Events – Danspace Project
Two Black women are positioned on opposite ends of a church studio with a mic stand wrapped in braids stand in front of them. Their arms are extended out with knees bent and heads thrown back.
Ogemdi Ude and Selah V. Hampton. Photo: Chidozie Ekwensi.

Ogemdi Ude: I know exactly what you mean

Part of Platform 2022: The Dream of the Audience (Part II)

Thursday, May 12, 8pm
Friday, May 13, 8pm
Saturday, May 14, 8pm

*Proof of vaccination with 1st booster and mask required for entry.*

Accessibility: Audio Description (AD) will be provided by Marielys Burgos Meléndez on Saturday, May 14, 8pm. Additional AD tickets are available for deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired audience members on those respective dates. Please email Seta@danspaceproject.org to reserve AD tickets. $15 Wheelchair accessible tickets are available for every performance through OvationTix. Visit danspaceproject.org/accessibility for more information.

Click here to download the performance program

I know exactly what you mean playfully explores the roles of storytelling and lying in recovering cultural memory, establishing kinship amongst Black folks, and processing personal grief. Devised by Ude in collaboration with performers Selah V. Hampton and Symara Johnson, this evening-length dance calls on nostalgic Black music and personal narratives to draw the audience into the work.

I know exactly what you mean evolves from research into novelist Toni Morrison’s themes of “rememory” and “remembering,” and playwright Suzan-Lori Parks’ call to Black Americans to “make” history, when much of it has gone lost or unrecorded. “We are addressing the fissures in personal and collective memory that a traumatic event creates. When we don’t remember, we fabricate to make sense out of what we do,” Ude writes. “I want to make a space for my collaborators and audiences to experience the healing and protective power of storytelling and the ways lying can often help us make sense of an essential truth.”

Choreography and direction by Ogemdi Ude in collaboration with Selah V. Hampton and Symara Johnson
Lighting Design by Carol Mullins
Projection and Interactive Media Design by Jon DeGaetano and Matthew Deinhart
Sound Design by Antonio Brown
Administrative Support from Gabby Carmichael

Funding & Support
I know exactly what you mean
was commissioned and premiered at Danspace Project. I know exactly what you mean is made possible in part with support from Dance/NYC’s Disability Dance Artistry Residency Program, the Center for Performance Research Artist in Residence program, and the St. Anthony Educational Foundation.


Accessibility & Covid Safety at Danspace:
*Proof of vaccination with 1st booster and mask required for entry.*
Visit our Accessibility Info page & Covid Safety page for more information and guidelines for attending performances and events our venue.

Ogemdi Ude is a Nigerian-American dance artist, educator, and doula based in Brooklyn, New York. Her performances focus on Black femme legacies and futures, grief, and memory. She aims to incite critical engagement with embodied Black history as a means to imagine Black futurity. Her work has been presented at Issue Project Room, Recess Art, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Gibney, Center for Performance Research, Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, and for BAM’s DanceAfrica Festival. As an educator, she serves as Head of Movement for Theater at Professional Performing Arts School and has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, MIT, and University of the Arts. In collaboration with Rochelle Jamila Wilbun she facilitates AfroPeach, a series of dance workshops and talks birth work specialists for Black postpartum people in Brooklyn. She is a 2021 danceWEB Scholar, 2021 Laundromat Project Artist-in-Residence, and 2021 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Engagement Grantee. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English from Princeton University. 

A casual group photograph of the core cast of In place of catastrophe... This picture was taken in January 2020 just after our final in-process showing at Mark Morris Dance Studios and before any of us knew what COVID-19 was, let alone that it was already here. This was among the last times we gathered in-person as a cast. Pictured from left to right: Krishna Washburn, Marýa Wethers, iele paloumpis, Alejandra Ospina, M Rodriguez, Marielys Burgos-Meléndez, Ogemdi Ude, and Seta Morton. The cast wears all black and their facial expressions range from elated to sassy, and overall contentment. Various accessibility devices are being used, including Krishna's white cane, iele's eye patch, Alejandra's motorized wheelchair, and Marielys sits in a folding chair, while others stand or pose for the camera, with arms lovingly draped around each other's shoulders.
Left to right: Krishna Washburn, Marýa Wethers, iele paloumpis, Alejandra Ospina, M Rodriguez, Marielys Burgos-Meléndez, Ogemdi Ude, and Seta Morton. Photo: Adrien Lorenzo Weibgen.

iele paloumpis: In place of catastrophe, a clear night sky

Part of Platform 2022: The Dream of the Audience (Part II)

Thursday, May 26, 3pm*
Saturday, May 28, 3pm

*Proof of vaccination with 1st booster and mask required for entry.*

**Advance sales are currently at capacity. A wait list will be taken at the door 45 minutes prior to each start time. Payment for wait list tickets is $25 cash-only at the door.**

*The house will open at 2pm each afternoon for Blind and Visually Impaired audiences.

