jumatatu is a choreographer and performer based between Philadelphia and New York City who grew up dancing around the living room and at parties with their siblings and cousins. Their early exposure to concert dance was through African dance and capoeira, and their “formal” dance training began in college with Umfundalai, Kariamu Welsh’s contemporary African dance technique.
Their work continues to be influenced by various sources, including foundations in living room parties, my technical training in contemporary African dance, a continued study of contemporary and anatomy, and the sociological research of and technical training in J-sette performance. Through their artistic work, jumatatu strives to engage in and further dialogues with Black queer folks, create work that recognizes history as only one option for the contextualization of the present, and imagine options for artists’ economic and emotional sustainability.
Photo credit: Tayarisha Poe
Creative Administration Research Artist (2021-2023)