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Exploring Okeeba Jubalo's 'Jim Crow Fantasies'

The artist's provocative new solo exhibition opens Feb. 17 at the Westside Cultural Arts Center

Photo credit:
Okeeba Jubalo wants to get people talking. His artwork is bold, confrontational and doesn’t shy away from having a point of view. On Feb. 17, his solo show, dubbed The Dirty Dozen: Jim Crow Fantasies, will open at the Westside Cultural Arts Center, featuring 12 pieces that highlight and reflect on racial tensions and the African-American experience in today’s cultural (and political) climate.

Jubalo candidly talked with CL about his aim of sparking conversation and change through his pieces, courage through art, and why he’s not creating work for the faint of heart.





What sparked you to begin working on this series?

This series was driven by my need to tell our truth. When I use the word “our” I am referring to the African-American truth within our country. There are so many parts and pieces to our truth, and sadly we have been silenced by the establishment. You would think the arts would be a platform for me to speak my truth, but that is rarely the case. Even those who look like me have proven to be bigger blockers than those who look nothing like me. Being born as a black male in America is the one event that sparked my work. Over the years, I learned to rely on my art to create some sense of balance for myself ... like trying to find balance in a hurricane. If I had to narrow it down to say there was one event, America is that one event.



You've said "This work will probably make people uncomfortable — that is not my goal. But the truth has a funny way of making people uneasy." Can you elaborate on that?

The truth is always an uncomfortable thing for most people. Once you hear or see the truth then it forces you to either think or move in another direction. Being a black artist who is moving within a certain circle of exposure comes with a set of challenges that a white artist does not have to think about. Organizations like the National Black Arts Festival do not truly support raw and honest black art, they seem to be in the wallpaper business. Then, if my work offends the white establishment’s view on what black art is, I am pushed out of that scene as well.

The emotions within me are very raw and the rawness of my work is pure. The black experience in America is very raw, so my work reflects that. There is a great deal of beautiful work created by other black artists in America, but most of it doesn’t speak to me because it looks like these artists are trying to compete with white artists. It also looks like these artists are not trying to offend the powers that be — galleries and museums. That approach has trained the public, curators and collectors to see this level of black art as a cute, tranquilized, zoo lion with no teeth, dressed in a Tom Ford suit snoozing in one of the corners of the High Museum. My art is a full grown male Serengeti lion who hasn’t eaten in a week. When you step into the gallery you will either run for your life or get consumed whole. The truth is a very uncomfortable thing for an audience who has been playing with cute and tranquil zoo lions their entire lives.





What types of conversations do you hope are had in response to your work?

My goal is to always have conversations around my art that will lead to actions that will help us become better people. There are so many challenges we are facing in America, and it is bigger than black challenges. When we are not allowed to be honest with each other then we can never reach higher ground. America is a reflection of everyone not being able to reach higher ground. Like handing out sugar pills to those fighting lung cancer. We need the truth, not things that just taste good.





How did you decide what mediums to use for each piece?

My people are from Edwards, Mississippi, and Charleston, South Carolina, so my materials are based on my experiences as a child growing up in rural areas. I didn’t have all of the parts and pieces needed to build the perfect childhood. I learned to use what I have within my reach to build myself. Those skills transferred into my approach with my art. I love using building materials and found objects that you will not find in an art supply store.





Was the creation of this series therapeutic for you?

Yes, definitely. Creating the work is one part of the therapy, the second part is having the exhibition, the third part is selling the work and the fourth part his having a conversation with the collector after the work has been with them for a while. Those conversations with the collectors are very important for me. This allows for me to hear how the work has changed their view and flow within their lives.

The Dirty Dozen: Jim Crow Fantasies opening by Okeeba Jubalo. Free. 6-9 p.m. Fri., Feb. 17. Westside Cultural Arts Center, 760 10th St. N.W., 678-218-3740. westsideartscenter.com.



More By This Writer

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Tuesday May 2, 2017 10:32 pm EDT
Little Barn Apothecary will now have brick-and-mortar outposts on the Westside and at Serenbe | more...
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Twin Radius’ goal is to encourage and facilitate collaboration between the local arts and faith-based communities (though they’re not affiliated with one particular religious organization or tradition). They hosted their inaugural art show last February, which was a solo show by Tinsley dubbed Echolalia. “This new work stems from my Hug series, which is about trying to hold onto my mom as I lose her to a degenerative brain disease called fronto-temporal degeneration,” says Tinsley. 



