what is D UNDERBELLY?
D UNDERBELLY derives its name from the ‘underbelly’ of a slave ship; excavating the legacies that surface from the depths of our cultural experiences.
An underground interdisciplinary network of artists of color founded by Baraka de Soleil, D UNDERBELLY emerged circa 1996/7, initially as a performative forum for exploring the multi-layered dimensions of culture as it relates to societal notions of “blackness”. Invested in interdisciplinary experimentation through the excavation of ‘new work’ and communal exchange, D UNDERBELLY rigorously explores the ever-fluid relationship between music and movement; weaving text, multimedia elements and environmental configurations in order to encapsulate the complexities of the diaspora. Moving onto Brooklyn, Ny and cultivating connections in Chicago, Austin Tx, northern California and internationally, this network continues to evolve; embracing & interrelating with Latin, Asian and Native/Indigenous traditions and forms. This hybrid is rooted in the theatrical jazz aesthetic carried forward by theater artist & collaborator Sharon Bridgforth, Dr Omi Osun Joni L. Jones along with other acclaimed artists including Laurie Carlos, Helga Davis, Daniel Alexander Jones and Marlies Yearby.At the core of this network currently are artists:
Baraka de Soleil
Awilda Rodriguez-LoraPROJECTS include:
Out of Africa & Beyond
Basking in Negritude
Vive La Intersections
Non Je Regrette Rien
Koool-aid Luv Odyssey
N This Hous
First Dark Drama
Childr’n of “O”
Studies N Black
Live Deep N FlowCurrently in development:
Water Moves the Soul
UN- renderedartists within the network of D UNDERBELLYwho have been a part of the development of a project since its inception in 1996/7*
Christal N. Brown
Manelich MinnifeeGeoff Albores
Natasha Diamond Walker
Sandra Jean Gaillard
From 1996 – 2010 D UNDERBELLY’s projects have been informed by this notion of liquid legacies:
a rite of embodying the dignity of a people
D UNDERBELLY seeks to act as a catalyst for shifting perceptions; demystifying racism and recognizing the underlying contributions indigenous people from the Latin, Asia, Native and African diaspora have made to this new world culture.