BOston Schonberg Fellows
Claire Johannes and Jordan Jamil Ahmed of power//PLAY
Thursday, September 7 | 8pm
Saturday, September 9 | 6:30pm
Location: The Yard, Patricia Nanon Theater
$25 General Admission
$15 Seniors, Students and Military
$5 Children under 12
Behind the Counter and Membership discounts apply
Mangku Food Truck will be on-site post-performance Saturday, September 9th 8:30-10pm
power//PLAY is the collaboration between dance partners and performance artists Claire Johannes and Jordan Jamil Ahmed. Together, their performances investigate a dynamic range of opposites: the “power” to be bold and to take risks along with their commitment to “play” and levity in the face of adversity. As power//PLAY, they confront the status quo with their belief that art and politics are inseparable. They are compelled to speak up in a political climate intent on silencing the voices of the marginalized, a population they both belong to, Claire as a queer woman and Jordan as a queer, multiracial Muslim man. Claire and Jordan color their performances with their diverse histories rooted in both humor and trauma.
Through power//PLAY, Claire and Jordan explore the intersection of two distinct bodies, subverting expectations of the male-female duet form by examining the power dynamics implicit in gender and sexual identities. By using seemingly dissonant physical vocabularies from concert dance, performance art, and political demonstrations, power//PLAY forges its own experimental landscape. These vocabularies are built from their shared skillsets in modern and contemporary dance techniques, improvisation, writing, and acting. power//PLAY uses these practices to connect to audiences in a lasting, thought-provoking and often unsettling way.
In creating new work, Claire and Jordan return to the question, “What is in the room?” finding time and again their answer: “We are in the room.” This simple sentence is an acknowledgment of the value of their nuanced, complex, and intersectional human presence. Keeping their work intensely personal allows for an authenticity needed to explore states of vulnerability. As Claire and Jordan become the subject of their performances, the audience gains a foundation from which to explore difficult thematic content related to their personal and political identities. In humanizing controversial issues, power//PLAY asks audiences to consider ideas outside themselves about the nature of discrimination, judgment, and identity.