Starting on June 2nd, artist and activist Adejoke Tugbiyele presents the performance and exhibition Freedom Dance II in collaboration with American musician Will Calhoun of Living Colour at Leslie-Lohman Museum.

Freedom Dance II embodies an improvised/experimental movement towards reclaiming the female body in personal and political dimensions – undoing false historical narratives and breaking free from boundaries/ limitations through dynamic collaborative performance and story-telling.  Seeking to move beyond labels around sexual identity and towards the strength of the heart and mind, it also explores levels of fluidity embedded in the dualities of masculine/feminine, through the play of light/dark, movement/stillness, object/space.

The sound of the drum, light, costume and drawings on parchments (the presence of calfskin also on the djembe), and the architecture of intimate space converge to create a transformative experience for the audience, encouraging them to find, carry and illuminate their own inner lights into the future. These forces are mediated by objects – two brooms entitled “Same-Sex” operating as ritual dance wands – they carry a life force anchored in LOVE. 

Photo credit: Alex Geana, “Adejoke with Same-Sex”, 2017, digital image, size varied.

Adejoke Tugbiyele is an award-winning, queer, black artist and advocate. Foreign Policy described her as one of 100 Leading Global Thinkers for her sculpture addressing the criminalization of LGBTQ individuals in Nigeria. Born in Brooklyn Tugbiyele received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and in 2013, a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Maryland Institute College of Art.

Will Calhoun is a musician who crosses many boundaries in music. Combining the indigenous past with the progressive present. Transcending the ideologies of musical styles, Will prefers to relate to music simply as sound. Will’s latest jazz release is titled CELEBRATING ELVIN JONES, featuring Christian McBride, Jan Hammer and other Elvin Alumni. Will’s creativity does not begin and end in music; he is also a photographer and visual artist.

Opening: June 2, 2017 /  6 pm – 8 pm

Exhibition: June 3-4, 2017 /  12 noon – 6 pm

Performance: June 4, 2017 / 3 pm collaboration with musician Will Calhoun of Living Colour.

Leslie+Lohman Prince Street Project – 127B Prince Street, New York.