Performance Space New York will present Storyboard P’s No Diving 2, April 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. in the organization’s courtyard (150 1st Avenue; tickets available here). The rainy dates are April 14 and 15. With No Diving 2, the dancer – whose inimitable Flex-derived dance he dubs Mutant and is equivalent to juggling with light – returns to Performance Space (having previously performed at the organization’s 2018 Gala) with two style solo performances free. These events are co-produced with Arika, the political arts organization in Scotland, UK, with whom Performance Space collaborated on the disability aesthetics festival I wanna be with youwhere in 2019.
Storyboard P offers a revolutionary understanding of gravity, in which bodies are floating sanctuaries that can teleport, vanish, appear.
Storyboard P’s dance reminds us that our conventional understandings of what a human body is, what it can do, and where it begins and ends, fall short. As an acclaimed street dancer, Storyboard’s bloodline is Flex, but as an artist, he might be more of an Afrofuturist. Using an otherworldly combination of skill, beauty, poetry and emotion, her dance collapses space and time into an alternate universe. Storyboard P treats dance as a way of speaking without speaking, a movement slang that can carry vibrations like the animation of a stop motion film.
In Storyboard’s own words: “My style is Mutant. As a mutant, my power is to project a sequence of images through my body that tells an elaborate story in music. The power of storyboard/ballet/jazz/African / contemporary / bruk up / flex / boogaloo. My early inspirations were stop motion movies. And watching the locals descend on Brooklyn. My vision was to bring the golden age of cinema to the streets…I aimed to conceptualize all my early street dance battles into theatrical style productions with film scores and theatrical music.And, I became this Ray Harryhausen/ Tim Burton creature of style, but only dancing to music. It was my illusion and my goal was to embody that presentation.”
About Storyboard P
Storyboard P is a new state-of-the-art performance art template. Dubbed “the Basquiat of street dancing” by The New Yorker, he elevates genre and conversation while creating a new lexicon along the way. Using an otherworldly combination of skill, beauty, poetry and emotion, Storyboard P has taken street dancing in a more mature direction which he calls “visual recording”. With the frame-by-frame precision of an animator and the awesome magic of a special effects artist, he communicates real life through dance. Instead of impressing his audience, he casts a spell on them.
Arika is a political arts organization based in Scotland, UK, curating living spaces that seek to explore the inseparable and intertwined nature of aesthetics and social life.
We see our role in this unfolding relationship as one of celebrating and supporting the connections between art and social change. When we talk about art, we talk about how we sing and dance together, how we listen and want to be heard, how we look and hope to be seen, how we think about our body and how we move in space, what we feel and want to be felt, for example.
We currently do this through a program of public events in Glasgow called Episodes comprising performances, discussions, screenings and collective learning. Developing iteratively, each informing the next, they often involve watching, listening, talking or dancing together. They are a continuation, through friendship and solidarity, of the conversations in which we are entangled both locally and internationally. Above all, Episodes focuses on experimenting with a sociality that goes beyond the person and that offers new ways of living in today’s world, born of collective desires and struggles.
Our grassroots organizing program works closely with specific groups who fight racist border violence, poverty and the criminalization of sex work, taking the initiative and then funding the projects and events they want to see happen.
In partnership with sex worker-led groups in the UK and ICA London, we are currently showing: Decriminalized Futures, a group exhibition featuring thirteen International artists whose work speaks to the multiplicity of contemporary experiences of sex workers.
Internationally, Arika participated in the Whitney Biennial in 2012 and has since collaborated regularly on projects in New York with members of the Arbert Santana Freedom and Free School of the House | Ballroom and sex worker-led groups in the city, with partners including: MoMA PS1, The New School, Issue Project Rooms, and Union Theological Seminary, among others. In 2019, we collaborated with a steering group of leading artists from the disability community and Performance Space New York on I Wanna Be With You Everywhere, a 4-day festival about disability art and the entanglements of the disability with race, class and gender.