Awardee: Annie Wilson
Primary Artistic Medium: Performance
I create performances that offer audiences an opportunity to participate in collective ritual, bringing them into a deeper relationship with themselves and others around them. Hyperlocal Ritualformance is a hybrid ritual and performance; a choreography that creates an opportunity for hyperlocal communities to name where they are, who they are, and what they mean to each other.
The ritualformance is designed for residents of blocks that stretch between fourth, tenth, Cecil B. Moore, and Poplar streets. This is my neighborhood. It is to be the prototype for an event that can be disseminated in neighborhoods around the city, and adapted according to those residents’ needs and desires.
The first step in development is to connect with organizations based in the neighborhood, including organizations such as FNC Community Farm at 8th and Poplar, Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, West Girard Progress, and Richard Allen New Generation. These organizations are nodes of connection with neighborhood residents. Myself, organization representatives, and constituents would co-create a zoom/park ritual together, using my skills as a participatory choreographer, and the community organizing skills of the people in these organizations.
Hyperlocal Ritualformance happens in two parts: one part online in participants homes, one part in person at the Cruz Recreation Center Park on 6th and Master. I will lead the entire ritual as my character Hipster Mage.
Part 1- Zoom
Participants will be led through a short warmup. They will be instructed to imaginatively map their relationship to their home and immediate neighborhood. By the end of part 1, they will have developed a very short, repeatable movement phrase, and will have a story, memory, or thought prepared to share about what their relationship to their neighborhood is.
Part 2- Cruz Park
There is a pause between online and in-person portions of the ritualformance to allow for travel (or rest). Upon arrival, there will be circles laid out with flower petals. Participants will be required to wear a mask anytime they are not inside their circle of flowers, which will be placed at least 10 feet apart from each other.
Once participants have settled in their respective circles, they will be led through a series of instructions that invites them to share with the other participants: their movement phrase, their memories of their neighborhood, and what their neighborhood means to them. The ritualformance concludes with a socially-distant dance party.
This event is primarily an imaginative ritual; anyone who can imagine can participate. I will lead the entire ritualformance in front of a computer at Cruz park. Therefore, you could do the entire experience in the park, the entire experience at home, or mix it up. I will work with a universal design consultation to ensure that the ritualformance is accessible to as many types of folks as possible.