i shot denzel
New York Live Arts January 2014

i shot denzel is the sixth incarnation of a three-year series of ‘denzels’ that I have been creating since 2010.
Throughout the denzel series it’s become clear there is a non-linear progression happening inside and outside of the body of work. The evolution is not married to a narrative but rather the maturity of the work through time.
‘denzel’ has represented black masculine identity in performance, as seen from my perspective as a queer trans-masculine identified young black person. i'm working with many ideas that continue to interest me such as, death, grieving through sound experiences, original philosophical text, voguing, and fear. exploring these avenues in my work has been educational for me in terms of answering larger questions for myself; how do i navigate being transgender in dance? identifying as black in dance? identifying as queer in dance? and not always be defiant or "challenging"?
i am interested in creating space and visibility for myself and others who identify similarly. the topics that remain challenged in i shot denzel are normativity, complacency, and impossibility.
for i shot denzel, i’ve created a monologue in the first-person as the voice of denzel (played by myself), accompanied by a piece from Stravinsky’s Le Sacre Du Printemps.
In this piece i am asking the question "How am i like denzel in performance?" while simultaneously attempting to “end” the life of denzel via an abstract “virgin sacrifice”. In past denzels, i have worked with my friends, lovers, and family, to create a self-portrait. The idea for this new work is to strip the work of other presences and create a "technically challenging" solo on my own body. exploring the performance of “blackness” within the context of contemporary or classical movement. Creating this solo could be somewhat of a breakthrough for the vocabulary, questions and ideas i’ve been developing throughout the entire series of work. However, the “end” of an era within the denzel lineage and what could simultaneously be a re-birth of a new.