Accessibility: Audio Description (AD) will be provided for every performance by the performers. Additional AD tickets are available for blind or visually impaired audience members. Please email Seta@danspaceproject.org to reserve AD tickets. $15 Wheelchair accessible tickets are available for every performance through OvationTix. Visit danspaceproject.org/accessibility for more information.

What vitality allowed our ancestors to survive generations of trauma and what wisdoms have been passed down to us? What embodied magics are all our own? iele paloumpisIn place of catastrophe, a clear night sky — a work almost five years in the making — traverses these questions through voice and movement, exploring transgenerational resilience within a disability justice framework.

Incorporating vocalization, audio  description, scent, and tactile elements, iele paloumpis creates an immersive,  multi-sensory landscape that invites blind, visually impaired, and low vision audience members into the poetics of movement, de-centering sight as a primary mode of experiencing dance, prompting nuanced forms of perception. A multi-disciplinary cast of artists and collaborators, including Marielys Burgos-Meléndez, Seta Morton, Alejandra Ospina, iele paloumpis, M. Rodriguez, Ogemdi Ude, Krishna Washburn, and Marýa Wethers, moves through the work with varied relationships to disability, race, class, gender and sexuality, each embodying a unique history. 

To address the needs and safety of disabled and immunocompromised cast members and audiences who remain at the margins as New York “re-emerges” from the ongoing global pandemic, paloumpis will create a film version of the live experience – dates to be announced.


Accessibility & Covid Safety at Danspace:
*Proof of vaccination with 1st booster and mask required for entry.*
Visit our Accessibility Info page & Covid Safety page for more information and guidelines for attending performances and events our venue.


Directed by iele paloumpis
Created and performed in collaboration with the Core Cast: Marielys Burgos-Meléndez, Seta Morton, Alejandra Ospina, M. Rodriguez, Ogemdi Ude, Krishna Washburn, and Marýa Wethers
Narrative Audio Description: Alejandra Ospina
Guest Singers: Rae De Vine, Joanna Groom, CJ Holm, Samita Sinha, and Adrien Lorenzo Weibgen
Set Design:
Textiles by iele paloumpis, Adrien Lorenzo Weibgen, and the Core Cast
Mycelium կարասներ (Armenian-style vases) by Nora Chavooshian
Costuming: iele paloumpis, with headpieces by lily gold
Dramaturgy: Seta Morton
Souli Song: Seta Morton, iele paloumpis, and Adrien Lorenzo Weibgen
Sound Design / Editor: Everett Saunders
Additional Sound Consulting: M. Rodriguez
Lighting Design: Kathy Kaufmann
Project Management: Seta Morton and Benedict Nguyen
Stage Manager / Production Assistant: Katherine De La Cruz
Production Assistant: Caroline Kittredge Faustine

iele paloumpis is a visually-impaired dance artist, herbalist, astrologer and end of life doula living in Canarsie/Munsee territory in Lenapehoking. iele’s work is rooted in kinesthetic awareness, trauma-informed griefwork, and ancestral re-membrance practices that reflect fragmented lineages across queer, trans and crip aural histories, alongside their Greek, Anatolian and Irish-American diasporic bloodlines. Most recently, iele has been exploring intergenerational trauma and resilience related to centuries of occupation, forced displacement, and eventually the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey, known to Greeks as “The Catastrophe.” iele comes from a long line of mystics, and is grateful to have studied with many teachers who have influenced their path. Under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield and Jeffery Bullock, iele received a BA in Dance from Hollins University in 2006. As an end of life doula, they have received certifications from Valley Hospice, Mount Sinai’s Palliative Care Institute, and Deanna Flores Cochran’s Accompanying the Dying program between 2014-16. iele has practiced Tarot since 1995, most recently with the mentorship of Eva Yaa Asantewaa. In summer 2014, iele studied herbology with Rosemary Gladstar, and more recently iele has deepened their connection to ancestral plant medicine across the Mediterranean & SWANA regions with guidance from Layla K. Feghali & SWANA Ancestral. Following in the footsteps of their Anatolian ancestors, iele is mostly a self-taught astrologer, though studying the teachings of Demetra George on Traditional Astrology has been particularly impactful. iele will always be a student of the more-than-human world, and is in endless gratitude to the forests, mountains, rivers, stars and animal-kin who offer so much wisdom. As a disabled, trans, queer survivor from a working class background, iele empathizes across multiple axes of oppression and brings this awareness to their work as an artist, educator, doula and intuitive healer.