When Jacob Gunter, who heads up Twin Radius, saw Tinsley’s work, it sparked the idea to host a workshop on empathy — the artist was hesitant to get on board. “I feel like I never know what to do or say to others facing something awful, especially when it’s something I have never been through,” says Tinsley. “I think people assume I know how to be empathetic because of my experience losing my mom, but this is not the case. In fact, I think it has made me more fearful of approaching others because I've experienced other people saying things that actually made me feel worse, even though their intentions were good.”

For this free workshop, participants will be supplied with materials to make a card for someone they know who may be navigating illness, loss, grief, or another difficult situation. “I am hoping that participants will be able to reflect on their own experiences in order to be present for others going through challenging times,” Tinsley adds. “I want them to not feel frightened about being present for someone they know who is hurting. It's the small gestures that sometimes make all the difference.”



On the Act of Empathy with Tori Tinsley: Harnessing Our Own Experiences to Help Others. Free (pre-registration encouraged). 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Sat., Apr. 1. CenterForm, 115 Martin Luther King Jr. S.W., Suite 3B/4B, 404-682-1612, twinradius.org.

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____

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____

When Jacob Gunter, who heads up Twin Radius, saw Tinsley’s work, it sparked the idea to host a workshop on empathy — the artist was hesitant to get on board. “I feel like I never know what to do or say to others facing something awful, especially when it’s something I have never been through,” says Tinsley. “I think people assume I know how to be empathetic because of my experience losing my mom, but this is not the case. In fact, I think it has made me more fearful of approaching others because I've experienced other people saying things that actually made me feel worse, even though their intentions were good.”

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  string(2979) "    The event will offer tools to help those experiencing illness, grief or personal challenges.   2017-03-31T23:00:00+00:00 Art meets empathy at upcoming workshop with Tori Tinsley   Caroline Cox  2017-03-31T23:00:00+00:00  %{data-embed-type=%22image%22 data-embed-id=%2258d9650839ab466d076f64d6%22 data-embed-element=%22span%22 data-embed-size=%22640w%22 contenteditable=%22false%22}%Artist Tori Tinsley wants to talk about the difficult stuff — and she wants other Atlantans to join her. On Saturday, April 1, she’ll host On the Act of Empathy with Tori Tinsley: Harnessing Our Own Experiences to Help Others, in partnership with nonprofit group Twin Radius. The event, which will be held at Christian innovation hub CenterForm, aims to explore ways to effectively grow from experiencing personal challenges and, in turn, help others who are going through tough times themselves.



Twin Radius’ goal is to encourage and facilitate collaboration between the local arts and faith-based communities (though they’re not affiliated with one particular religious organization or tradition). They hosted their inaugural art show last February, which was a solo show by Tinsley dubbed Echolalia. “This new work stems from my Hug series, which is about trying to hold onto my mom as I lose her to a degenerative brain disease called fronto-temporal degeneration,” says Tinsley. 



When Jacob Gunter, who heads up Twin Radius, saw Tinsley’s work, it sparked the idea to host a workshop on empathy — the artist was hesitant to get on board. “I feel like I never know what to do or say to others facing something awful, especially when it’s something I have never been through,” says Tinsley. “I think people assume I know how to be empathetic because of my experience losing my mom, but this is not the case. In fact, I think it has made me more fearful of approaching others because I've experienced other people saying things that actually made me feel worse, even though their intentions were good.”

For this free workshop, participants will be supplied with materials to make a card for someone they know who may be navigating illness, loss, grief, or another difficult situation. “I am hoping that participants will be able to reflect on their own experiences in order to be present for others going through challenging times,” Tinsley adds. “I want them to not feel frightened about being present for someone they know who is hurting. It's the small gestures that sometimes make all the difference.”



On the Act of Empathy with Tori Tinsley: Harnessing Our Own Experiences to Help Others. Free (pre-registration encouraged). 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Sat., Apr. 1. CenterForm, 115 Martin Luther King Jr. S.W., Suite 3B/4B, 404-682-1612, twinradius.org.

