THE RHYTHM PROJECT
While my dissertation takes up the relationship between race and representation of the past, my current work in documentary film speaks to the way that this question surfaces on the contemporary stage. I am the sole creator of The Rhythm Project, an in-progress series of documentaries that take up the relationship between rhythm, race, and diaspora, as it exists for contemporary tap dancers living in Los Angeles and New York City. Public interest in this project has awarded me the opportunity to speak with members of the community about such prevalent issues on a live radio show, “Voices,” which aired on KMOJ 89.9. Additionally I showed the first two phases of this project at the Movies for Movers Film Festival in North Carolina last November. A post-screening Q&A at Appalachian State University demonstrated that despite initial trepidation around discussing such issues, students have a real thirst for exploring the role that race plays in popular dance and entertainment today. Most recently I have had screenings at UCLA, the UNC School of the Arts, and at the American Tap Dance Foundation in New York City. By engaging members of the community, and specifically members of a younger generation, I seek to awaken a silence that still accompanies an American way of entertaining at the expense of Others.