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Black artists confront racism, foster healing “In This Moment… Now”

Via Illusion Theater

This weekend and next, Illusion Theater presents “In This Moment… Now,” an evening of original performances responding to our current reality.

It’s a follow-up to a performance the theater hosted in August 2020, when the pandemic was in full swing and the city was in upheaval over the murder of George Floyd.

Co-host and co-curator T. Mychael Rambo says that through art, people of color have always been able to break through hardship and find their way back to joy.

“If you have space, the bandwidth, to experience a group of artists who will be peeling back, opening up, acknowledging how art opens and heals the wound at the same time, recognizing that art is the surest way to create community, that art regardless of the discipline, it can find a way to open up joy, Black joy, joy that surpasses all understanding, then join us to realize the power that the voice and the body and the spoken word has to transform, to elevate to amplify, and to really succeed in making a healing joyous space.”

The forced isolation caused by the pandemic, and the racial reckoning sparked by the murder of George Floyd had a powerful impact on performance artists. Rambo says he gained a lot through those tough times.

“As an artist, I see that I've evolved because I really had a space where I could be introspective and be still. And in that isolation, I found rebirth. It came to a space where I wasn't working in an ensemble like I was accustomed to doing. But I was working in spaces that fueled my own sense of artistry, my own sense of need, my own values, my own voice.”

“In This Moment… Now” features performances by poet Danez Smith, dancer Darrius Strong, theater artist Carlyle Brown, and many others.

The 2020 production of “In This Moment” took place on Zoom. This time artists and audience will gather together in the same room.

“This will allow people to have a sense of connectivity that was not experienced in the first iteration. And this will give people a chance to feel interactive in a more tangible, tactile, more realistic, more organic and riveting sort of way.”

“In This Moment… Now” runs April 14th-16th and April 21st-23rd at Illusion Theater in Minneapolis.

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