BLACK, BLACK, BLAH BLAH BLAH? BY JUDITH SÁNCHEZ RUÍZ

Judith Sánchez Ruíz, a Cuban-born choreographer, teacher, and improviser, first encountered modern dance when she was 11 while attending the National Art School Cuba in 1983. After graduating from the school with a diploma in Modern and Folkloric Dance, Sánchez relocated to New York in 1991. She has worked with Trisha Brown Dance Company, David Zambrano, DD Dorvillier, Jeremy Nelson & Luis Lara Malvacías, Deborah Hay, Sasha Waltz & Guests among others. In 2010 she founded JSR Company in New York City, choreographing multidisciplinary and site-specific performances. JSR has been commissioned by the Storm King Art Center, NY (2010) as well as the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process Performing Arts Series (2010). In 2011 Sánchez relocated to Berlin, where she is currently based.


In the performance titled Black, Black, Blah Blah Blah? at the Tictac Art Center, Sánchez collaborated with an Afro feminist and LGBTQI activist Rachel Moore to explore how one can improvise about pain, violence, dead bodies, injustice, and institutional racism. As she reflects on the performance, Sánchez shares with us, "All I could see while moving was confusing and very emotional. The energy was so thick, audience members uncomfortable, shivering waves of tension and relief: I, myself, a witness of such interaction at the stage.

I felt paralyzed hearing Moore mention names taken by violence....The body of the dancer could only be a landscape. I was providing full attention to what was the most needed. I couldn’t lose myself in it. I was attentive."


Video recorded by Tictac Art Center. July 2020. Brussels, Belgium. Video Credit: Courtesy of the artist.