             20856269         http://dev.creativeloafing.com/image/2017/03/tori_tinsley_Hug_Aberration.58d964fd40c63.png                  Art meets empathy at upcoming workshop with Tori Tinsley "
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Friday March 31, 2017 07:00 pm EDT
The event will offer tools to help those experiencing illness, grief or personal challenges. | more...
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In early 2017, local artist Peter Ferrari began posting photos and videos on social media of a place called Facet Gallery. Then, on Feb. 11, the Old Fourth Ward gallery officially opened its doors, with the politically charged Signs of Solidarity opening as its inaugural show, featuring protest banners made by Atlanta activists.



In the former space of Stuart McClean Gallery, Facet was founded by Ferrari along with photographer Elliot Liss, horticulturalist-entrepreneur David Baker, and graphic designer Matt Daniels. “Essentially, it was a golden opportunity, and we took it,” says Ferrari. “As artists and organizers, it's something we had thought about doing for a while and since the space was already set up as a gallery, we thought it was a natural transition to make it a multifunctional art venue.”

Ferrari says the aim of Facet is to support local artists while bringing unique, multidisciplinary arts events to the community. “We take a lower commission than most galleries so we can get more money into the artists' pockets and encourage first-time art buyers,” he explains. “We’re really hoping to inspire collector-ship among new groups, younger people, families, new businesses, etc. I've been an avid art collector for years and the joy one gets from growing their collection is something one can't really put a price on.” With the full gallery in use, it can display upwards of 100 pieces at a time, meaning there’s room for large group shows and bigger pieces. And they’re not just a gallery — Ferrari calls Facet “a mixed-use space,” meaning they also host everything from photo shoots to yoga classes as well. They’ve also created an Airbnb room inside of Facet that they’ve dubbed The Keen Space.

Facet’s next show, an artists’ studio silent auction, opens March 25, and will include artists Barry Lee, Shanequa Gay, Lauren Pallotta, Brandon Sadler, Niki Zarrabi, Faatimah Stevens, William Massey, Michael Mauldin, Nick Benson, Kayleen Scott, Fabian Williams, Sanithna Phansavanh, and more. First-time art buyers are particularly encouraged to come out. “There will be some great art at affordable prices,” Ferrari adds. “Facet Gallery will be a place where all are welcome and celebrated — our aim is to uplift this wonderful city through art and culture of every facet.”

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In early 2017, local artist Peter Ferrari began posting photos and videos on social media of a place called Facet Gallery. Then, on Feb. 11, the Old Fourth Ward gallery officially opened its doors, with the politically charged ''Signs of Solidarity'' opening as its inaugural show, featuring protest banners made by Atlanta activists.



In the former space of Stuart McClean Gallery, Facet was founded by Ferrari along with photographer Elliot Liss, horticulturalist-entrepreneur David Baker, and graphic designer Matt Daniels. “Essentially, it was a golden opportunity, and we took it,” says Ferrari. “As artists and organizers, it's something we had thought about doing for a while and since the space was already set up as a gallery, we thought it was a natural transition to make it a multifunctional art venue.”

Ferrari says the aim of Facet is to support local artists while bringing unique, multidisciplinary arts events to the community. “We take a lower commission than most galleries so we can get more money into the artists' pockets and encourage first-time art buyers,” he explains. “We’re really hoping to inspire collector-ship among new groups, younger people, families, new businesses, etc. I've been an avid art collector for years and the joy one gets from growing their collection is something one can't really put a price on.” With the full gallery in use, it can display upwards of 100 pieces at a time, meaning there’s room for large group shows and bigger pieces. And they’re not just a gallery — Ferrari calls Facet “a mixed-use space,” meaning they also host everything from photo shoots to yoga classes as well. They’ve also created an Airbnb room inside of Facet that they’ve dubbed The Keen Space.

Facet’s next show, an artists’ studio silent auction, opens March 25, and will include artists Barry Lee, Shanequa Gay, Lauren Pallotta, Brandon Sadler, Niki Zarrabi, Faatimah Stevens, William Massey, Michael Mauldin, Nick Benson, Kayleen Scott, Fabian Williams, Sanithna Phansavanh, and more. First-time art buyers are particularly encouraged to come out. “There will be some great art at affordable prices,” Ferrari adds. “Facet Gallery will be a place where all are welcome and celebrated — our aim is to uplift this wonderful city through art and culture of every facet.”