Photo: Ian Douglas.

Conversations Without Walls: The Dream of the Audience

Part of Platform 2022: The Dream of the Audience (Part II)

Saturday, June 4, 12pm-3pm
The Parish Hall will open at 12pm. The conversation will begin at 12:30pm. 

*Proof of vaccination with 1st booster and mask required for entry.*

Location: The Parish Hall

Accessibility: Projected CART captioning will be provided.

A day of conversation with the audience led by a panel of selected audience members, deep listeners, and thoughtful witnesses: Platform 2021-2022 Writer-in-Residence, maura nguyễn donohue, 2021-2023 Research Fellow, devynn emory, and dance artist and audio describer, Tess Dworman. Together we will ruminate on questions around what it means to be an audience during pandemic times. What wisdoms, archives, and responsibilities do audiences carry? How do we learn or unlearn how to witness, as a practice of care?

Conversations Without Walls (CWW) was designed to bring together voices of artists, curators, scholars, writers, and more, into long-form roundtable discussions. The content of these conversations are intentionally wide ranging and artist driven—they can provide further context and insight into an artist’s research, reflect on a Danspace Project program, unpack methodologies and practices, or reflect on larger systemic and structural issues that impact artists today. 


Accessibility & Covid Safety at Danspace:
*Proof of vaccination with 1st booster and mask required for entry.*
Visit our Accessibility Info page & Covid Safety page for more information and guidelines for attending performances and events our venue.

mayfield brooks. Film still by Suzi Sadler.

mayfield brooks: Sensoria: An Opera Strange

Part of Platform 2022: The Dream of the Audience (Part II)

Thursday, June 9, sunset*
Friday, June 10, sunset
Saturday, June 11, sunset

*Proof of vaccination with 1st booster and mask required for entry.*

Accessibility: Audio Description (AD) will be provided for every performance by the performers. Additional AD tickets are available for blind or visually impaired audience members. Please email Seta@danspaceproject.org to reserve AD tickets. $15 Wheelchair accessible tickets are available for every performance through OvationTix. Visit danspaceproject.org/accessibility for more information. 

mayfield brooks is a performer, artist, urban farmer, and originator of the interdisciplinary movement project, Improvising While Black. Sensoria: An Opera Strange is a continuation of brooks’ Whale Fall Cycle – a series of written, digital and live provocations based on a whale’s decomposition process when its body falls to the ocean floor and feeds thousands of sea creatures. the first of which was a Bessie Award nominated film entitled Whale Fall.

Sensoria: An Opera Strange is an invitation into different auditory fields inspired by whale songs, laments, acoustic uprisings, and revolutionary chants. “Questions emerging from this stage of the Whale Fall Cycle are: ‘Who am I feeding?,’ ‘How am I listening?,’ and ‘What ghosts am I dancing with?,’” writes brooks. “When the continual hum of extraction dominates the auditory field, how does one attune to the ancestor’s whisper, and feed the hungry disembodied ghosts of our time?”

*June sunsets will be between approximately 8-8:30pm. The exact time of each performance will be sent via email prior to the event.


Accessibility & Covid Safety at Danspace:

*Proof of vaccination with 1st booster and mask required for entry.*
Visit our Accessibility Info page & Covid Safety page for more information and guidelines for attending performances and events our venue.

mayfield brooks improvises while black and is based in Lenapehoking, the homeland of the Lenape people also known as Brooklyn, New York. brooks is a movement-based performance artist, vocalist, urban farmer, writer, and wanderer. They are on the faculty at Movement Research NYC and the 2021 recipient of the biennial Merce Cunningham Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. brooks’ dance film, Whale Fall was nominated for a 2021 Bessie Award and they will be a 2022-23 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University this year. brooks is an international teacher and performer whose entire body of work arises from their life/art/movement practice, Improvising While Black or IWB.

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