Month: April 2014

d’bi. adapts her award winning monodrama ‘word! sound! powah! into a big-cast dub opera for toronto stages…

the sankofa trilogy, Tarragon Theatre

WORD! SOUND! POWAH! di dub opera…
A NEW MUSICAL PERFORMED BY OUR YOUNG BLACK AND BRILLIANT EMERGING TORONTO STORYTELLERS
KEEP POSTED FOR THE PERFORMERS’ CASTING CALL

many years ago i began writing a show called word! sound! powah! as the 3rd episode of my sankofa trilogy. i had always envisioned many beautiful black people on stage telling the story but it was a one-womban show. the play is a mythologized chronicle of the birth of dub poetry in jamaica and the 1980’s election which many say crushed a brewing r/evolution in our tallawah island.

well now, many years later, i have adapted the solo show into a big-cast dub opera. watch out for more news about casting and workshop production coming up…i love you toronto! i love you so much. you inspire me beyond words…
-d’bi.

d’bi. offers a new course in MONODRAMA CREATION @ the watah school

d'bi by anthony gebrehiwot

MONODRAMA: INTRO TO CREATING YOUR SOLO SHOW

using the sorplusi method

facilitated by d’bi.young anitafrika

COURSE OFFERING: $700

Watah-logo-blackDURATION: 6 consecutive weeks may 24-june 28, 2014

TIME: 3 hrs weekly with class + one 1 hr private mentorship session with d’bi.

PLACE: the WATAH school toronto canada

LINK TO REGISTER: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/watahmonodramaworkshop

CONTACT: register@watah.org

Sorplusi-logo3

d’bi. features on ICASP

d’bi.young anitafrika

“we tellin’ stories yo”: A Performance and Interview with d’bi.young

d’bi.young anitafrika is a Jamaican-Canadian dub poet, monodramatist, educator, and Dora Award-winning actor and playwright. In this month’s Oral History we are gifted with an on stage interview with d’bi.young, and we get to witness the power of dub poetry in action by one of Canada’s most renowned dub poets. Dub poetry is a form of performance poetry with a West Indian aesthetic and origin. It evolved out of dub music comprised of spoken word pieces over reggae rhythms and Nyabinghi traditions (The Nyahbinghi Order is the oldest of all the Rastafari mansions and the term translates as “black victory”) in Jamaica beginning in the 1970s. d’bi.young thinks through dub vis-à-vis her own mother’s manuscript on dub, which identifies the four major elements of the then emerging form: music, language, politics, and performance (“r/evolution” 27). Dub, as such, bridges the personal and the political, and as d’bi developed her own understanding of dub she added four more elements for a total of eight: “urgency, sacredness, integrity, and self-knowledge. I then renamed the earlier elements of music, politics, and performance to rhythm, political content and context, and orality” (27). For d’bi.young, the principles of dub poetry—consisting of self-knowledge, orality, rhythm, political content and context, language, urgency, sacredness, and integrity—combine to comprise “a comprehensive eco-system of accountability and responsibility between my audiences and me” (27). As such, dub poetry has the power to connect disparate communities together—like a large multicultural dub mix—through lines of solidarity.

Aside from being one of Canada’s first-rate dub poets, d’bi.young is also one of Canada’s original dub theatre practitioners, developing a genre of storytelling that she refers to as biomyth monodrama. d’bi.young explains that her “use of the term biomyth refers to the abbreviation of the words biography and mythology. I first encountered the term reading audre lorde’s zami, which she refers to as a biomythography […] biography-mythology or biomyth, therefore, is the poetic space between what we interpret as real and what we deem make-believe. monodrama is theatrical solo-performance work” (29). Many likely first encountered d’bi’s work in Trey Anthony’s da kink in my hair, which garnered her a Dora nomination for best actress, or perhaps on the television sitcom Lord Have Mercy!. Since then d’bi.young has performed 9 different dub theatre pieces: solitaryyagayahandrogyneshedomesticthe sankofa trilogy (featuring the award winning monodramas blood.claat,benu, and word! sound! powah!), and nanny: maroon warrior queen. Aside from her prolific presence on the stage, along with the numerous books of poetry and music she has released, d’bi is concerned with giving back to the community through various outreach efforts, notably as the artistic director of YEMOYA, an international artist-residency based in Jamaica.