''[https://www.instagram.com/facetgallery/|Facet Gallery, 684 John Wesley Dobbs Ave., Unit G. instagram.com/facetgallery].''"
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In early 2017, local artist Peter Ferrari began posting photos and videos on social media of a place called Facet Gallery. Then, on Feb. 11, the Old Fourth Ward gallery officially opened its doors, with the politically charged Signs of Solidarity opening as its inaugural show, featuring protest banners made by Atlanta activists.



In the former space of Stuart McClean Gallery, Facet was founded by Ferrari along with photographer Elliot Liss, horticulturalist-entrepreneur David Baker, and graphic designer Matt Daniels. “Essentially, it was a golden opportunity, and we took it,” says Ferrari. “As artists and organizers, it's something we had thought about doing for a while and since the space was already set up as a gallery, we thought it was a natural transition to make it a multifunctional art venue.”

Ferrari says the aim of Facet is to support local artists while bringing unique, multidisciplinary arts events to the community. “We take a lower commission than most galleries so we can get more money into the artists' pockets and encourage first-time art buyers,” he explains. “We’re really hoping to inspire collector-ship among new groups, younger people, families, new businesses, etc. I've been an avid art collector for years and the joy one gets from growing their collection is something one can't really put a price on.” With the full gallery in use, it can display upwards of 100 pieces at a time, meaning there’s room for large group shows and bigger pieces. And they’re not just a gallery — Ferrari calls Facet “a mixed-use space,” meaning they also host everything from photo shoots to yoga classes as well. They’ve also created an Airbnb room inside of Facet that they’ve dubbed The Keen Space.

Facet’s next show, an artists’ studio silent auction, opens March 25, and will include artists Barry Lee, Shanequa Gay, Lauren Pallotta, Brandon Sadler, Niki Zarrabi, Faatimah Stevens, William Massey, Michael Mauldin, Nick Benson, Kayleen Scott, Fabian Williams, Sanithna Phansavanh, and more. First-time art buyers are particularly encouraged to come out. “There will be some great art at affordable prices,” Ferrari adds. “Facet Gallery will be a place where all are welcome and celebrated — our aim is to uplift this wonderful city through art and culture of every facet.”

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Article

Tuesday March 21, 2017 06:15 pm EDT
The new mixed-use space in the Old Fourth Ward hosts art shows, events, and more. | more...
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About five years ago, fresh off a divorce and with a need to express herself creatively outside of her day jobs, Swilley started Sunday Shoppe, a vintage clothing style blog and online shop. The plan for a brick-and-mortar boutique was always the end goal, so she could work for herself. Then recently, when a space on Highland Row became available, Swilley jumped at the chance to turn her dream into a reality. 



Her new boutique, Collect on Sunday, features racks of handpicked vintage clothes, vintage books, jewelry, art and other handmade wares. Stocked brands and makers (many of them Atlanta-based) include Melting Sun Apparel, SWS of London, Sasha Versa handmade leather bags, ceramic pieces from Maddy Barreto, Dust to Digital, and Stephanie Elder. The vintage includes high-end pieces from Gucci, Versace, and YSL couture. “I like to carry anything I think is pretty and special,” Swilley says. “I like classic looking things. The '60s are my favorite time for clothes, music, overall aesthetics — I like whimsical-feeling things and usually stuff that's a little weird.”



The shop is currently in “phase one,” Swilley explains — she’d love to eventually start carrying independent designers, sell her own clothing designs, and host events in the space as well. “I want to create a place that people love to go,” she adds. “I want to share things I love with the world.”

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____

About five years ago, fresh off a divorce and with a need to express herself creatively outside of her day jobs, Swilley started Sunday Shoppe, a vintage clothing style blog and online shop. The plan for a brick-and-mortar boutique was always the end goal, so she could work for herself. Then recently, when a space on Highland Row became available, Swilley jumped at the chance to turn her dream into a reality. 

