Surge Afrofuturism: Dance Performances w/ Raissa Simpson and tinypistol

Join us for a dance performance and film screening with director of PUSH Dance Company, Raissa Simpson, and and artistic director of tinypistol, Maurya Kerr. 

Performed in site-specific locations and onstage, Raissa Simpson will be performing an excerpt of EMME YA: Expedition, which applies a conceptual underpinning of Afro-technoculture through movement and media. This ongoing exploration includes various frameworks to reimagine paths of survival that are born out of moments of collective trauma and the reclamation of Afrofuturism as a creative metaphor for healing.

Additionally, Maurya Kerr/ tinypistol will be sharing Saint Leroi, a short film about a Black avenging angel come down from on high. By reinstating Blackness as arbiter of justice and punisher of wrong amidst the ceaseless anti-Black apocalypse of America, Saint Leroi challenges who is allowed judgement, destruction, rapture, and rebirth. While a trenchant indictment of the blood-stained hands of all those—past and present—who know what they’ve done, Saint Leroi is ultimately an expression of belonging, utter grief, radical love, the afro-future, and the afro-now.

Attend in person.
Free and open to the public.
Please familiarize yourself in advance with the full COVID-19 protocols required for admission.
If you have a disability-related need, please contact the Arts Events Office at as soon as possible.

*    *    *    *    *
This event is part of Surge: Explorations in Afrofuturism, a multidimensional and transcultural month-long festival on Afrofuturism spearheaded by composer/performer Karlton Hester, choreographer Gerald Casel, and artist Aaron Samuel Mulenga. Afrofuturism is a global artistic and social movement, intent on imagining a world where African-descended peoples and cultures can live and flourish.  For Surge, an extended program of music and dance performances, film screenings, and discussions will bring together artists and thinkers to creatively engage Afrofuturist strategies for liberation and the restructuring of society free of racism.

Raissa Simpson is an interdisciplinary artist, scholar and director of PUSH Dance Company in San Francisco. After receiving her BFA from the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase, Simpson had an extensive performance career in the San Francisco Bay Area dancing with Robert Moses’ Kin and Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theatre. Hailed by Dance Spirit Magazine as “Reflective Contemporary Choreography,” she has been presented at Ferst Center at Georgia Tech, Sacramento State, Joyce SoHo, San Francisco State, Washington Ensemble Theater, Evolve Dance Festival/NY, Los Angeles Theater Center, Black Choreographers Festival, Renberg Theater and many more.

Maurya Kerr is a Bay Area-based artist, poet, educator, and the artistic director of tinypistol. Much of her artistic work, across disciplines, is focused on Black and brown people reclaiming their birthright to both wonderment and the quotidian. Maurya was a member of Alonzo King LINES Ballet for twelve years, an ODC artist-in-residence from 2015 to 2018, and holds an MFA from Hollins University. Her poetry is anthologized in “The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry” and was recently chosen by Jericho Brown as a runner-up in Southern Humanities Review’s 2021 Auburn Witness Poetry Prize. Maurya is currently a UC Berkeley ARC (Arts Research Center) Poetry & the Senses Fellow.

*    *    *    *    *
Visitors: present proof of vaccine -OR- negative PCR test within 72 hours of the event.
UCSC students: present green clearance badge.
UCSC employees: present UCSC Symptom Check clearance.

All attendees must wear an approved approved face covering, while inside the venue, for the duration of the event.
Please familiarize yourself with the full COVID protocols here

*    *    *    *    *
$5 or by permit.
Arts Lot #126 is the closest parking lot to the Digital Arts Research Center.
Purchase a permit or use ParkMobile.
See Transportation & Parking Services (TAPS) for visitor parking information, ParkMobile instructions, and a campus parking map.

Sunday, May 22, 2022 at 2:00pm

Digital Arts Research Center (DARC)
453 Kerr Road, Santa Cruz, California 95064

Recent Activity