Last Yearz Interesting Negro/Jamila Johnson-Small: Basic Tension at ICA

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For the final week of the summer platform In formation, the ICA Theatre serves as a developmental space for dancer and choreographer Last Yearz Interesting Negro/Jamila Johnson-Small. Leading from this period, there will be a presentation of the performance installation Basic Tension a new project that grew out of the creation of stage show I Ride In Colour And Soft Focus No Longer Anywhere.

I started this project wanting to make meditation tapes to calm my rampant alienation and to slow my racing thoughts, but what does calm look like when you embody countless contradictions, conflicts and traumas, and language can't stretch to hold you and it was never your language anyway and you look out at the city and it is like your beating heart, complicated, congested and broken.

I want to be broken open, like Leeloo in The Fifth Element. Some things need to break and I don't want space or distance but to assume my hybrid form right here. I want to break this space open. Techno-meditations on states of being and coping with being and bodies and other people and all that mad energy i.e. some music, some words, some dancing to encourage, to ignore, to suggest, to convince, to seduce, to say a daily prayer that is a manifesto that is a **** you that is whatever it needs to be. - Jamila Johnson-Small

Basic Tension includes original music from Phoebe Collings-James, Josh Anio Grigg, Junior XL and Shelley Parker.

Last Yearz Interesting Negro/Jamila Johnson-Small works with in-between spaces - things that exist in and through cracks in time/memory/attention, syncopation, trance states, internal narratives, electronic music and two-step dances, navigating bodies as object, animal, human, machine, environment, energy, to build atmospheric landscapes created by the live unfolding of the tensions between things that produce meaning.

Johnson-Small usually collaborates with other artists including Project O with Alexandrina Hemsley, immigrants and animals with Mira Kautto (2009-2016) and more recently work with Fernanda Munoz-Newsome, Hotline with Sara Sassanelli, and Gush, a semi-regular low-key DIY event.

Venue Details & Map

ICA: Institute of Contemporary Arts

Nash House
The Mall
+44 (0)20 7930 3647
Public transport:
Piccadilly: exit station, walk down Lower Regent St to Waterloo Place, descend Duke of York steps, turn left. Charing Cross: turn left, cross Trafalgar Sq bearing left

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