• Noah Ashley

Post Performance Reflection

"Terror and Blood.

Terror, Terror and Blood."

Our latest work, "Begin, Laugh Again!" was weighted in emotion and pain as we explored our black bodies throughout our rehearsal process. I'm navigating a postpartum body on top of that and felt a personal weight on my shoulders to redeem myself as a professional dancer while being a new mother. Using spoken word (crafted by the oh so talented Amber Kimmins) has dug deep into my soul - the piece is a response to Nia Wilson.

"Do black bodies find their value Do black bodies find their value Their value AFTER death?"

We live in a world where we can never relax, settle in, breathe - when i say we I mean us people of color - and yet here we are, presenting our black bodies daily despite the absolute horrific reality we play with.

Yet, I found solace onstage. Dressed in our black unitards, hiding NOTHING, Noah and I danced, performed, spoke, felt, BREATHED onstage for audiences and apart of me felt like there was hope.

Black bodies do find their value - Here & Now! We rise, we speak, we remain present, we vocalize, we rage, and we overcome.

-Ashley Gayle

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