Join us for a FREE 9-video series of inspirational videos centered around Black, Indigenous, people of color in collaboration with artists from the Uptown community. This is series is for performers and artists who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color, as well as allies committed to dismantling white supremacy in themselves, their work and the world.
About the Series:
In this series we use the breath, stillness and movement exploration as tools for artists to access their creativity. The word inspiration literally means the drawing in of breath! As artists, this is our call to action! To be filled with so much inspiration that our art moves us and others towards change.
Tanya Birl-Torres of SoHumanity and teacher at Bread and Yoga, will lead each video, pairing movement, breath work and space for contemplation with the works of uptown visual and musical artists as a means to ground, inspire and celebrate our community.
As we process the triple pandemic of COVID-19, systemic racism and climate change, we will use this platform as an opportunity to create space for artists to process the effects of these turbulent times and to liberate their artistic voice.
The videos will be released in 3 themes, 1 per week starting November 8th! There will be a 5-minute, 15-minute, and 30-minute videos for each week. You’ll be able to access the links to the videos at the bottom of this post as we release them.
Inside Talk: Why We Came Together:
Dates and Themes:
- Week One (Nov. 8): Vulnerability as Strength
- Week Two (Nov. 15): Love as Sacred Activism
- Week Three (Nov. 22): Power in Joy
- LIVE Event: December 1st at 7:30pm
We are thrilled to invite you to the final community event for this project: We can Breathe: A Community Conversation with Tanya Birl-Torres, Curtis Stewart and Eric Mann. Join us for a chat with the uptown artists who were part of the creative process of bringing to life the free series of breathing, meditation and movement videos. We will be previewing one of the videos and inviting you to view the rest at your own leisure.
About Tanya Birl-Torres
(Choreographer, Movement Director, Dancer and Yoga Teacher)
Tanya believes in creating spaces that move us towards curiosity and connection. She has a passion and a vision to use her artistry to blur the lines between performer and audience, teacher and student, recognizing that we are all creative by nature of being born. Tanya has spent the past decade as a Broadway dancer, movement director and choreographer working with Institutions such as the Public Theater, The Signature Theater and The Oregon Shakespeare Festival to name a few.
Tanya is also a trained 500 hr RYT Yoga Teacher with Illumina Yoga and has studied at The Presencing Institute at MIT, as a systems change facilitator. She is certified in trauma informed yoga and leads workshops for yoga students, public school educators and artist
s on ‘Embodying Change’ and ‘Reclaiming the Rights of the Body.’ She currently teaches weekly at Bread and Yoga in Inwood and has dedicated her classes to the resistance and dismantling of white BODY supremacy in spiritual and wellness spaces.
Tanya is focused on taking powerful ideas and visions and grounding them in the body. Tanya works at the intersection of the arts, justice and systemic change teaching people how to hold difficult conversations coming up through their artistry, home and work lives and sharing how we enter into them while staying present and in the body. She believes that in itself is an act of justice. Using movement, yoga, creative connection and curiosity as a means to ground, source and embody the truth of who we are.
Wilson Torres (percussionist and WaHi native)
Wilson is a graduate of The Juilliard School M.A.P, The Juilliard School Pre College program and F.H LaGuardia High School of Music and Art (Fame). He received his B.M, M.M in Orchestral Performance from The Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Duncan Patton and Christopher S. Lamb. Broadway Credits include Tony and Grammy Award winning musical “In the Heights”, “Les Misérables” (25th anniversary revival), “Lysistrata Jones”, “The Wiz” (Encores),“On Your Toes” (Encores), “Cabin in the Sky” (Encores), “Invisible Thread” (2nd Stages) and Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Tours: “Lion King” (1st National), “Lion King” (Cheetah) and “Wicked” (1st National). Orchestral credits include San Francisco Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Staten Island Symphony and Albany Symphony. Film/TV: Smash, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Oceans 8, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Fosse/Verdon, West Side Story and In The Heights. Wilson is the percussionist for Camile A. Brown and Dancers and is a proud endorser of Latin Percussion and Sabian Cymbals.
Curtis Stewart — @curtis.stewart_violin
Grammy nominated violinist Curtis Stewart enjoys an eclectic career bouncing between various realms of music: from MTV specials with Wyclef Jean and sold out shows at Madison Square Garden with Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, and Seal, to stints at the Kennedy center with the Jimmy Heath Big Band and performance installations at the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, and Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
Curtis has performed as a classical soloist at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, as a special guest soloist/curator with the New York Philharmonic, made chamber music appearances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Newport Jazz Festival. His ensembles PUBLIQuartet and The Mighty Third Rail realize a vision to find personal and powerful connections between styles, cultures and musics. Curtis has worked with today’s forward thinking musicians including Henry Threadgill, Jason Moran, members of International Contemporary Ensemble, Billy Childs, the JACK quartet, members of Snarky Puppy, Don Byron, Linda Oh, Ari Hoenig, Matt Wilson, among many others.
An avid teacher, he has taught chamber music at the Juilliard School, orchestra/strings/music theory at the Laguardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts for ten years, and is currently the Chamber Music and New Juilliard Ensemble Manager at the Juilliard School, in New York City. Curtis graduated magna cum laude from the Eastman School of Music with a BA of Mathematics from the University of Rochester.
Daniel Watts — @dwattswords
Daniel J. Watts is a 2020 Tony Award nominee and Outer Critics Circle Award Winner for his portrayal of Ike Turner in the hit broadway musical TINA. He has appeared in nine Broadway shows including Hamilton, Memphis, and After Midnight. He received the Barrymore Award (Peoples Light) and the LA Ovation Award (Geffen Playhouse) for best featured actor for his portrayal of Sammy Davis, Jr. in “Lights Out: Nat King Cole” opposite Dulé Hill. TV credits include Season 3 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, Seasons 1 & 2 of “The Last OG”, “Blindspot”, & “Vinyl”.
Off-Broadway he has starred as the title character in Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Death of the Last Black Man in the Entire World AKA The Negro Book of the Dead” (Signature Theatre) & “Whorl Inside A Loop” (2nd Stage).
A play-on-words, Daniel J. Watts’ THE JAM pays homage to Watts’ great-grandmother who, after making jam from scratch, would share with others what she
was unable to consume herself. THE JAM is Watts’ continuation of that
legacy, blending elements of stand-up comedy and compelling storytelling with his
original spoken word, often set to music and/or dance. The Jam: Only Child was a wide success at the 2020 Public Theatre Under The Radar Festival and will be streamed as part of the Signature Theater (DC) 2020-2021 season.
His original work and musical collaborations are featured on Raphael Saadiq’s newest album “Jimmy Lee”, Tituss Burgess’ “Saint Tituss”, Divinity Roxx’s ImPossible, Nick Blaemire’s “Ampersand”; as a contributing artist for Armstrong Now in conjunction with The Louis Armstrong House Museum; and featured in the young adult anthology “How I Resist” edited by New York Times Best Seller Maureen Johnson for Wednesday Books/Macmillan.
Watts is an artist in residence at ASU Gammage and has also served as an adjunct professor of NYU’s Tisch New Studio.
BFA Graduate Elon University Music Theatre Program. 2011 Young Alumnus Award Recipient.
www.wattswords.com IG/Twitter: @dwattswords
☾ This event is made possible by ConEdison, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and Manhattan Borough President Gale A Brewer & The Manhattan Community Award.