Take Me to The Water
Co-presented with Buffalo Bayou, Urban Souls, Cistern, and Houston Media Source
with Dancer Harrison Guy
Presented in partnership with Buffalo Bayou, Urban Souls, Cistern, and Houston Media Source. With post-screening Q&A with Dancer Harrison Guy, moderated by Dance Source's Molly Haven Miller.
Take Me to the Water is a spiritual moment through performance that pays homage to the sacred rite of passage of being baptized in the Black Church. Growing up in a Black community, Harrison Guy has what he likes to call “Bone Deep Memories.” These are lasting recollections of rich and profound experiences that are often directly related to the Black Church. Being a candidate for baptism in 1984 at the age of 8 is one of his Bone Deep Memories that was transformational and rests in his spirit as one of the most pivotal moments of his adolescent years. This performance uses music, dance, multimedia, and poetry to whisper to the waters and listen as it recalls.
Baptism is the religious rite of being immersed in water, symbolizing purification or regeneration. Historically African Americans performed this sacred ritual outdoors in bodies of water like rivers, bayous, and lakes. Today most modernized churches have indoor baptismal pools which makes the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern the perfect stage for this performance. The Cistern is a former drinking water reservoir built in 1926 for the City of Houston’s drinking water storage. It is infinite structure designed to hold 15 million gallons of water that allows for an impressive 17-second echo, but its most remarkable feature is the water. And what it remembers. This is an extended performance from the original piece performed for Buffalo Bayou Partnership.
|United States, 2020
|30 MINS, SECS
Harrison Guy has captivated audiences across the nation through his inspirational and unique works of passion, beauty, and activism that are rooted in African American history & culture. He began his dance journey in the small town of La Marque, TX, and building on his love for social dance and Hip-Hop he affirmed his purpose and calling by studying dance at Prairie View A&M University. He continued his studies at the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center, Sam Houston State University, Deeply Rooted Productions in Chicago, Dallas Black Dance Theater, and The Ailey School in New York. He was a founding member of both Exclamation Dance Company and Dorrel Martin's Dance Fusion in Houston. In 2004, he debuted his dance company Urban Souls Dance Company at the city-wide dance festival, Dance Houston. Harrison has gained a reputation for creating soul-stirring works that shift the consciousness of the audience and inspire response. He has facilitated a cultural exchange in Kigali, Rwanda, and was commissioned to create a work at Vanderbilt University in the Spring of 2015 to honor one of America’s most prominent composers, John Harbison. In 2016 he launched Houston's first African American Dance Festival and he has also founded Black Arts Movement Houston, a gathering space for local creatives. Harrison is the inaugural Artist in residence at Rice University through the CERCL Department where he is presenting a project for Black students and community called Black Bodies in White Spaces. He has won numerous awards which include Best Choreography for his work as Movement Director with Rec Room's presentation of The Royale. Mr. Guy has been teaching dance for 18 years. He has taught on the campuses of Codwell Elementary, Gregory-Lincoln Fine Arts Academy, Hamilton Middle School, and Waltrip High School. He is the Founder of the Charles Law Community Archive through the Black LGBTQ History & Heritage Project with the African American Library at The Gregory School. Harrison is the Director of Arts and Culture for the 5th Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation.