Artist Profiles

Marjani Forté-Saunders

Medium: Dance, Music

Marjani Forté-Saunders is a choreographer, performer, educator, community organizer, and mother. She refers to dance and embodiment as her sorcery—revolutionary, transformative, wild, ancient, and fresh. Her practice is informed by years in anti-racist organizer training and as a lead facilitator with Urban Bush Women’s (UBW) Builders, Organizers and Leaders through Dance.  She is anchored in a steady collaboration with partner and composer Everett Asis Saunders. Working together as 7NMS, their project A Prophet’s Tale has been awarded residencies at Bard College (2019), Baryshnikov Arts Center (2019), Petronio Residency Center (2019), and The Yard (2020). The two are founding directors of ART & POWER, established in 2018, an emerging platform for artists, writers, scientists, spiritualists, and scholars dedicated to Black Purpose and Innovation.  She is a 2020 recipient of the Foundation of Contemporary Arts Grants for Artists Award. She is one of 21 Black Womyn and Gender Non-Conforming artists curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa, now operating as the collective Skeleton Architecture, to receive the 2017 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance, and a 2x Bessie Award winner for her latest work Memoirs of a… Unicorn (Outstanding Visual Design & Outstanding Production).   Marjani is an Inaugural fellow of the UBW Choreographic Center, the Jerome Artist Fellowship, and the DanceUSA Fellowship, as well as a 2 time Princess Grace Foundation awardee. In 2018, she was an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Her work has been incubated in residencies at 651 ARTS, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, and Movement Research. Her latest work, Memoirs of a.. Unicorn recently had its international premiere in Brussels, Belgium at the Beursschouwberg Festival.