KST Blog

7NMS Return to KST to Present PROPHET: The Order of the Lyricist

EAST LIBERTY, PA — From September 12 through September 24, KST Presents a series of events featuring 7NMS | Marjani Forté-Saunders and Everett Saunders, culminating in the premier of PROPHET: The Order of the Lyricist. After establishing themselves in California and NYC, 7NMS returns to Pittsburgh to share this multi-layered, evening-length performance tracing the life-journey of a lyricist.

A four-year archival, research, and multi-genre storytelling project on the life journey of a Lyricist, PROPHET: The Order of the Lyricist illuminates the distinctive practices, systems, philosophies, and political ideologies that have shaped Hip Hop’s Emcees.Tracing the evolution of artist Mental, 7NMS invites audiences to enter a world of mind power, bravery, self-determination, and triumph — facets of the artist’s quest for self-realization.

On Monday, September 12, KST will hold a welcome dinner and moderated discussion between the two collaborators. Then, on Wednesday, September 14, 7NMS hosts The Spaces: Mvmt, Word & Sound, a meditation and movement improv workshop co-presented by PearlArts. Participants in the workshop will study timing, space, and story in the body using recorded text and sonic landscapes from PROPHET. Finally, on Friday and Saturday, September 23 and 24, KST Presents PROPHET: The Order of the Lyricist.

PROPHET is an imaginative new contribution to the scholarly, civic, and ancient bodies of radical Black expression. Light and moving-image visuals as well as multi-channel audio installation will accompany the live dance and vocal performances. Such layered, multimedia environments are the company’s signature aesthetic; previous works like Memoirs of a Unicorn featured a built multi-sited environment of sculpture, light, sound, movement, costume, and projection. PROPHET is an extension of this practice that acknowledges the Emcee and Lyricist’s role and presence more explicitly.

—Marjani Forté-Saunders

Prophet is co-commissioned by Abrons Arts Center and Kelly Strayhorn Theater. The work has been incubated in residencies at the Petronio Residency Center and Baryshnikov Arts Center, 7NMS own Satellite Residency (in response to COVID-19) in partnership with Brooklyn Academy of Music, Abrons Arts Center, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, The Yard, and Lawrence University (2021). 7NMS work with PROPHET and their #SatelliteResidency initiative was recently featured in the September ‘20 issue of Dance Magazine.

This engagement of 7NMS | Marjani Forté-Saunders + Everett Saunders is made possible through the ArtsCONNECT program of Mid Atlantic Arts with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. PROPHET is a recipient of the New England Foundation 2021 National Dance Production & Touring award, the 2020 New Music USA Award, and the 2020 MAP Fund. Additional support from the National Performance Network Artist Engagement Fund.

For full season details, KST COVID policy updates, and tickets, go to kelly-strayhorn.org.