Days before her headline show in the U.S., FKA Twigs announced on Twitter that she planned to lead a free dance workshop for whoever was interested. The news spread rapidly and the result was 400 people arriving in the hope of being involved.
Twigs, alongside long time collaborators Ramon Baynes, Kash Powell and Dominic Lawrence choreographed the group for more than five hours in a process that was designed to erode personal barriers and insecurities; the resulting film was directed by Nick Walker.
“We’re going to be the next people to be making this world a safe place… when things are difficult, art flourishes.”
In this time of social unrest and deeper mistrust this Baltimore dance project led by FKA Twigs becomes ever more powerful because of the message it sends. While some of the more cynical will inevitably dismiss it as just a ‘PR stunt’ or ‘clever marketing’ there is a lot to be said of the way in which Twigs willingly engages in the kinetic freedom dance can bring. The confidence it allows us to channel, the frustration and attitude we can release.
“I am not the leader of that tribe” she said of the experience, “I am just lucky enough at the moment to have the facility to be able to call people together, I always say it’s easy to make yourself an enemy of your own progress, when your thoughts get into your head. I found myself in a position where I can remind people to stand really tall and say you’re incredible. Everyone in that room, we are all connected now, we all had that experience, and for the rest of time what we made that day went up into the universe.”
Watching these dancers of all ages and abilities and their commitment to the project is a potent illustration of our strength in depth – dancer or not, we have the capacity to be allies to one another. We build our communities on the ground, and we should celebrate those differences as often as we can.
FKA Twigs rejects the idea that she is somehow ‘giving back’, “That idea is so patronising. Baltimore is way bigger than I am and will ever be. The legend of Baltimore, every single thing it’s been through, every single person who was born there, that left, that came back, that went into the world, that spread their Baltimore energies wherever they went, that is way bigger.”
Twigs’ diminished celebrity status in this documentary is welcome. Ego aside. Here she is simply one among many, searching for a connection.
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Watch the trailer above and view the full documentary ‘Baltimore Dance Project’ exclusively here.