling through worlds of feminist revolutionaries and black girlhood. This residency would give Kuumba and Purnell the time and space to delve into the storytelling of the work and the opportunity to use the natural environment at PRC as part of their sound creations, videography, and photography that will inform the movement vocabulary.

If the member allocations are significantly lower than projected, DSP will find other funding so that the partnership residency with PRC can still be undertaken. DSP will continue with providing a one-week production residency at DSP preceding the premiere, and the full run in the spring of 2021 as planned.