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“… resists essentialist notions of Black masculinity by imagining a world where Black pain… is met with Black tenderness, care, and community.”
– Frenzied H(e)avens: African American Post Exilic Realities in J’Sun Howard’s “aMoratorium” by Brianna Alexis Heath

aMoratorium explores Black male identity, visibility, temporality, and its absence, and further examines death as it relates to the Black church and Black spiritual traditions. It is an intimate performance that expresses generous, compassionate, and loving play between Black and Brown men in our current socio-political climate.

aMoratorium was initially commissioned by the Art Institute of Chicago to respond to its retrospective of Charles Wilbert White, a visual artist who powerfully interpreted African American history, culture, and lives over the course of his four-decade career.

Choreographer J’Sun Howard and his collaborator-performers Dedrick “D. Banks” Gray and Timothy “Solomon” Bowser, and DJ Jared Brown, have created a frank and courageous dance-theatre performance. Standing at the intersection between art, activism, education, and social engagement, aMoratorium challenges racial supremacy, police brutality, global anti-Blackness, homophobia, and xenophobia.

“… dancer Dedrick Gray’s courage and vulnerability infused every shake, pounce and stagger.”
– Wendy Perron, Dance Magazine, 2019

 “aMoratorium’s Dedrick Gray and Solomon Bowser are amazing, mesmerizing dancers! They are both so powerful/graceful and precise, but their solos truly showcased the delicious distinctions in their embodied storytelling.”
– Felicia Holman, Performance Response Journal, 2020

Post-show dialogue on 18 January 2024, with speech to text interpretation available upon request. Please email your request to [email protected] before 15 December 2023.

Artist Statement

“To dance is to breathe. As a dancemaker, I organize generous, loving, and compassionate play for Black male-identified individuals. In a society that denies play as a possibility for us and does not permit exploring the unknown—because discovery requires a moment of aimlessness, which is deemed criminal in our country—we must be unapologetic in our Blackness. My work intertwines the undeniable gentleness, loveliness, and pain of our play.”

– J’Sun Howard

Issues of racial inequality are as prevalent today as they were 20 years ago. My work speaks to how Black and Brown people need to navigate and negotiate the realities of white supremacy, police brutality, global anti-Blackness, homophobia, and xenophobia. These issues affect my community and the world at large because they reinforce the ideology that Black and Brown people should not exist.

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Date And Time

January 17, 2024 @ 20:00 to
January 18, 2024 @ 20:50

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