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Silvestre Technique Training and Fulbright Proposal

On August 4, I began the 2014 Silvestre Techniuqe Training, a 2-week dance intensive including training in Movement of the Orixás, Capoeira, Ballet (for those who got up early enough... not me!), and of course, Silvestre Technique. My mind and my spirit was blown! This was the most exciting and thought-provoking dance experience I have had in years!

Below you will find a link to the culminating presentation that we offered at the end of the training.

This movement exploration, born in Salvador and developed in practice around the world by Rosangela Silvestre, is steeped, as far as I experienced, in three intertwining components: 1.) a respectful investigation of nature—the natural environment and our unique, individual natures, 2.) a foundation in Black movement traditions and 3.) an inspiration drawn from an Afro-Brazilian spirituality, which is rooted in nature, and underscores the power and wisdom found in the natural world. As a Black movement artist, I feel like the Silvestre technique is a radical way to reconsider our definitions and experiences of the body, movement, Blackness, and life.

I am so inspired by the work being done it this technique, and the potential it has to enhance my artstic community practice, that I have decided to apply for a Fulbright arts research scholarship to further study with Rosangela in Salvador! Here is a short summary of my proposal:

I am interested in investigating how the Silvestre Technique, a modern dance technique, is grounded in a practice of respect for nature -- the natural environment and our individual natures, and grounded in Black movement and spiritual practices. And I want to look at how the Silvestre Technique offers an approach to movement (and Black movement) that is not about battle or conflict (with others, the outside world or oneself), but instead fully embraces ease, relaxation and acceptance. In turn, the Silvestre Technique, rooted in Black movement, offers all people an entry point into self-empowerment and personal harmony, and lays the foundation for universal harmony and community development. This practice is radical in its approach to the body, to movement, to performance, to Blackness, and to life.

I want to study this practice through participating in regular classes, intensive trainings, and conducting research into the history of Black movement at the Federal University of Bahia. I will also offer movement workshops to community members in Salvador, as a means of experimenting with the incorporation of the Silvestre Technique into my teaching practice. Upon returning to the U.S., I will offer regular classes and performance opportunities to Bay Area residents, based on the skills I develop in Salvador.

Stay tuned for updates regarding my application!

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