FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Celebrate #BlackGirlMagic with CIRCLES, co-presented by the August Wilson African American Cultural Center and Kelly Strayhorn Theater
PITTSBURGH, PA, September 17, 2021 – The August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC) and Kelly Strayhorn Theater (KST) have teamed up to co-present CIRCLES, a multi-faceted, multi-part project by STAYCEE PEARL dance project & Soy Sos (SPdp&SS), beginning with CIRCLES: reclamation, a group visual art exhibition featuring work by Black women, and culminating with CIRCLES: going in, an evening-length dance performance on October 28-30, 2021 at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center.
CIRCLES: going in is a full-length dance work celebrating #BlackGirlMagic. Layering dance, visual arts, and a live original score, the work presents snapshots of popular culture through choreographer Staycee Pearl’s lens as a Black woman.
“CIRCLES: going in is life lived and observed by me as I take this creative opportunity to honor all that makes up who I am,” said Staycee Pearl, Co-Artistic Director of SPdp&SS.
Featuring dancers Jessica Marino Mitcham, Chandler Maria Bingham, & LaTrea Derome, CIRCLES: going in is a colorful, unapologetic, and daring path to self-reclamation amplified by an original soundtrack created by Herman “Soy Sos” Pearl in collaboration with a diverse roster of club artists, such as Yah Lioness, DJ Haram, Madame Dolores, Kilamanzego, and Kha’DJ, DOTGOV, & more. This project is particularly special because SPdp&SS has garnered support for CIRCLES: going in from the New England Foundation for the Arts’ [NEFA] National Dance Project Production Grant, a highly competitive award of $56,500 for the creation of the new work and its upcoming national tour. Additionally, the National Performance Network (NPN) named the dance company as 2020 recipients of its Creation and Development Fund Project co-commissioned by KST, The Joyce Theater (NYC), and NPN (New Orleans) that “supports the creation, development, and mobility of new artistic work advancing racial and cultural justice and resulting in live experiential exchange between artists and communities.”
“We are proud to work with the August Wilson African American Cultural Center to celebrate the joy and magic of Black womanhood. The development of CIRCLES: going in has taken place through KST and PearlArts’ two-year mutual-aid residency through which they have conducted most rehearsals and daily classes at KST’s Alloy Studios and will finalize the technical elements of the work through a production residency in October prior to the works premiere at AWAACC. We are so excited to see the great art they continue to create in, with, and for our community,” said Joseph Hall, Executive Director of Kelly Strayhorn Theater.
The CIRCLES project begins October 9 and continues until October 31 with the CIRCLES: reclamation art exhibit, located at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center at 980 Liberty Ave. Featuring Black women visual artists including Staycee Pearl, Bekezela Mguni, Kitoko Chargois, and sarah huny young, works will draw from their shared explorations of Blackness and self-reclamation.
In collaboration with CIRCLES, STAYCEE PEARL dance project & Soy Sos launched the #ThroughOurEyes social media campaign, inviting Black women to post photos, videos, and stories that share their vision of beauty and perspective of life. Learn more about the campaign on Instagram by searching the hashtag #throughoureyes.
For more information and ticket sales, visit aacc-awc.org/event/circles-going-in.
CIRCLES is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Kelly Strayhorn Theater, The Joyce Theater, and NPN. More information: www.npnweb.org. CIRCLES was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Co-commissioning Partners are Kelly Strayhorn Theater, August Wilson African American Cultural Center, and The Joyce Theater. The development of CIRCLES is made possible in part by the National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron (NCCAkron). CIRCLES is supported in part by The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Fund, Heinz Endowments, and The Opportunity Fund.