____

Her new boutique, [http://sundayshoppe.com/|Collect on Sunday], features racks of handpicked vintage clothes, vintage books, jewelry, art and other handmade wares. Stocked brands and makers (many of them Atlanta-based) include Melting Sun Apparel, SWS of London, Sasha Versa handmade leather bags, ceramic pieces from Maddy Barreto, Dust to Digital, and Stephanie Elder. The vintage includes high-end pieces from Gucci, Versace, and YSL couture. “I like to carry anything I think is pretty and special,” Swilley says. “I like classic looking things. The '60s are my favorite time for clothes, music, overall aesthetics — I like whimsical-feeling things and usually stuff that's a little weird.”

____

The shop is currently in “phase one,” Swilley explains — she’d love to eventually start carrying independent designers, sell her own clothing designs, and host events in the space as well. “I want to create a place that people love to go,” she adds. “I want to share things I love with the world.”

[https://www.facebook.com/pg/collectonsunday/|''Collect on Sunday, 626 North Highland Ave., 305-240-3113, sundayshoppe.com.'']"
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  string(2376) "    The Poncey-Highland shop carries wares from local artists, makers, designers and more   2017-03-15T19:23:00+00:00 New boutique Collect on Sunday mixes vintage with locally made   Caroline Cox  2017-03-15T19:23:00+00:00  %{data-embed-type=%22image%22 data-embed-id=%2258bdb65c35ab469075459cf9%22 data-embed-element=%22span%22 data-embed-size=%22640w%22 contenteditable=%22false%22}%Christina Swilley has been collecting vintage clothing since she was 12. She’d make clothes for her sister’s dolls, then line them up and photograph them, runway-show style. “I’ve always been interested in music, art and clothes,” Swilley says. “It’s the only thing I’ve never gotten sick of doing.”



About five years ago, fresh off a divorce and with a need to express herself creatively outside of her day jobs, Swilley started Sunday Shoppe, a vintage clothing style blog and online shop. The plan for a brick-and-mortar boutique was always the end goal, so she could work for herself. Then recently, when a space on Highland Row became available, Swilley jumped at the chance to turn her dream into a reality. 



Her new boutique, Collect on Sunday, features racks of handpicked vintage clothes, vintage books, jewelry, art and other handmade wares. Stocked brands and makers (many of them Atlanta-based) include Melting Sun Apparel, SWS of London, Sasha Versa handmade leather bags, ceramic pieces from Maddy Barreto, Dust to Digital, and Stephanie Elder. The vintage includes high-end pieces from Gucci, Versace, and YSL couture. “I like to carry anything I think is pretty and special,” Swilley says. “I like classic looking things. The '60s are my favorite time for clothes, music, overall aesthetics — I like whimsical-feeling things and usually stuff that's a little weird.”



The shop is currently in “phase one,” Swilley explains — she’d love to eventually start carrying independent designers, sell her own clothing designs, and host events in the space as well. “I want to create a place that people love to go,” she adds. “I want to share things I love with the world.”

Collect on Sunday, 626 North Highland Ave., 305-240-3113, sundayshoppe.com.             20854094         http://dev.creativeloafing.com/image/2017/03/IMG_3753.58bdb65912cfd.png                  New boutique Collect on Sunday mixes vintage with locally made "
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Article

Wednesday March 15, 2017 03:23 pm EDT
The Poncey-Highland shop carries wares from local artists, makers, designers and more | more...
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  string(40) "Full Radius Dance redefines the art form"
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  string(3830) "%{data-embed-type=%22image%22 data-embed-id=%2258bf102e35ab46ed410a6985%22 data-embed-element=%22span%22 data-embed-size=%22640w%22 contenteditable=%22false%22}%This month, the Atlanta-based, physically integrated modern dance company Full Radius Dance celebrates its 25th anniversary. The troupe incorporates both able-bodied and differently abled people, who all work together to expand the definition of what it means to be a performing dancer. “Twenty-five years is just the beginning,” says Full Radius Dance Artistic Director Douglas Scott. “Full Radius Dance is redefining dance and will continue to be modern dance pioneers.” The company's upcoming performance, Silver, will take place on March 10-11 at 7 Stages Theatre. 



Scott talked with CL about how the dance company has evolved over the decades, its legacy, and what he wants people to take away from the performance.






How has Full Radius evolved since its creation?