In this month’s Oral History, Paul Watkins (ICASP GRA, writer, poet, DJ) sits down with d’bi.young for a live on stage interview at Paintbox Bistro in Toronto. They discuss dub poetry/music in relation to improvisation, the role of the storyteller, community, and rebel poetry/revolushin, among other diverse topics. Before the interview there was a DJ set by DJ Techné (Paul Watkins), and a performance from d’bi.young, both included below.

Full transcript available here.

View d’bi.young’s performance at Paintbox Bistro, here.

View the opening set by DJ Techné, here.

Works Cited

Anitafrika, d’bi.young. “r/evolution begins within.” Canadian Theatre Review. Vol. 150 (Spring 2012): 26-29. Print.

Photo of d’bi.young by Paul Watkins

TUES APRIL 29TH – GROUNDINGS WITH D’BI. – MEET NGOZI PAUL

artist shaman

 


ngozi as oya

the art(is)t shaman project is an ongoing exploration of our sacred gatherings at the crossroads of the life, art, ritual, healing and magick.

TUESDAY APRIL 29 @ B CURRENT THEATRE

WYCHWOOD BARNES 601 CHRISTIE STUDIO 251

6pm-9pm suite $10 sliding scale

grounding with d’bi. – sorplusi principle – political content & context

artistshaman.org

meet the fantastically wonderful, phenomenally talented, compassionately kind NGOZI PAUL and visit her website. ngozi did a one-on-one YEMOYA residency in cape town south africa in 2011, developing her solo show the emancipation of ms. lovely. next, ngozi participated in a collective YEMOYA residency 2013 in nassau bahamas, further developing her her. she is one of the most celebrated actor/producers in canada and will be featured in the FACES OF YEMOYA book.

BIOGRAPHY

Ngozi Paul is an award-winning Canadian producer of film, television and trans-media projects. Ngozi is best known for creating, producing and starring in the award winning television series ‘da Kink in My Hair. This top-rated sitcom has been broadcast in over a dozen countries and garnered multiple nominations and awards, including the Gold Medal Ribbon award for best scripted series and numerous Gemini awards. Ngozi was also a member of the original creative team behind Canada’s first black sitcom, Lord Have Mercy!, which was nominated for two Gemini Awards including best comedic series.

In addition to being a recent graduate of the prestigious Canadian Film Center Producers Lab, Ngozi was selected by Women in View as a Creative Leader for 2012-13.  This inaugural initiative is geared towards advancing accomplished women in television, film and the digital sector.  Ngozi is also an award-winning actress and a recent graduate of the world-renowned Stratford Festival Conservatory for Classical Theatre.

GROUNDINGS WITH D’BI. – MEET NGOZI PAUL co-creator & star of da kink in my hair tv series & UPCOMING GUEST @ THE ART(IS)T SHAMAN SESSIONS – PRINCIPLE OF POLITICAL CONTENT & CONTENT


ngozi as oya

the art(is)t shaman project is an ongoing exploration of our sacred gatherings at the crossroads of the life, art, ritual, healing and magick.

TUESDAY APRIL 29 @ B CURRENT THEATRE

WYCHWOOD BARNES 601 CHRISTIE STUDIO 251

6pm-9pm suite $10 sliding scale

grounding with d’bi. – sorplusi principle – political content & context

artistshaman.org

meet the fantastically wonderful, phenomenally talented, compassionately kind NGOZI PAUL and visit her website. ngozi did a one-on-one YEMOYA residency in cape town south africa in 2011, developing her solo show the emancipation of ms. lovely. next, ngozi participated in a collective YEMOYA residency 2013 in nassau bahamas, further developing her her. she is one of the most celebrated actor/producers in canada and will be featured in the FACES OF YEMOYA book.

