project: ...and to the decades from hell.
(Current COMPANY Project)
Johnnie Cruise Mercer/TheREDprojectNYC enters into a four-year process dedicated to documenting the years 2000-2020 in order to question the solidification of the “contemporary." Launching from artistic director Johnnie Cruise Mercer's personal memory and experiences, the company engages various practices of reflection as he and the company break down individual moments, cyclical social conflicts, and overall generational observations.
Segmented into eight individual process-memoirs (process forward works that are inspired by personal remembrances, legacies and post-contemporary inquiries), the choreographer engages various forms, mediums, and aesthetics to construct a two part epic-work titled "and to the decades of hell."- a generational biography retracing, understanding, constructing, deconstructing then constructing the past, the present and the moments found close after.
(Premiere Of Two Part Epic: 2021)
Process Memoir 1
plunge in/to 534
Plunged into the spirit, the body reacts and finds joy in exhaustion. It clings to the acceptance of weight. Pain becomes the inspiration for continuation. Exhaustion. Sweat. Blood. Your (our) fluids become the call to conjure figures that linger in the darkness. The audience, I, we all are transported into an exorcism, a ritual of containment, of freedom, of war between realism, and deep trance. Our poly-centric origin is given permission to possess us- as our people, we are called upon. Something responds. Deep. Inside, it responds.
An evening length happening/ritual; the project is my attempt to exorcise the societal expectation of the black body on stage and in dance. It is also a conjuring of something deep inside of myself.
plunge in/to 534" has been created while in residence at Brooklyn Arts Exchange as a 2017 Fall Space Grantee, York College as a part of the Cuny Dance Initiative 2017-2018, and also with support from Abrons Arts Center through the Abrons AIRspace Grant Residency Program.
Premiere: April 2018 as a part of The FuseBox Festival: Austin, TX.
'on the action of black&white'
on the action of black&white is a reflective performative practice that spills from the stage into reality. Inspired by political images, audience expectation, and personal moments of soliloquy, Mercer guides an ensemble through familiar environments/modes as he comments on, surrenders to, and constructs a world based on dual opinion, influence, artistic demand, proposition, and instinct.
This work was made possible with support from Abrons Arts Center through the AIRspace Grant Residency Program, the Cuny Dance Initiative as resident artists at York College, as well as with support from RestorationARTS as Choreoquest AIRS 2018.
Premiere: May 2018, York College Arts Festival
to ascend past numbness and witness birth.
(In Process: Preimere May 31st-June 1st 2018 @NYU Tisch's Jack Crystal Theater)
The earth holds without complaint. It holds. And as we stand on top of this soil, she holds. Take this. Take me, the weight that I carry. she holds my feet. She holds and then she allows. She infuses and then we are rejuvenated. revived.
I, We, are standing forever in youth. then free.
To the earth I give, from the earth we receive.
Oriented around the communal action of renewal, to ascend past numbness and witness birth is a guided meditation towards relinquish, and a ceremonial cleansing towards ephebism, freedom, and queering otherness.
This work was made in residence during the NYU Summer Residency 2018!