Rhodnie Désir: Conversations Opens Dec. 11 at the Ringling
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Sarasota, Florida- The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is pleased to welcome Haitian-Canadian artist Rhodnie Désir for the world premiere of her first gallery installation. Rhodnie Désir: Conversations, which opens Dec. 11 in the Ringling’s Monda Gallery.
In her multidimensional choreographic career, dancer/choreographer Rhodnie Désir created BOW’T TRAIL, a choreographic-documentary journey in which she has conducted research throughout the Americas since 2015. Her work included visits to countries such as Martinique, Brazil, Haïti, Canada, Mexico, and the United States to immerse herself within the African and afro descendant cultures and rhythms generated from the ingenuity of her ancestors since the Slave Trade. The resulting nine choreographic works are archived in five hours of carefully recorded content accessible in 75 videos on the Webdocumentary platform (https://ici.artv.ca/bowttrail/fr).
Désir’s inaugural exhibition, Conversations, is a co-creation with artists Paul Chambers, Lighting Design; Engone Endong, Music Composer; Manuel Chantre, Video and Sound Design; and Cecilia Bracmort, Curatorial adviser, who combine video, light, and sound to sculpt the space to explore Désir’s experiences on the BOW’T TRAIL and bring the onstage performance into a new gallery-based medium. The installation evokes a liminal space, which is the in-between or transitional space that is often accessible through visions and rituals. With a cumulative and polyrhythmic approach, the artist seeks to share new perspectives through a plural conversation between the past and the present.
The video installation work activates a new poetic signature from Désir’s original travels by using a specific documentary aesthetic to create a contemporary artistic work, and places the people and the lands she encountered in a common dialogue with each other.
Recognizing that dance is a powerful, political communication tool, she uses her knowledge to build a new vocabulary within the space that contemplates the physical, sacred, sung and ethereal body. In Conversations, Desir shares and extends the space to her audience—a space that she and her ancestors may have traversed in order to connect, moving beyond words toward resistance. By interrogating the notion of what constitutes a body, she seeks to move beyond the human body and imagine the gallery space as a body all on its own. The installation beautifully illustrates the transformational power of the space and its movement to build and elevate the conversation about the Black community and its history.
Désir unmasks a hidden narrative and invites museum visitors to put their own bodies into conversation with what they will encounter.
Conversations, on view from Dec. 11- April 3, 2022 More information may be found at: https://www.ringling.org/events/rhodnie-desir-conversations
DESIR, RHODNIE - Choreographer, Artistic and Creative Director - Rhodnie Désir has created nearly 15 choreographic works. Her flagship piece BOW'T TRAIL Retrospek and her pioneering memoir journey BOW'T TRAIL have earned her two awards from the Prix de la danse de Montréal (2020): The Prix Envol and the highly coveted Grand Prix de la danse. Rhodnie Désir's documentary and Afro-contemporary choreographic signature is anchored in African and Afro-descendant rhythmic languages rooted in places like her homeland (Haiti), as well as in the rest of the Caribbean, and in Central and Sub-Saharan Africa. A performer of remarkable power and uncompromising integrity, she surprises her audience with her great ability to connect to their humanity. Her unique approach, her words, her performances and her civic actions have brought her strong international recognition and have led to her appearing as a guest speaker at numerous organizations and universities, as well as at UNESCO, among others. In January 2021, she was chosen as one of the "25 to watch" by Dance Magazine in New York. In April 2021, she was nominated by APAP for the prestigious career award THE AWARD OF MERIT FOR ACHIEVEMENT IN THE PERFORMING ARTS 2021, alongside Yo-Yo Ma and Ronald K. Brown.
RD CREATIONS - Since 2017, RD CREATIONS (RDC) produces and presents creative projects by artistic director and choreographer Rhodnie Désir. Simultaneously authentic and contemporary, the Montreal-based organization operates internationally using an innovative artistic approach that questions socio political trends, explores movement, defies the imagination, engages citizens, transmits knowledge while archiving the memory of its people. Rhodnie’s choreographic-documentary work is quite unique and unlike anything seen before. Each of its components aspires to be a voice for the voiceless and to engage directly with the communities from which it draws its inspiration. Whether through presentations, grassroots-level cultural mediation or choreographic works, RD Creations acts as a social archive, leaving a legacy of cultural wealth. It believes in the potential of combining multiple media in the same choreographic work, allowing it to evolve according to the social realities and cultures it encounters. Deeply rooted in ancestral cultures, RD Creations is committed to respecting cultures by fostering genuine collaborations and prioritizing listening, discussion and interaction. These collaborations take place in and across political, media, government, social and community spheres, leading to valuable partnerships for example with 45 partners, 130 specialists and 15 musicians for the BOW’T TRAIL project. The repertoire has 16 works, including ten since 2017. In 2020, the company won Prix Envol from Prix de la danse de Montreal, following Rhodnie Désir who was awarded by the prestigious Grand Prix for the excellence of her work BOW’T TRAIL Retrospek and the breadth of BOW’T TRAIL international trail.