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Sun March 29, 2020

PUSH Dance Company World Premiere of 'The Motley Experiment'

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Friday, March 27, at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29 at 2:00pm

Award-winning choreographer, performance innovator and cultural worker Raissa Simpson and PUSH Dance Company partner with the Bayview Opera House to present the world premiere of The Motley Experiment , Simpson's evening-length, multi-media exploration of Jazz Age painter Archibald Motley, March 27-29 at Bayview Opera House. Featuring 14 dancers, an original score created and performed live by Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids and a digital landscape created by Raissa Simpson.

For the premiere, Simpson draws on five different paintings, including Motley's 1925 The Octoroon Girl, which depict multi-racial figures of African descent. For Simpson and African American mixed-heritage women, Archibald Motley's works represent an early portrayal of racialized identities encapsulated into positive portraits of Black lives. Simpson observes that, "His own life and his struggle with multiracial identity are aptly found in his work when he paints the 'Old Negro' tropes. Walking through the Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently, I was mesmerized not only by Archibald's depictions of Black people, but also by his nightlife jazz scenes saturated with Majorelle blues. I had never seen dark-toned skins painted with such dignity through blues, reds and purples. His struggle with 20th century racial codes and multiracial identity are aptly found in his work."

The stage area will be at the center of the space and audiences will surround the performers, creating a feeling of intimate observation and inclusion in the action. Digital projections will bathe the performers and parts of the audience in abstracted images from media art, saturated in emotional hues/colors, light and meaning. Straight from the traditions of juke joints and The Cotton Club, the musicians reside above on the mainstage looking over the sacredness of dancers and audience in the ballroom.

$15-$40.

Presented by Push Dance Company.
Friday, March 27, at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29 at 2:00pm

Award-winning choreographer, performance innovator and cultural worker Raissa Simpson and PUSH Dance Company partner with the Bayview Opera House to present the world premiere of The Motley Experiment , Simpson's evening-length, multi-media exploration of Jazz Age painter Archibald Motley, March 27-29 at Bayview Opera House. Featuring 14 dancers, an original score created and performed live by Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids and a digital landscape created by Raissa Simpson.

For the premiere, Simpson draws on five different paintings, including Motley's 1925 The Octoroon Girl, which depict multi-racial figures of African descent. For Simpson and African American mixed-heritage women, Archibald Motley's works represent an early portrayal of racialized identities encapsulated into positive portraits of Black lives. Simpson observes that, "His own life and his struggle with multiracial identity are aptly found in his work when he paints the 'Old Negro' tropes. Walking through the Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently, I was mesmerized not only by Archibald's depictions of Black people, but also by his nightlife jazz scenes saturated with Majorelle blues. I had never seen dark-toned skins painted with such dignity through blues, reds and purples. His struggle with 20th century racial codes and multiracial identity are aptly found in his work."

The stage area will be at the center of the space and audiences will surround the performers, creating a feeling of intimate observation and inclusion in the action. Digital projections will bathe the performers and parts of the audience in abstracted images from media art, saturated in emotional hues/colors, light and meaning. Straight from the traditions of juke joints and The Cotton Club, the musicians reside above on the mainstage looking over the sacredness of dancers and audience in the ballroom.

$15-$40.

Presented by Push Dance Company.
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4705 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94124

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