Monstah Black, photo by Sienna Shields
Monstah Black is a self-shaped Messiah of the Funk, bringing his Virginia roots and worldly explorations to bear on everything from class consciousness to gender politics. His wildly multidimensional, multi-genre works of art employ the disciplines of musical composition, choreography, and theater in seamless harmony.
Black’s vocal and performance work has been seen in the New York Hip Hop Theater Festival performing with Don’t Hit Mama a Dance Theater Company based in The Netherlands. Black has also toured with Nicholas Leichter Dance, performing renditions of songs inspired by the film The Wiz.
Black’s latest work was the completion of an album with his band The Sonic Leroy entitled Submerged In Blue. Submerged In Blue features songs based on difference and acceptance with a focus on bullying and teen suicide.
Black was also co-creator for SUSPENDED GARDENS, a performative installation conceived between SUPERFRONT (Architects Gallery) and Monstah Black. The project explored integration between choreography and architecture, in which a design workshop and dance workshop share responsibility for producing a performance and site-specific installation over the course of six weeks.
Black has garnered support and received awards from a variety of progressive arts organizations over the years, including: Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, American Music Center, Music For Dance Grant, Blackout Arts Collective (commissioned to create an evening-length work of original music and choreography entitled THIS for the 2003 Toenails Of Steel choreographic festival), The District of Columbia Commission on The Arts and Humanities, Career Transitions for Dancers (resulting in Black’s production of two collections of original music, Yang Poodle Animatron and Heaven Hell and A Place Called Mars), Topaz Arts Center, The Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center, and The Field.
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