taisha paggett + David Roussève – Danspace Project
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taisha paggett + David Roussève

taisha paggett (meital yaniv) and David Roussève (Jorge Vismara).

A shared evening

Thursday, May 23 | 7:30PM
Friday, May 24 | 7:30PM
Saturday, May 25 | 7:30PM

PART OF PLATFORM 2024: A Delicate Ritual
curated by Kyle Abraham


Multi award-winning choreographer, writer, director, and filmmaker David Roussève founded David Roussève/REALITY in 1988 to create socially-charged dance/theater work merging African American traditional and pop cultures with avant-garde dance and theater. Roussève’s recent group works for his company REALITY have developed a movement language that melds fluid and sequential techniques with street, modern, and jazz dance. He is Distinguished Professor of Choreography and former Department Chair at UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, where he has been on faculty since 1996. Roussève first performed at Danspace Project in a revival of Yoshiko Chuma’s 5-car pile-up in 1988. 

On this evening, he shares the first section of a new 3-part solo work – his first full-length solo performance in more than 20 years. DaddyAF is an intimate and autobiographical meditation on the elusive nature of love and the very meaning of existence, exploring Roussève’s family genealogy, his roller coaster journey with HIV, and the death of his former husband of 26 years.

taisha paggett upholds dance, choreography, and its methodologies as something to break open, “a lens and lung through which to engage ideas,” in particular the terrain of racial trauma, grief, and identity. paggett is a Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ Merce Cunningham Awardee and Associate Professor in Dance at UC Riverside. Paggett premiered a right-angled object who lost her faith in being upright, commissioned and presented by Danspace Project, in 2013.

Taking cues from writer/critic Tavia N’yongo, the weight of our relations is an attempt to “afro-fabulate” a conversation between paggett and the photographic archive of Maudelle Bass Weston (1908-1989), a prominent but under-recognized 20th century artist-dancer-model. “The weight, volume, and velocity of today’s political and eco-catastrophic moment, as well as my personal history and Maudelle’s career, trespass into the open field of this speculative, ritualized conversation,” paggett writes, drawing on the ritual of their morning breathwork process, which serves as both conjuring tool and choreographic practice.

Click here to view the performance program

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$10 Members
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$50 Celebrating 50 years!
$100 Here’s to the next 50!

Accessibility for this performance:

American Sign Language (ASL) will be provided on Friday, May 24.

Before you visit:

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taisha paggett is the continuation of Cheryl Yvone McGhee, Arveal Paggett Jr, and all  the relatives who’ve held them. She respectfully resides on the home and gathering lands of the Cahuilla, Tongva, Luiseño, and Serrano, colonially called Riverside, CA. Their research roots inside politico-somatic presencing and performative installation from a black, queer, vantage. She upholds dance, choreography, and its methodologies as something to break open–a lens and lung through which to engage ideas–specifically concerning the terrain of racial trauma, grief, and manufactured identities. She’s a Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ Merce Cunningham Awardee and Associate Professor in Dance at UC Riverside.

David Roussève, is a choreographer/writer/director/performer, magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and a Guggenheim Fellow. His dance/theater company REALITY has performed throughout the UK, Europe, S. America, and the U.S including four commissions for the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. Among others his commissions include Houston Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Cleo Parker Robinson, Dancing Wheels, Atlanta Ballet, and Ilkhom Theater Co. of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. David has created three short films, the most recent screening at festivals at 56 festivals in 11 countries and receiving 10 awards including 4 for “Best Film.” Other awards include a “Bessie”, Creative Capital Fellowship, 3 Horton Awards, CalArts/Alpert Award in Dance, and 7 consecutive NEA fellowships. David was published in collections by Bantam Press and Rutledge Press, was twice a Fellow in the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriter Lab, and just completed “Stardust”, a feature screenplay based on his dance/theater work “Stardust”. He plans to create the film in with long-time collaborator, videographer and editor Cari Ann Shim Sham. At UCLA Roussève is Distinguished Professor of Choreography in the department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. For the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture David has served as Associate Dean (2014-15), Acting Dean (2015), and Interim Dean (2015-17).

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