BLACK HOLE researches and shares an odyssey where three Black performers create a trinity of vigor, Afrofuturism, and embrace. Engulfed in an evocative soundscape of original music, sound samples, and spoken word, the dancers embark on a demanding hour-long journey in which their tenacity and grace are emphasized by cinematic video projections and stark, monochromatic lights. Mesmerizing and hauntingly magical, BLACK HOLE constitutes the final installment of Shamel Pitt’s Black Trilogy—marking the initial meeting between this choreographer and the artists of TRIBE.
Reviews and More
"The whole hourlong work ... is curiously stylish and sincere, glossily cold and tender. Always visually striking"
"These bodies are bronzed and creaturely. These are dancers of strong presence and control."
“without a doubt, one of the top ten most impactful, innovative, and simply incredibly awesome works I’ve ever been privileged to see and experience”
Know Before You Go
- Performance Location: Walker Art Center
725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403
- Performance Begins: 8:00 pm
- Accessibility: This event will be captioned, with other accessibility services available upon request.
- Detailed Event Information [and Streaming Access]: Find Your Event Info link on your order confirmation or check your email within 48 hours for detailed information from Northrop, U of M
If you need assistance with your tickets, please call 612-624-2345, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn More - Explore These Themes
The content below derives from the Northrop Across Campus Program that supports Northrop's mission towards intersections between performing arts and education for the benefit of all participants now and for generations to come.
Find ways to make thematic connections to these suggested topics:
- Visual Art: Projection, Moving Image, Studio
- Theater Technology: Sound & Light Design
- Theater: Performance, Devising
- African & African American Studies
- Dance: Contemporary/Modern, African Diasporic
- Music: Composition
Take a deeper dive with these resources that provide additional information about the performers, the history of the artform, and the artistic process.
- Shamel Pitts—Artist Website
- TRIBE—Artist Website
- Mirelle Martins—Artist Website
- Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage Youtube - Shamel Pitts - TRIBE - BLACK HOLE - interview
- Michigan Quarterly Review - Sharing the Unspoken: An Interview with Shamel Pitts and Mirelle Martins
- The Met - Afrofuturism in the Stacks
- The New York Times - Review: An Afrofuturist Trip to the LunarverseFind in U of M Library
- Essence - A Beginner's Guide To Afrofuturism: 7 Titles To Watch And Read
- Grammy Awards - Artists Who Define Afrofuturism In Music: Sun Ra, Flying Lotus, Janelle Monae, Shabaka Hutchings & More
- Gaga Movement Language
Start a conversation about the performance, or encourage reflection, using these questions as inspiration.
Northrop and Walker Art Center will co-present BLACK HOLE – Trilogy and Triathlon, a creation by Shamel Pitts, artistic director/founder of the Brooklyn-based, Afrofuturistic arts collective, TRIBE. TRIBE’s mission is to cultivate space to create a platform for artists—most specifically artists of color—to "tell new stories and create a brighter future that is different, and shines more luminously, from its past."
- Afrofuturism is said to connect people from the African diaspora to their forgotten African ancestry. How might this ‘creation of a brighter future’ be inspired by imagining the experiences, hopes, and dreams of African American ancestors?
- Why is it important to unlock this imagination? Do you think that unlocking this imagination could potentially provide us with clues about how African American ancestors felt about the world around them?
- After viewing BLACK HOLE, what do you imagine the performance is sharing about the world in front of us?
- How do you think this space to dream and imagine is created for artists of color, especially in art spaces that are dominated by white culture? Why is it important for artists of color to cultivate identity-specific spaces?
The third installment of TRIBE’S "BLACK series," BLACK HOLE follows BLACK BOX and BLACK VELVET, and is described as “a kaleidoscopic performance art experience using movement, original sound, light projection, and visual art.” In a short interview with Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage, Shamel Pitts states, “The title is derived from the cosmic phenomenon of a black hole… this dimension of time and space that has the strongest gravitational pull, meaning everything in a black hole's axis gets condensed and swallowed into its core.”
- With an interdisciplinary work such as BLACK HOLE, what do you imagine the collaboration process was like?
- Have you collaborated with anyone in a different field than yours? What did you learn from that collaboration?
- Do you think that including a scientific concept, like a black hole, makes dance accessible to a new audience? How might connections like these help people from different disciplines contextualize a performance?
- Can you draw any parallels between scientific concepts and your life? When do you refer to these concepts as you are trying to make sense of your world?
BLACK HOLE is inspired by Afrofuturism, a genre that centers Black history and culture and incorporates science-fiction, technology, and futuristic elements into literature, music, and the visual arts. According to Angela Washington, Assistant Museum Librarian at The Met, Afrofuturism “focuses on works that examine the past, question the present, or imagine an optimistic future, and are meant to inspire a sense of pride in their audience.”
- What do you think caused the rise of Afrofuturism, especially considering the popularity of Black Panther directed by Ryan Coogler and Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler during the pandemic?
- How do you imagine the Afrofuturism movement will impact the African/African American community economically, socially, and politically in the next 10 years?
- Do you believe that Afrofuturism intersects with social justice movements? Why or why not?
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.