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  • Profile:

    Ni’Ja Whitson is a 2015 Bogliasco Fellow, 2013-2015 Movement Research Artist and Residence, 2014-2015 artist in residence at the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, and Creative Capital "On Our Radar" artist. Whitson has been a student and practitioner of indigenous African ritual and resistance forms for over ten years, creating and performing work that reflects the sacred in street, conceptual, and indigenous performance.  Their work engages a nexus of postmodern and African Diasporic performance practices, through the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and spirit.  Working internationally, creative and scholarly works include collaborations with leading artists in multiple genres such as Allison Knowles, La Pocha Nostra, April Berry, Marjani Forté and Darrell Jones, and with Brazilian and American organizations as a titled capoeirista. A noted innovating practitioner of the Theatrical Jazz Aesthetic and accomplished improviser, Whitson enjoys ongoing collaboration with award-winning artist Sharon Bridgforth, currently as a touring member of Bridgforth’s River See.  Respectively, they are a member of Douglas Ewart’s (AACM Chairperson) Nyabhingi Choir and Inventions ensembles performing at venues across the country with creative and jazz musicians such as Mankwe Ndosi, Tatsu Aoki, and Joseph Jarmon.  Whitson‘s work as an independent choreographer includes working alongside Dianne McIntyre on the 10-year anniversary revival of Crowns, written and directed by Regina Taylor at the Goodman Theatre, as choreographer for Nia Witherspoon’s Messiah Complex, and Susan Watson-Turner’s direction of Anon(ymous), both of which received New York audience and ensemble awards. Other recognitions include a Time Out New York and Chicago Critic’s Picks, Vermont Studio Center residency, LinkUp Inaugural Artist in Residence, 3Arts Artist Award Nominee, John G. Curtis Jr. Prize, Mellon Foundation research fellowship, and a Fellowship Award as an MFA graduate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

     
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