Inside the Pillow Lab: Ladies of Hip-Hop


Inside the Pillow Lab is an intimate new film series that captures works in process and behind-the-scenes moments of what it’s like for artists to live, work, and rehearse together again in COVID-compliant residencies on the Pillow’s retreat-like campus. The Pillow Lab, the Pillow’s year-round center for research and development, provides artists the crucial space and time in development, research, and technical stages of choreography-driven projects. Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance Collective, LDC, is an all female intergenerational dance collective that creates dance works illuminating the strength, power, and diversity of women in hip-hop. Ever present in the work is the freestyle, ciphering, family dances, and call and response that serve as the essence of street and club dance culture, while exploring cultural forms for proscenium performance. Founded by director and choreographer Michele Byrd-McPhee, LDC creates collaborative works that celebrate and center feminist narratives examining the intersections of gender, race, and resistance. Building on their formative January 2021 convening in a Works & Process at the Guggenheim bubble residency at Bethany Arts Community, culminating in a rare-for-the-time video performance filmed at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, and subsequently, their summer 2021 On The Road engagement with Jacob’s Pillow, which took free performances to towns across Berkshire County, the hip-hop collective will be using the Lab to further develop their Black Dancing Bodies project. The project was created to capture the beauty and power of Black female street dancers in movement by Black female photographers. Through a series of movement sessions, the project aims to tell their stories through interviews and photographs, documenting the importance, power, and presence of Black women in hip-hop. RESIDENCY DATES: February 16 – 27, 2022 Michele Byrd-McPhee, Executive & Artistic Director Reyna Núñez, Administrative Assistant & Rehearsal Director Imani Arrington, Dancer/Choreographer Tomoe "Beasty" Carr, Dancer/Choreographer Cocoro Carr, Dancer/Choreographer Alora Tonielle Martinez, Dancer/Choreographer Reyna Núñez, Dancer/Choreographer Roukijah "NutellaK" Rooks, Dancer/Choreographer Miyabi Wright, Dancer/Choreographer ADDITIONAL DANCERS/CHOREOGRAPHERS NO APPEARING: LaTasha Barnes, Dancer/Choreographer Britney Brown, Dancer/Choreographer Lenaya "Tweetboogie" Straker, Dancer/Choreographer MUSIC: "Journey's Prelude" by Louie Vega featuring Ursula Rucker "Go On Girl" by Roxane Shante "Stay with me" by PPP feat. Tiombe Lockhart (instrumental) FILMING: Erica Spizz and Ladies of Hip-Hop company members Film Produced by Nel Shelby Productions Nel Shelby, Producer Caroline Haidet, Editor Benjamin Richards, Graphic Animation LEAD SUPPORT FOR THE 2021-2022 PILLOW LAB IS PROVIDED BY: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation WITH ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM: Deborah & Charles Adelman Arison Arts Foundation The Barr Foundation Harkness Foundation for Dance Christopher Jones & Deb McAlister Mertz Gilmore Foundation National Endowment for the Arts © 2022 Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Inc.

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