Countdown to Gala 2017, Day 3: Excerpts from Issue #49 of the Movement Research Performance Journal

The 2017 Movement Research Gala on May 8 will celebrate 25 years of Movement Research at the Judson Church and 50 Issues of the Movement Research Performance Journal. As we count down the days until the Gala, we’re posting #50DaysOfMRPJ with Editor’s Notes and excerpts from each Performance Journal.

Movement Research Performance Journal Issue #49 was released in Fall 2016. You can view the full Table of Contents here.

*The Movement Research Gala will take place Monday, May 8 at 6pm at Judson Memorial Church. For more information, to volunteer or to purchase tickets, click here.

#MRGala2017 #50DaysOfMRPJ

MRPJ#49: Trajal Harrell

Editor’s Note

Editor-in-Chief: Moriah Evans
Managing Editor
: Lauren Bakst
Cover Artist Portfolio Editor: Moriah Evans

This issue ended up being completed much later than anticipated. So, as you move through the content of this issue, keep in mind that the majority of content was generated prior to November 9, 2016. The results of the 2016 Presidential Election have shifted global, national and local affairs and perception of government overnight. Times are uncertain. Is this the end of an era or a beginning of a new one? Continuity perhaps ruptured and yet not at all.

I am stupefied by all of it, which makes writing this note an especially difficult task. One things seems certain: complacency is over. We have to work for democracy, protecting the environment and human rights. Here are some words from Frederick Douglass:

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

Maybe as we read, simultaneously and separately, we can gather in telepathic resistance, argument and conversation.

Trajal Harrell as cover artist is an event!
Which reminds me of the fact that many interactions with Trajal are events. I first met Trajal on a bench in Berlin in 2008. At that time, I could not anticipate the adventurous conversations and experiences following that moment — many of which emerged from working on this publication together.

Trajal’s contribution to the history of the journal as the Editor-in-Chief who initiated cover artist portfolios and the magazine format of the Movement Research Performance Journal is somehow embedded within this collection of materials about his artistic practice. Very little of his celebrated Twenty Looks series is represented in this portfolio; instead, we decided to focus on his recent productions and his early work.

Trajal’s pursuit to reframe and question various histories and disciplinary boundaries ensure his choreographic project to be an expansive and enduring one. There’s so much more to say, so I insist that you read.

Take notes!