The Forbidden ButterFlies Project is a series of dances that depict the alluring chaos and turmoil that existed in the life of the artist due to the intersection of race, sexuality, and politics.
This dance project was created during the artist's time at Earlham College in connection with his senior thesis/ethnography "The Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Masculinity Through Time and Space: The Hidden Power of Dance".
The Forbidden ButterFlies Project seeks to highlight and deconstruct the various experiences the artist had growing up in a black body and having to navigate the lack of representation in popular culture while also realizing the need to evoke dialogue and advocacy focused on this intersectional elephant in the room.
The initial first piece that was performed for this project was Forbidden ButterFlies Part 1. This piece was a pas de deux between two men that was created to conceptualize and delicately mold the experiences of black and brown men who also identify as LGBTQIA++(QPOC).
This initial piece was the catalyst for the creation of the broader Forbidden ButterFlies Project. The dance piece that will be performed at the Three Rivers Arts Festival is titled "The Warrior Pledge". This particular piece within the Forbidden ButterFlies Project focuses on the generational trauma of black bodies both within and outside of the binary. This dance highlights the torment, desolation, and economic castration that black bodies have dealt with from various cultures due to the systems of oppression that exist within our society. As the dance progresses, the movements become faster, the drums turn stronger, and the energy explodes to represent the urgency to find the cure to the plethora of social issues we are currently facing in America. This dance is an embodiment of perseverance that shows, in reference to Rupi Kaur’s quote: “The world gave us so much pain and here we are making Gold out of it.”