EXCERPT FOR MAP GRANT WORKSAMPLE
Choreographed and Directed by Charles O. Anderson Performed by dance theatre X (Charles O. Anderson, Karama Butler, Nia Eubanks-Dixon, Erin Bryce Holmes, Brandon Girouard, Samantha Jonson, Dina Sabb-Mills, Tania Ramos-Oton, Daquan Thompson, Michael Velez, Abigail Zbikowski) with special guest Monica McIntyre Video Projections by Amze Emmons, Zoe Charlton, and Rick Delany Sound design and Musical Composition by Matthew Ferry and King J. Britt Text by Charles O. Anderson, Troy Dwyer, Monica McIntyre and Makoto Hirano Costumes by Heidi Barr Lighting Design Drew Billau Commissioned by The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival Performed September, 2007 at the Painted Bride Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA TAR is a multimedia work that responds to “The Wonderful Tarbaby Story” by Joel Chandler Harris. While its roots can be traced back to West Africa and Native American folklore, Joel Chandler Harris’ version and Walt Disney’s 1946 film adaptation of this popular Southern folktale are the ones that inhabit our cultural imaginations. The tales were retold by white men who claimed to be giving voice to an old Black man, Uncle Remus, who is an ex-slave. Tar reflects and gives voice to the unarticulated voices—the disappeared voices—that whisper on the periphery of Harris and Disney’s versions: Uncle Remus’ original African voice, the voice of the descendants of African slaves and ex-slaves and the voice of the African American child, present but mute in the film, present but mute in the American racial past. These unheard/unacknowledged voices are the “tarbabies” of TAR. TAR explores the tenuous relationship between anger and silence embodied within the tarbaby metaphor. Tar ultimately uses the symbolism of tar as a substance with the ability to hold things together, or to consume all that crosses its path.
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