Saturday, June 8th & Sunday, June 9th, 2024
The Madame Walker Legacy Center
In June 2024, Indy Movement Arts will be hosting Neon Black, a Black dance festival celebrating local performing artists. It’s giving you contemporary dance, it’s giving you West African dance, it’s giving you Hip Hop, it’s giving you Latin styles, and we're working on getting some Majorette up in there too. We’re celebrating as many facets of Black dance as we can find! Summer is ours as we come to you live from The Madame Walker Legacy Center with this one-of-a-kind event. Neon Black will be joyful, powerful, excellent. Performing artists line-up announcements coming throughout December 2023!
*Neon Black logo artwork designed by @onyxchimera
Support Neon Black
Indy Movement Arts is famous for doing the most with the very least, but this will be an endeavor unlike any we've undertaken before. I have been to so many shows, run into other Black dancers or dance administrators, and we always say, "we should get together!" Well, now is our chance. Bringing all the Black dance-makers I know and love under one roof seemed like an urgent mission. But of course, for a smaller organization like ours, paying all these groups what they're worth will be a stretch. That is why I am asking you to contribute any amount you can spare to our fundraising campaign to support the artists of the Neon Black 2024 Dance Festival: Allure Dance & Fitness Studio, Austin "Sirlimitless" Day, Create Freedom Arts Projects, Epiphany Dance Collective, iibada Dance Company, InDanza Dance Company, Kenyettá Dance Company (KDC), Relevations Dance Company, Ronald King, and Seda Negra/Black Silk Dance Company (SNBSDC). My hope is that Neon Black will be the seed of a collective effort that will elevate the Indy dance economy for all its participants. If you can, please give to support the artists that will make this event worthwhile.
Yours in community,
Executive Director, Indianapolis Movement Arts Collective
Are YOU ready to "Play with it"?
But we wouldn’t be Indy Movement Arts if we didn’t include a way for YOU to get in the mix. International dance-maker, Michelle Gibson will be teaching her The New Orleans Original Buckshop accompanied by a live brass band!! Everyone is welcome to attend this all-levels workshop (did I mention the workshop is accompanied by a live brass band?). Drawing on her upbringing in New Orleans, Gibson “…engages participants in the culture and Diasporic traditions of Black New Orleans as pertains to the rooted history of the city, through dance, language, art and music…Using her Second Line Aesthetic in dance workshops…she acquaints participants with Second Line as a rooted spiritual impulse for movement.”
“‘Play with it’ means play with your own inner rhythm,” Ms. Gibson explained in an interview with the New York Time in July of 2022. “That’s your real you. Everybody second line different, honey, because everybody got their own different testimonies.”
Neon Black 2024 Artist in Residence
Michelle N. Gibson is a Mother, Choreographer, Cultural Ambassador, Curator, Professor, Performing Artist, and Spiritualist. She received her BFA in Dance from Tulane University and her MFA from Hollins University in collaboration with the American Dance Festival at Duke University. Currently, Gibson is as a Professor of Practice in Dance at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and recently completed her 14th year on faculty with the American Dance Festival’s Pre-Professional Intensive at Duke University.
Michelle N. Gibson is a consummate storyteller, employing body and mind to build a bridge between the culture and academia, but most importantly, humanity. On stage and in the classroom, Gibson intricately intertwines Black African American dance traditions, choreography, and associated scholarship linking the vibrant heritage of New Orleans through the Caribbean to the vast expanses of Africa, evoking the social, political, economic, and spiritual understandings central to building bonds within and across cultures. This journey, steeped in both tradition and innovation, encapsulates Gibson’s unwavering commitment to heal the world through the culture.
“My practice is more motivated by spiritual unification, harmony, rolling on the same rhythms together and moving forward. That’s what the world needs. I want to heal the world. Just let me strut.”
The New Orleans Original Buckshop
Rooted in New Orleans' unique spiritual and cultural traditions, The New Orleans Original BuckShop workshop provides not just a window, but a doorway into practices that have sustained communities through joy, rhythm, and resilience.
An exploration of the unifying power of the Black Church and Black syncretic practices, the workshop aims to share the essence of Black New Orleans culture in a format that benefits every participant. These spiritual and communal elements have historically knitted together a potentially fragmented Black community, nourishing a collective identity and fostering resilience through shared rituals and beliefs.
Through her Second Line Aesthetic, Michelle N. Gibson's workshop focuses on improvised movement, interpretation, defined footwork, full body articulation, authentic self, and the embrace of communal ritual. With hips leading the torso and feet, legs bent at the knees, and steps that strut, Gibson invites participants to share lived experiences, embodied spiritual unification, harmony, rolling on the same rhythms together, and moving forward as a way to heal the world.