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    The VORTEX and Fusebox Festival proudly present the commissioned world premiere of The Black Feminist Guide to the Human Body, a new choreopoem by award-winning playwright and Black cultural studies scholar Lisa B. Thompson. The show premieres 25 years after the debut of her classic comedy Single Black Female and is dedicated to Thompson’s mentor and friend, the legendary theater director Shirley Jo Finney.

    The Black Feminist Guide to the Human Body by Lisa B. Thompson takes place at The VORTEX April 12 through May 4, 2024.
    “The Black Feminist Guide to the Human Body is my theatrical love letter to Black women and girls,” Thompson explains. “The piece calls for radical self-acceptance and self-compassion and celebrates peace, nurturing, rest, care, freedom, joy, and love. It’s about embracing the ‘soft life’ for Black women, whose labor and dedication has sustained people, communities, and institutions.”

    Conceived during Thompson’s 2021 MacDowell artist residency and developed during her 2023-24 Texas Performing Arts and Fusebox artist residency, The Black Feminist Guide to the Human Body meditates on Black women’s experiences from the perspectives of mind, body, and spirit. What makes the piece unique is its focus on middle-aged and older Black women, an often invisible and neglected group, especially by the medical establishment. Thompson also celebrates Black feminist pioneers and icons whose contributions to the arts, culture, politics, and academia transformed the world. The piece culminates in an audience dance party and an invitation for Black women to share their own contributions to Black feminist wisdom.

    Lisa B. Thompson’s compelling, poetic storytelling incorporates movement, music, and multimedia design. The new piece features original songs co-written with composers Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr., and Vince Anthony. Her long-time collaborator, award-winning director Rudy Ramirez, returns to Austin to direct. Groundbreaking dancer, actor, and choreographer Sadé M. Jones serves as both movement director and performer. Critically acclaimed actors Nadine Mozon and Hayley Armstrong complete the professional performance ensemble.

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