The most notable evolution was a transformation from a company of professional dancers without disabilities to a physically integrated (dancers with and without disabilities) professional company.



The company, originally known as Dance Force, began in 1991. In 1993, I began teaching classes for dancers with physical disabilities. I was immediately intrigued by these bodies that weren't traditional to dance. Did that negate their artistry? No, not at all. In 1995, I began actively exploring physically integrated choreography. In 1998, Dance Force was rebranded as Full Radius Dance. 



The creative vision has solidified throughout the years. Full Radius Dance is committed to presenting works grounded in our pioneering technique, innovative partnering, and in a philosophy that no dancer is highlighted simply because they are disabled or non-disabled. We portray each dancer as an equal to each other.

What was the brainstorming process to celebrate this legacy?

It was difficult for me to accept the idea of having a legacy, to have created dance works worthy of reviving. An artist can't live in the past. It's always about the next dance, the next exploration of the newest idea. I came to understand that the past works are the steps in the journey to the new work. I took a look back over the years, and well over 50 dances, and chose works that were relevant to the evolution of the company in regard to emotional and physical content — works that could be interpreted by the current company members without sacrificing the original intent.

What are the most common misconceptions about choreographing for those with disabilities?

Dance is the most ableist of the arts. I posit that the widespread opinion is that one must have the perfect body to be a professional dancer. For instance, what springs to mind when I mention 'ballet body'? I'll wager that you envision someone who is slim, with a long neck, long torso, long legs, long arms and high insteps. 



Many people feel that bodies that don't fit this image can't be professional dancers. Therefore, the work of Full Radius Dance must be therapeutic rather than artistic. The use of dance must have curative values rather than art being valuable as art without a moral or utilitarian function. 



In Full Radius Dance, we toss this preconceived idea in a vital, exciting way with each performance. We pursue art for art's sake. Our work has value and meaning beyond the integration of dancers with and without disabilities.

What do you want attendees to take away from this performance?

We hope audiences have an emotional investment in the dance works we present and that they form a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationships with others.

 

Silver. $20-$25. Times vary. Fri., Mar. 10 - Sat., Mar. 11. 7 Stages Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E., 404-523-7647, fullradiusdance.org."
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  string(3897) "%{[ data-embed-type="image" data-embed-id="58bf102e35ab46ed410a6985" data-embed-element="span" data-embed-size="640w" contenteditable="false" ]}%This month, the Atlanta-based, physically integrated modern dance company Full Radius Dance celebrates its 25th anniversary. The troupe incorporates both able-bodied and differently abled people, who all work together to expand the definition of what it means to be a performing dancer. “Twenty-five years is just the beginning,” says Full Radius Dance Artistic Director Douglas Scott. “Full Radius Dance is redefining dance and will continue to be modern dance pioneers.” The company's upcoming performance, ''Silver'', will take place on March 10-11 at 7 Stages Theatre. 

____

Scott talked with ''CL'' about how the dance company has evolved over the decades, its legacy, and what he wants people to take away from the performance.




____

__How has Full Radius evolved since its creation?__

The most notable evolution was a transformation from a company of professional dancers without disabilities to a physically integrated (dancers with and without disabilities) professional company.

____

The company, originally known as Dance Force, began in 1991. In 1993, I began teaching classes for dancers with physical disabilities. I was immediately intrigued by these bodies that weren't traditional to dance. Did that negate their artistry? No, not at all. In 1995, I began actively exploring physically integrated choreography. In 1998, Dance Force was rebranded as Full Radius Dance. 

____

The creative vision has solidified throughout the years. Full Radius Dance is committed to presenting works grounded in our pioneering technique, innovative partnering, and in a philosophy that no dancer is highlighted simply because they are disabled or non-disabled. We portray each dancer as an equal to each other.

__What was the brainstorming process to celebrate this legacy?__

It was difficult for me to accept the idea of having a legacy, to have created dance works worthy of reviving. An artist can't live in the past. It's always about the next dance, the next exploration of the newest idea. I came to understand that the past works are the steps in the journey to the new work. I took a look back over the years, and well over 50 dances, and chose works that were relevant to the evolution of the company in regard to emotional and physical content — works that could be interpreted by the current company members without sacrificing the original intent.

