Last Yearz Interesting Negro makes shows that work with in-between spaces, syncopation, trance states, internal narratives, intensities, overwhelm, electronic music, and small dances to affect/disrupt/deflect/distort/reflect gaze(s) directed towards their body, and to cope with Being. Resultant choreographies are stage/dreamspace/battleground, working through questions of presence, visibility, responsibility and pleasure, building atmospheric landscapes through the live unfolding of the tensions between things that produce meaning, for situating and expanding (or dismantling) their ‘identity’ and turning it into theatre.
Their current research is around boundaries, betrayal, nonbelonging, scale, pleasure and trans/formation, on personal/structural/symptomatic/somatic levels. Thinking about impact and exchange through/in/as movement, considering the intimacy and treachery of performance.
In the work, Liveness is considered as a situation of exchange, a quality, a proposition, a system of relations and in addressing the agency of the spectator, considering choreographic space as social space in order to facilitate immersive, emergent spaces for performer/s and spectator/s.
Last Yearz Interesting Negro is the performance project of Jamila Johnson-Small. She moves with an awareness that her dances will always be a lament for the histories her body represents, carries and conjures. Her current research is exploring surrender as a strategy for destruction and producing states of alienation as part of this resistance. The enemy is also within and the dances are driven by these strategies as internal processes.
Not interested in invention or innovation she uses things that are already there and rearranges them in an effort to encounter some unholy combination that resonates with the horror, discomfort, cringe, confusion and sensuality of this contemporary moment and her position within it, opening up spaces in thinking, feeling, reading and dancing. The landscapes she creates for her dancing body to inhabit with a public, seek to access and utilise her own power for her own ends, disentangling from – or entangling herself further with – the isms that instrumentalise her existence on a daily without her consent.
Of Caribbean descent, born and based in London she has formed long term collaborations with other artists including Project O with Alexandrina Hemsley and previously immigrants and animals with Mira Kautto.