Ni’Ja Whitson | The NWA Project: Oba Qween Baba King Baba – Danspace Project
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Ni’Ja Whitson | The NWA Project: Oba Qween Baba King Baba

Photo: Ian Douglas.

Co-commissioned by Danspace Project and Abrons Arts Center.

Ni’Ja Whitson’s Oba Qween Baba King Baba engages spiritual multiplicity and the role of Queerness in the Divine. The work’s title is based on the Yorùbá word “Oba,” which is a genderless term that has come to be known as a king.

This interdisciplinary work, performed by The NWA Project, is informed by personal narratives of queer and trans children of preachers and designed to be witnessed from above. Through movement, poetry, jazz, textile and video art, Oba Qween Baba King Baba uncovers architectures of the body, space, and sexuality to interrogate power and ways masculinity influences the perceived histories of religion.

An iteration of this work was presented during Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance (Platform 2018) curated by Reggie Wilson.

Performers: The NWA Project: Kirsten Davis, Shayla-Vie Jenkins, Paloma McGregor, Annie Wang, Ni’Ja Whitson. Featuring Marvin K. White
Musician/Composer: Douglas R. Ewart
Sound Design: Jeremy Toussaint-BaptisteA.J. McClenon and Ni’Ja Whitson
Lighting Designer: Tuce Yasak
Costume Designer: Jeanne Medina and Peiyi Wong
Objects: Ni’Ja Whitson

Free preview showing, March 23, 7:30pm:
On Saturday, March 23 at 7pm, there will be a free preview showing of Oba Qween Baba King Baba for QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) identified people. Please write to lydia@danspaceproject.orgfor more details.