Black History Month
I didn’t know what this was going to be when I started it. It began as a request for a Black dancer; for Black dance as a celebration of our culture. As an artist, it’s typical to be commissioned to create work but this one was different and especially timely. I had felt myself retreating much like the sun and the warmth this time of year but, this forced me to reemerge.
Proverbs 18:16 says my ‘gift will make room’ for me or it ‘opens the way for the giver’. My art has saved me many a time and so I knew that this one was for me. I moved where my body and spirit said to move. I moved through my current injury and in spite of it, I offered up myself.
I think Black culture is hard to define. We call it ‘Black’ as a way to seem unified because we call ourselves ‘Black’ - those of us of the African diaspora not knowing our specific roots. However, it is a conundrum because Black people are not a monolith and we do not want to be seen as such. So I don’t know if this is Black culture or Black dance but, I do know that this is the way that my Black body moves, interprets and emotes.
I celebrate my expression and I invite you to celebrate with me.
Music: Trust (feat. Marsha Ambrosius)
Artist: Robert Glasper
Performance & Choreo: TrudyLee Gayle
Video & Editing: Khalile Boodhoo
Thanks to PG Case for asking!
For 4 nights, we performed original arrangements and mashups of some well known favourites. These songs inspired us and accurately spoke to the range of emotions and experiences that we've all had over this past year.
Each night featured a different dancer and was brilliantly live-streamed from 3 different points of view. Enjoy!
Co-produced by Jamii & CORPUS, in partnership with Canadian Stage.
Artistic Co-Directors: Anika Johnson and Isorine Marc
Some Commercial work from the archives...
The fall season always reminds me of my first big union shoot. I had the opportunity to work with Gary Oldman on a UK national ad campaign for O2 (UK wireless giant). The spot was giving away free cinema tickets to their customers. It's the most fun I've ever had on set to this day.
Words - Reggaddiction feat. TrudyLee Gayle
Words is the 5th single from the album titled, 'Ganja Harvest’ which pays tribute to Canadian music legend Neil Young’s album, ‘Harvest'.
It is reinterpreted as a reggae dub album mixed by 7x Juno award winner and nominee, Dubmatix.
The Cast of Obeah Opera performs live on Breakfast Television - June 2019