BIOGRAPHY

Ngozi Paul is an award-winning Canadian producer of film, television and trans-media projects. Ngozi is best known for creating, producing and starring in the award winning television series ‘da Kink in My Hair. This top-rated sitcom has been broadcast in over a dozen countries and garnered multiple nominations and awards, including the Gold Medal Ribbon award for best scripted series and numerous Gemini awards. Ngozi was also a member of the original creative team behind Canada’s first black sitcom, Lord Have Mercy!, which was nominated for two Gemini Awards including best comedic series.

In addition to being a recent graduate of the prestigious Canadian Film Center Producers Lab, Ngozi was selected by Women in View as a Creative Leader for 2012-13.  This inaugural initiative is geared towards advancing accomplished women in television, film and the digital sector.  Ngozi is also an award-winning actress and a recent graduate of the world-renowned Stratford Festival Conservatory for Classical Theatre.

Ngozi has been called “a strong force, using her artistic voice to push boundaries,” (24 News). With a focus on creating stories that celebrate the diversity of the human experience and appeal to a global audience, she continues to raise the bar by seeking innovative ways to create, distribute and tell provocative stories that are commercially successful. Finding the sweet spot where artistic merit, passion and commercial viability intersect, Ngozika Productions is looking forward to new ways of reaching, entertaining and engaging audiences.

Current projects in development include The 1st Time Project, a multiplatform documentary which showcases women across several continents sharing intimate stories about their first sexual experiences.  Having directed and produced a BRAVOfact! short film on the subject in 2011, the next steps for the 1st Time Project include an interactive website, a one-off documentary film and live performances based on the compelling real life stories that were uncovered during production.  Ngozi is also developing The Emancipation of Ms. Lovely, a feature film about a young black woman’s journey of self-discovery.  Already produced as a one-woman play, this project was developed in part through the Canadian Film Centre. The Truth About Ruth a comedic series deconstructing race and economics through the lens of entertainment talk show host Ruth Brown and On The Ground a dramatic television series about a young female international journalist who puts herself in extreme danger to get the story, while navigating the complex new rules of the digital age.

R.I.S.E MOVEMENT COLLECTIVE, I SAY THANK YOU FROM THE DEEP OCEANS OF MY HEART’ – D’BI.

d'bi. by anthony gebrehewot

for the R.I.S.E Movement collective

there is a little girl
curled up inside
she sits by her tree of life 
trying to decide
whether or not
to open up her eyes
and see the beauty
of what she has become

some time ago
fear became her closest friend
holding her hands in the light
and with her eyes closed
the monsters they won’t frighten her
what she can’t see
she won’t know

then one day
one hopeful day
the little girl grew up
what a creature to behold
but still with her eyes closed

little girl
come into our world
little girl
bring us into your world
little girl come into our world
we need you
we need you
we need you
we need you

there is a little boy
curled up inside
he sits by his tree of life
trying to decide
whether or not
to open up his eyes
and see the beauty of what he has become
some time ago

fear became his closest friend
holding his hands in the light
and with his eyes closed
the monsters they won’t frighten him
what he can’t see
he won’t know

then one day
one hopeful day
the little boy grew up
what a creature to behold
still with his eyes closed

little boy
come into our world
little boy
bring us into our world
little boy come into or world
we need you
we need you
we need you
we need you

open up your eyes
and see the beauty
of what you have become
open up your eyes and see the beauty
of what you have become
open up your eyes
and see the beauty
of what you have become
of what you have become
of what you have become
-d’bi.young anitafrika

JOY by Anthony Gebrehiwot

of the

R.I.S.E MOVEMENT COLLECTIVE