Yes, And

A HOST: Fusebox Program with Gesel Mason

Marking the last of three HOST: Fusebox programs and celebrating the winding down of Lubaina Himid: Make Do and Mend, we invite you to join us for Yes, And, a project with Gesel Mason. In this iteration of Yes, And, the performance will occupy all floors of the Jones Center, with Lubaina Himid’s work as a stage, the audience is invited to be immersed by both works, traveling up and culminating at the Rooftop followed by a reception. We hope you can join us!

Yes, And is a collection of performance experiments that place an expanded vision of Black womanhood at the center of its creative process. It takes an iterative approach to performance informed by the creative expertise and lived experiences of Black women (cisgender, transgender, and gender non-conforming.) Yes, And asks: “Who would you be and what would you do if, as a Black woman, you had nothing to worry about? What would you create and how might you be in community with others?” These questions catalyze a methodology of undoing and re-imagining that offers participants and witnesses the freedom “to find” and to “be found” from this recalibrated place.

Manifesting as virtual and/or live public engagement “chapters” or events that are unique and remixed to each location, the project invites us to inhabit inspired realities that reclaim the past, transform the present and dream new futures into being. The result is a work that is both: YES, an unapologetic celebration of Black sisterhood, AND, a complex investigation of issues that impact of Black women and our communities. The project is supported by National Performance Network and New England Foundation for the Arts.

For accommodations, please email salexander@thecontemporaryaustin.org.

An overview of the schedule below:

12P – Museum opens for General Admission

1:30P – Museum galleries are cleared for performance

2P – Performance begins

 

ABOUT GESEL MASON

GESEL MASON is Artistic Director of Gesel Mason Performance Projects and Associate Professor of Dance at University of Texas at Austin. A former member of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and Ralph Lemon/Cross Performance Projects, Mason utilizes dance, theater, humor, and storytelling to bring visibility to voices unheard, situations neglected, or perspectives considered taboo.

A 2019 Rauschenberg Artist in Residence, Mason’s choreography has been presented by John F. Kennedy Center, American Dance Festival, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, International Association of Blacks in Dance, and numerous colleges and universities. She was one of four local artists supported by Texas Performing Arts and Fusebox’s inaugural artist residency in 2020. Her current choreographic project, Yes, And, was awarded a prestigious NEFA National Dance Project grant and National Performance Network Creation Fund. It premiered at the Fusebox Festival (Austin, TX) and Dance Place (Washington, DC) in 2022. Future tours include Bates Dance Festival and St. Maarten, NA.

Part performance, part documentary, and over 20 years in the making, Mason’s solo project, NO BOUNDARIES: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers, celebrates the work and legacies of ten choreographers: Kyle Abraham, Robert Battle, Rennie Harris, Dianne McIntyre, Donald McKayle, Bebe Miller, David Rousséve, Reggie Wilson, Andrea E. Woods Valdés, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. In 2020, in collaboration with Rebecca Salzer (University of Alabama), NO BOUNDARIES received a NEH Digital Humanities Advancement grant to support its evolution into an innovative and accessible online archive.

www.geselmason.com