On view June 20 – June 25 , 2016
EBK Gallery [small works].
218 Pearl St.
Hartford’s own Arien Wilkerson choreographer, dance director, performer, hyper drive creator type of unstoppable artist and his dance company TNMOT AZTRO, will rehearse a series of daily choreographed “sketches” in the gallery relating to his dance project titled “Black Boy Jungle”. After working them out each day, an evening performance will be played out in the gallery. Some days will have specific themes others, not so. It’s quite the experiment and we’re looking forward to how it works out! All Good… -EBK
Black Boy Jungle is a contemporary dance work that focuses on the claiming (and re-claiming) of our unique identities. America is home to immigrants from all over the world, and our diversity encourages the questioning of both our personal and national identities. What is the American dream? Who’s to say there is only one? Do our ethnic backgrounds, beliefs and theories become esoteric due to overarching societal views and our aesthetically-driven culture?
Black Boy Jungle addresses the issue of cultural misrepresentation and generalization, acquired through both public schooling and our consumer-driven society. We accumulate layer upon layer of judgements and opinions as we grow from toddlers to adults, but do the clothes on our back really represent who we are at our core? We’re living in a vast jungle of different identities, often estranged from or ostracized by others, despite the fact that we’re all seeking the same thing; harmony. -A.W.
Monday June 20th 8-9pm – The Ellis Island Band in rehearsal – with narration
( Sam Francis King, Travis Golden, Keila Myles, Andre Harris, Emily Petersen, Dwayne Keith. ) Narration – Arien Wilkerson.
Tuesday June 21st 8-9pm – Black Boy with Narration & Tnmot Aztro Collaborators: Amy Merli, Henry Olivo work on solo material along with learning AY AY AY.. a moment in Black Boy Jungle.
Wednesday June 22nd 8-9pm – Tnmot Aztro Collaborators: Rosanna Karabetsos, Tiger Luangpraseuth, Amy Merli, Jakar Hankerson, and Henry Olivo Rehearsal of Straight to the Capitalist head & Bam Bam along with Narration and reconstruction by Arien Wilkerson.
Thursday June 23rd 8-9pm – Tnmot Aztro Collaborator: Kailah King rehearse’s Nudity & Love with Arien Wilkerson. Narration performed by Arien Wilkerson
Friday June 24th 6-8:30pm – Reception With Narration performed by Arien Wilkerson, Excerpt of Compass performed by Henry Olivo and Tiger Luangpraseuth
Saturday June 25th 8-9pm – Arien Wilkerson Movement session.
Check out these images from Erik Williams of Black Frame Vision
A conversation with Arien Wilkerson and Kristina Newman Scott
a quick note…streaming is at the mercy of a solid wifi signal, or not, so if it freezes up it’s not on your end.
click on an image to view the video feed
An excerpt from the writing by Arien Wilkerson & Alycia Jenkins:
Our America that teaches you to bathe in self-hate
Starving for the insight into my own life and the lives about me.
Sharing all obligations and responsibilities as a libation of forgiveness to my environment
Black boy, Immigrant, communist, God?
Color Hate Defines us
The Immigrant, An organic part of the Culture
Black Boy, ruled by emotions which he had not wish to have
Plagues of your soul
Black Boy, Immigrant, White man, God, Lynching, Bread lines, Market Reincarnations
And the endless brutalities, Psyche Pain
Our america.. Land of Unconscious suffering
The city that houses the dead of 12 million immigrants that have forgotten
About you my love, my black boy.
Hartford Courant article (click here)
Creates performance and installation works which blend dance, fashion and visual media by engaging collaborations with artists from throughout Connecticut and beyond. The Hartford-based company expresses its passion for originality, color, purpose and freedom through film/video, photography, DJing, projector installations and multimedia performances.
AZTRO Dance collaborators:
The Ellis Island Band:
Sam Francis King
Live Stream and Photography:
Azua Echevarria Tnmot
Arien was born and raised in Hartford, CT where he began his dance training under the tutelage of Jolet Creary. He studied contemporary dance, ballet and jazz as a student at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Artists Collective and Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts. This early training provided opportunities to perform for a such individuals as Rennie Harris, Pop Master Fabel, Sam Waters, Jasmine Guy. In 2008, he was a scholarship recipient for travel to Cape Verde, Africa to participate in CulturArte, a youth arts residency program where he studied with Mano Preto, Artistic Director of Raiz di Polon, and Deborah Goffe, Artistic Director of Scapegoat Garden. As a high school senior in 2009, his work was selected for performance at Wesleyan University’s Dance Masters in recognition of his exception emerging artistry by David Dorfman and Nicole Stanton, through an initiative of New Foundation of the Arts.
Arien is currently working as a choreographer, dancer, and film artist for his company, TNMOT AZTRO and has set choreographic works on EQuilibrium Dance Theater CONNetic Dance collaborations with Ruth Lewis’s dimensional dance along with performing as a special guest to Doug Elkin’s in Fraulein Maria at the Hartford stage. Mr. Wilkerson has recently choreographed in Hartford’s nightfall puppet show His work has been presented in concerts, dance festivals and productions throughout the region. Most recently, Arien was commissioned to create and premiere 2 new works in 2015. B LACK BOY JUNGLE P remiered at The Town & County Club & Punching Bag Apart of Open Studio Hartford. Mr. Wilkerson has served as an Artist in Residence at The Garden Center for Contemporary Dance where he premiered three iterations of his work,T he Projector Series. The Projector Series 1.4, t he fourth and final installment recently Sold out 3 nights at Real Art Ways in 2016.