__What are the most common misconceptions about choreographing for those with disabilities?__

Dance is the most ableist of the arts. I posit that the widespread opinion is that one must have the perfect body to be a professional dancer. For instance, what springs to mind when I mention 'ballet body'? I'll wager that you envision someone who is slim, with a long neck, long torso, long legs, long arms and high insteps. 

____

Many people feel that bodies that don't fit this image can't be professional dancers. Therefore, the work of Full Radius Dance must be therapeutic rather than artistic. The use of dance must have curative values rather than art being valuable as art without a moral or utilitarian function. 

____

In Full Radius Dance, we toss this preconceived idea in a vital, exciting way with each performance. We pursue art for art's sake. Our work has value and meaning beyond the integration of dancers with and without disabilities.

__What do you want attendees to take away from this performance?__

We hope audiences have an emotional investment in the dance works we present and that they form a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationships with others.

 

[https://fullradiusdance.org/|Silver. ''$20-$25. Times vary. Fri., Mar. 10 - Sat., Mar. 11. 7 Stages Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E., 404-523-7647, fullradiusdance.org.'']"
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  string(4201) "    The physically integrated modern dance company celebrates its 25th year   2017-03-09T21:10:00+00:00 Full Radius Dance redefines the art form   Caroline Cox  2017-03-09T21:10:00+00:00  %{data-embed-type=%22image%22 data-embed-id=%2258bf102e35ab46ed410a6985%22 data-embed-element=%22span%22 data-embed-size=%22640w%22 contenteditable=%22false%22}%This month, the Atlanta-based, physically integrated modern dance company Full Radius Dance celebrates its 25th anniversary. The troupe incorporates both able-bodied and differently abled people, who all work together to expand the definition of what it means to be a performing dancer. “Twenty-five years is just the beginning,” says Full Radius Dance Artistic Director Douglas Scott. “Full Radius Dance is redefining dance and will continue to be modern dance pioneers.” The company's upcoming performance, Silver, will take place on March 10-11 at 7 Stages Theatre. 



Scott talked with CL about how the dance company has evolved over the decades, its legacy, and what he wants people to take away from the performance.






How has Full Radius evolved since its creation?

The most notable evolution was a transformation from a company of professional dancers without disabilities to a physically integrated (dancers with and without disabilities) professional company.



The company, originally known as Dance Force, began in 1991. In 1993, I began teaching classes for dancers with physical disabilities. I was immediately intrigued by these bodies that weren't traditional to dance. Did that negate their artistry? No, not at all. In 1995, I began actively exploring physically integrated choreography. In 1998, Dance Force was rebranded as Full Radius Dance. 



The creative vision has solidified throughout the years. Full Radius Dance is committed to presenting works grounded in our pioneering technique, innovative partnering, and in a philosophy that no dancer is highlighted simply because they are disabled or non-disabled. We portray each dancer as an equal to each other.

What was the brainstorming process to celebrate this legacy?

It was difficult for me to accept the idea of having a legacy, to have created dance works worthy of reviving. An artist can't live in the past. It's always about the next dance, the next exploration of the newest idea. I came to understand that the past works are the steps in the journey to the new work. I took a look back over the years, and well over 50 dances, and chose works that were relevant to the evolution of the company in regard to emotional and physical content — works that could be interpreted by the current company members without sacrificing the original intent.

What are the most common misconceptions about choreographing for those with disabilities?

Dance is the most ableist of the arts. I posit that the widespread opinion is that one must have the perfect body to be a professional dancer. For instance, what springs to mind when I mention 'ballet body'? I'll wager that you envision someone who is slim, with a long neck, long torso, long legs, long arms and high insteps. 



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What do you want attendees to take away from this performance?

We hope audiences have an emotional investment in the dance works we present and that they form a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationships with others.

 

Silver. $20-$25. Times vary. Fri., Mar. 10 - Sat., Mar. 11. 7 Stages Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E., 404-523-7647, fullradiusdance.org.             20854230         http://dev.creativeloafing.com/image/2017/03/full_radius_dance_by_Bubba_Carr.58bf102a0e107.png                  Full Radius Dance redefines the art form "
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Article

Thursday March 9, 2017 04:10 pm EST
The physically integrated modern dance company celebrates its 25th year | more...
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