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: 704
County: Greene

Danspace Project (DSP) supported a 7-day residency for dancemaker Tendayi Kuumba and collaborator Greg Purnell June 1-8, 2020 at Petronio Residency Center (Greene County, NY). Despite unexpected challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, DSP was able to coordinate with the artists to ensure their residency could move forward. A planned premiere of the artists’ commissioned work at DSP as a live, performance-based event was cancelled due to the ongoing state mandates for performing arts amidst the pandemic, but Kuumba and Purnell were able to create a digital offering instead. They released “The Mixtape,” A UFlyMothership Production on October 14, 2020 on DSP’s website.

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. Kuumba and Purnell traveled to the residency center from their shared home in New York City and worked at the center without other collaborators due to the pandemic. While in residence, they developed their project,“The Mixtape,” A UFlyMothership Production, which was conceived of as “a healing vibration for the time we’re in, presented in the form of an intergalactic radio show.” The Mixtape featured contributions from Courtney Cook, Jasmine Hearn, Angie Pittman, Samita Sinha, and Tatyana Tenenbaum, many of whom the duo had collaborated with in recent years at DSP. This residency gave Kuumba and Purnell precious time and space for reflective, focused work, and the opportunity to use the natural environment at PRC as part of the movement, sound creations, videography, and photography that went into the final video creation.