Research Residency: Tendayi Kuumba & Greg Purnell – Danspace Project
View all

Research Residency: Tendayi Kuumba & Greg Purnell

Tendayi Kuumba and Greg Purnell, “Unidentified Fly Objects (U.F.O.),” 2019, Danspace Project. Photo: Paula Lobo.

Danspace Project ​has ​partnered with the Petronio Residency Center in Greene County, NY to host a research residency for ​Tendayi Kuumba and Greg Purnell​. 

This residency is not open to the public.

International singer, songwriter, & choreographer Tendayi Kuumba is Spelman College graduate with a BA in Drama with a Dance Concentration. Her training as a youth ranges from Buffalo Inner City Ballet, Ballethnic, Callanwolde Fine Arts, and Moving in the Spirit. As a Brooklyn transplant her choreographic roots embody a long thruline of musical exploration, vocal portals, response of the body and storytelling. Formerly a touring company member of Urban Bush Women, she recently made her debut as a singer/dancer in  David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway. Past choreographic works have been featured on multiple platforms including Palace Akropolis, Cmon Everybody, Danspace Project, HiArts, Harlem Stage & BRICLab with collaborative partner Greg Purnell. She has worked with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Marjani Forté-Saunders, ASÉ Dance Theater Collective, Nathan Trice/ Rituals Performance Project, Jim Findlay’s “Electric Lucifer” workshop, Philadelphia Opera’s We Shall Not be Moved directed by Bill T. Jones, Okwui Okpokwasili & Annie B. Parson. Discography includes “Just A Matter or Time,” “Incognegro,” “American Utopia Live from Kings Theater” of the American Utopia World Tour & Broadway cast album. As well as generating and co-creating the artistic space “The Golden Ratio Project ” in Brooklyn, NY alongside Greg Purnell. Recent projects include U.F.O (Unidentified Fly Objects): Stardust Melanin under the Gibney Spotlight residency Spring 2020, member of the Voice/Body Danspace Project research group, a creator within 100 Years / 100  Women with Urban Bush Women, & a practitioner in Okwui Okpokwasili & Peter Born’s Sitting on a Man’s Head. She gives thanks and blessings for life, love, breath, and the pursuit of happiness through creativity.

Greg Purnell is a Brooklyn born and bred barber, visual artist, writer, music producer and all around creative. He has cultivated and refined his multi medium artistry and sense of vision through barbering, which has provided a beautiful reservoir of inspiration and people from vastly different walks of life and cultural backgrounds. Greg has been featured in the  2015 BRIC Stoop Series Barbershop Stories: it’s all about hair and BRIC TV’s Brooklyn Made series. Other features include Afropunk, BAM, OkayAfrica and Nike collaborations , and webseries feature in I Don’t Camouflage by Aiko Tanaka. He embodies various practices such as sound designer, lighting designer, director & music creator for various solo and collaborative works. Past choreographic/creative works include collaborations with Tendayi Kuumba, Courtney Cook, Urban Bush Women, The Illustrious Blacks, and MVMNT PHLSPY. Currently, Greg is the Founder and primary visionary of artistic lab/creation space “The Golden Ratio Project ” where he has developed his own brand of barbering utilizing aesthetics, art, music and storytelling to create a personable therapeutic experience.  He recently self produced the art exhibition “33”, commemorating his 33 years of barbering in collaboration with his visual artistry, U.F.O (Unidentified Fly Objects): Stardust Melanin under the Gibney Spotlight residency Spring 2020, & Okwui Okpokwasili/ Peter Born’s Sitting on a Man’s Head. Purnell believes all forms of art and expression are united by our dreams, and it is through technique and passion that our dreams become realities.

Danspace Project’s collaboration with Petronio Residency Center is supported by the New York State DanceForce, a partnership program of the New York State Council on the Arts with support of the Governor and Legislature of the State of New York.

Skip to content