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MIT Museum

Chocolate City Dance Map

Christoper Joshua Benton_Are You Dancing or Art You Stretching_Screencaps.png

"Bamba in Motion by Marcel Santiago." Film stills

Using motion capture and photogrammetry as a point of departure, The Chocolate City Dance Map is a cartography of Black somatic choreographic movement made in collaboration with MIT.nano and the MIT Immersion Lab. At the intersection of art, science, technology, and social practice, The Chocolate City Dance Map will come to life through the presentation of the “Make Techno Black Again” immersive experience and the sharing of an open-source digital library of Black dance. 


Let’s get this party started right. Black dance and music are an exact representation of place: out of the migratory hotspots where it has evolved; in the neighborhoods where it originates, through the architecture where it is performed, and in the psychic spaces of those who use it as expression, healing, and joy.


What is a map besides an abstraction of what the body knows innately? Here I posit dance as a type of map, a territorial formation of labor, race, class that maps itself onto the body through movement. Popularized by George Clinton, “Chocolate Cites” refer to the constellation of towns and cities where Black culture is maintained, created, and defended. Places like Detroit, Chi-town, and Philly. Enclaves like Tremé, Harlem and Holly Springs. Places that articulate their own sound and gesture.

"Are You Dancing or Are You Stretching?" Digital film. 12:19 minutes.


Process Image "Chocolate Cities: The Black Map of American Life" by MA Hunter & Zandria F Robinson

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