Today Sadler’s Wells’ Digital Stage and Breakin’ Convention released Our Bodies Back, a riveting new dance film that speaks out against anti-Black racism and honours the lived experiences of Black women past and present.
This new commission made in collaboration with Jonzi D Projects and BCTV stages the poem We Want Our Bodies Back, the work of acclaimed American poet and performance artist jessica Care moore in a film directed by Breakin’ Convention Artistic Director and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Jonzi D.
Created during lockdown and filmed remotely, Our Bodies Back is choreographed and performed by Axelle ‘Ebony’ Munezero in Montréal, Canada; Bolegue Manuela (b-girl Manuela) in Hanover, Germany; and Nafisah Baba in London, UK, in response to moore’s poem We Want Our Bodies Back, from a collection of the same name published in spring 2020.
Our Bodies Back presents a powerful rendering of Black women’s voices; speaking out against the realities of anti-Black racism, misogynoir and sexual violence, while uplifting and honouring in full the Black lives and memories lost, in a stunning ceremony of dance, spoken word and visual art.
With soundscape design from Saxophonist and MC Soweto Kinch and narration by jessica Care moore, Our Bodies Back is an empowering ode to Black womanhood; affirming experiences of pain and trauma as well as pride, power and beauty as lived by generations of Black women all over the world.
Writer jessica Care moore said: ‘This exquisite collaboration has moved me to tears more than once. I am honoured to see my poem come to life through the bodies of genius woman & this multi-disciplinary, visionary team of artists. Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor…we embody these women, we tell their stories.’
Director Jonzi D added: ‘This poem is a demand. For justice, for equality, for respect, for Our Bodies Back. The whole team were so moved by jessica’s incisive lyrics and intense delivery, we had the perfect blueprint for this film. The dancers responded with honesty, grace and power.