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Black Aesthetics Archive

Black Aesthetics is an ongoing experimental performance art and dance series that celebrates Black, radical, moving, dismantling, and subverted avant-garde experimental work. Centering Black queer, non-binary, and trans artists, this season promises to captivate audiences with immersive, transformative experiences and thought-provoking, boundary-pushing performances that highlight the variegated perspectives and experiences within the Black queer and trans community. Black Aesthetics has become a cornerstone of Judson Arts, opening up the gate for artists to be seen, programmed, and allowed to engage with new audiences as they explore and express their one-of-a-kind visions through an abundant variety of artistic performance mediums.

Curated by Malcolm-x Betts and Arien Wilkerson

MALCOLMX BETTS is a New York based visual and dance artist who believes that art is a transformative vehicle that brings people and communities together. His artistic work is rooted in investigating embodiment for liberation, Black imagination, and directly engaging with challenges placed on the physical body. He has a community engagement practice allowing artistic freedom and making art accessible to everyone.

ARIEN WILKERSON is a choreographer, dancer, video maker, director, producer, and installation artist. Born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut, Arien is Founder and Artistic Director of, TNMOT AZTRO, a collaborative multidisciplinary company working at the bridge of dance, performance art, installation, sculpture, and sound design for engagements in museums, galleries and site-specific locations. Under the alias Tnmot Aztro considers that the complexities within art derive from the alienation of objects, identities, the body, sounds, and humans and is rooted in repurposing and redefining meanings of "fine art" and its attachment to colonialism, white supremacy, and institutionalized racism.

willing to eat stars

April 3, 2024

Maxi Hawkeye Canion, Æirrinn Ricks, Nazareth Hassan, Laura Carella, Nina Carelli, Kate Williams & DJ Chappel, Sarai Frazier, serotines art

“willing to eat stars” is a multidisciplinary performance using hyper-surrealist imagery to create a horror-fueled dance theater piece incorporating live sound, media art, garment design, and temporal drag, starring Dandi, with an I, Damage.


March 20, 2024

Pap Souleye Fall

Dead pixel, as in the screen of the monitor - a malfunction from a single-pixel creates a black dot. DP is here to destabilize and conger. I thought of that black dot as an entryway into what is understood as representation. The performance follows a foley of stage hands layered conversations, movement and disruption.


March 6, 2024

Nazareth Hassan

Security Theater sources its text from real visa applications and interviews, along with the artist's experiences at immigration services in airports. Hassan uses these texts to create a fictionalized self-interrogation as they cross the American border. Created in collaboration with filmmaker Alexander Mejía. Produced by Paratheater.


February 21, 2024

Dorchel Haqq

The world that we live in desensitizes, strips and morphs of natural agency over our autonomy. Society gives us a book of laws that we grow into abiding. The research being conducted tonight is a shedding of the black femme in all of its forms. As the bodies in space explore their home within, I will like you to experience tonight as if every moment there was a new beginning. 

Renaissance Gyal

January 10, 2024

Lauren Horn (Choreographer), Chantal Edwards-Matthews (Dancer and Collaborator), Johnathan Moore (Musician and Collaborator)

Renaissance Gyal is a choreographic work exploring the ways in which Black women have set a precedent for culture in America, while simultaneously being erased. Inspired by the Renaissance, this piece frames Black creativity in movement, music, art and style as a continuous cultural boom deserving of both deference and celebration. Through each movement, song, dance and chant it tells the stories of those of Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latine, Afro-American and African heritage who have come to live in America.


November 8, 2023

Conceived & Performed by: Vitche-Boul Ra


October 11, 2023

Movement & choreography by Lamb. Sound & score by GENG PTP.

Chairs is a theatrical movement and sound piece tracing work, speed, dreams, and the phantasmagorie of waking life.


October 4, 2023

Conceived & performed by Jordan Deal with sonic score by Kwami Winfield and Jim Strong

MOMMA i RODE THE BEAST! is a hyper meta-physical multi-sensorial dive into the indulgences of undercurrents, dark matter, and worlds that shapes our social and political landscapes, and stores itself in BODY. Through a series of metamorphoses through the perspectives of the Matrilineage Mother, the Young Boul as the Fool, and the Saint, the story takes on a queer necromantic wrestling inquisition with the BULL OF CHAOS. In this stretched time and space, Jordan Deal questions the fugitivity to come thereafter~after it’s rode good.

Second Skin: MONSTER

June 14, 2023

Damani Pompey

Second Skin: MONSTER is a live exploration of actualizing the self. The performance roots its audience in the concept of image, perception, the butterfly effect, mirroring, generating and world-building. MONSTER deconstructs unwarranted trauma by creating ancestral pivots within space by utilizing a series of task-based movements, choreographies, and space-oriented ritual. Working with physical theater, testimony, sound, light, and space, we manifest versions of ourselves that may exist across infinity — as autonomous beings.

Niggas at Sundown

February 8, 2023

Arien Wilkerson and Kwami Winfield

Niggas at Sundown is created in collaboration with Arien Wilkerson and Kwami Winfield (performer/sound designer). Via past and present, the performance explores notions of displacement, identity, and belonging, and investigates sundown towns in the United States and the violence of being visibly Black. Using body-based abstraction rooted in care, communion, and joy in opposition, Betts and company create alternative modes of being outside of white supremacy. The piece also has a clothing design element: costumes double as frames for performance scores. Jumpsuits made by Betts are constructed within improvisational practice, showcasing them in various states of motion and distilling the dynamic movement potential of the garment.

Black Aesthetics: Imagine Otherwise

November 9, 2022

Malcolm-x Betts, Arien Wilkerson, Chloe Newton, Kwami Winfield

IMAGINE OTHERWISE is an invitation to Black Artists to explore the possibilities of artistic practice. Inspired by the concept of “otherwise,” possibility curator Malcolm-X Betts asked choreographer, dancer and installation artist Arien Wilkerson/Tnmot Aztro, their collaborator Chloe Newton, and sound Artist Kwami Winfield: How do we act towards the outside violence and violent ways in the United States?

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