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Sheldon Smith

Thank you for letting me witness this work online and so sorry I couldn't be there in person. But I have become strangely adept at finding ways of reconciling the screened experience and so glad too that life afforded me a moment to sit with this work. All to say that there is so much one could unpack--yet I feel the work is actually asking me to settle into the felt, non-verbal, no word thought clouds of sensations that I should probably get up now and dance my response but is that engaging in dialogue...to dance alone in my room? Maybe it is, as this dance dances a kind of absence, a sort of loss and loneliness but also communion with the ghost dancers that maybe we don't see but certainly feel. That try as it might the white cube can't take away the elders, and others that we might not be able to see right in front of us but are always there in our periphery. Oh, and also...the sort of hug at the end. So necessary. Like this work. Ok, also, astonishing performers. Last--a criticism, the work is too short.

Jill Randall

It was a special opportunity to watch the streaming video online on December 31st - thank you.

Thank you to all of the artists and collaborators for this gift - Gerald, Audrey, Karla, Styles, Cauveri, Tim, and everyone I did not see who helped with the films, dramaturgy, lighting, costumes, and more. All of the elements added so much, and I saw the care, craft, and intention.

As I wrote down thoughts last night, it ended up in a poem-like form, responding to Not About Race Dance:




comfort+presence in this ensemble
*the sense of the ensemble

there is calm, and rage

words I hear
words I don't catch


take notice
DO YOU notice?
I notice


I've been sitting with this work since I saw both the in-person show on December 11th and re-watched the virtual stream on December 31st. I felt the performance deeply in my bones and flesh and kept thinking that being given the space to truly witness others may make space to allow others to witness me. I found the use of technology compelling and juicy, the sound score (from TLC to Russell's score to the performers singing) deeply felt, and the performance as a whole had me laughing, tearing up, and bopping along. I can't wait to see the work that Gerald dives into next, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to have seen this piece in two forms.

I continue to ask myself questions about visibility and the lack of press that this performance was afforded, when many other shows happening the same weekend, but not dealing with such visceral and necessary topics, got so much more press. I, of course, appreciate this space to share experiences, but I have to wonder, why is it that when BIPOC artists are interrogating whiteness through their work major news publications shy away and maintain the status quo to appease whiteness still?

Thank you again, to Gerald and the whole NARD team!

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