STAYCEE PEARL dance project & Soy Sos (SPdp&SS) celebrates the full range of Black culture through dynamic dance-centered performances and experiences. Incorporating immersive soundscapes, SPdp&SS surveys innovative conceptual possibilities while participating in meaningful collaboration. Under the leadership of Choreographer Staycee Pearl and Sound Designer Herman 'Soy Sos' Pearl, SPdp&SS create compelling dance works inspired and driven by socio-political issues.
(NDP Fee Support Available) Running Time: 60 minutes, no intermission.
Choreography: Staycee Pearl
Sound Designer/Engineer: Herman B. Pearl
Music Collaborators: DJ Haram, DOTGOV, Geña, Ixa, Kha’DJ, Kilamanzego, Madame Dolores, Meejah, Queen Jo, Yah Lioness Visual Collaborations: Bekezela Mguni, Kitoko Chargois and sarah huny young Lighting Design: Eve Bandi
Costume Design: Emily Vallozzi Set Design: Rob Hackett
Black Joy. Femme. Cycles of Life and Love.
CIRCLES: going in is a full-length dance work celebrating #BlackGirlMagic. Layering dance, visual arts, with pulsing beats and bass lines, the work presents snapshots of popular culture through choreographer Staycee Pearl’s lens as a Black woman. With an ensemble of five dancers, CIRCLES: going in is a colorful, unapologetic, and daring path to self-reclamation. Central to the work is an original sound score of hip-hop, house, techno and ballroom music samples mixed live throughout the performance – bringing the joy, spontaneity and uncensored freedom of self-expression from the club to the stage.
CIRCLES: going in is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Kelly Strayhorn Theater, The Joyce Theater, and NPN. CIRCLES: going in was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Co-commissioning Partners are Kelly Strayhorn Theater, August Wilson African American Cultural Center, and The Joyce Theater. The development of CIRCLES: going in is made possible in part by the National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron (NCCAkron). CIRCLES: going in is supported in part by The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Fund, Heinz Endowments, and The Opportunity Fund.
sum of y’all
PREMIERING Spring 2025 Premiering Spring 2025 Running Time: 60 minutes (no intermission) Choreography: Staycee Pearl in collaboration with company dancers Collaborating Artist/Design: Marvin Touré Music Director and Co-Composer: Herman Pearl Composers: James Johnson III, Erik Lawrence
What do we add up to as a community? Staycee Pearl’s newest creation with artistic collaborator Marvin Touré invites audiences to reflect on the delicate impermanence of community. Tracing back to memories of historically Black spaces that have been erased over time, sum of y’all highlights the constant and inevitable state of expansion, change and transformation.
Acompelling movement work, layered within a multimedia stage installation, sum of y’all draws parallels between gentrification and patterns found in the cellular structures of the human body. Set to an original score by jazz musicians James Johnson III, Erik Lawrence and co-composer Herman Pearl, the score unfolds as dancers flock, disperse and reassemble in blurred unison.
Running Time: 15 minutes
Choreography: Staycee Pearl
The short film T2/350 is a visual companion work to Pearl’s live dance work, CIRCLES: going in.
Technology: Zoom or other live streaming platform provided by presenter.
Company requires presenter to provide virtual stage manager to run virtual activities. A tech rehearsal before every event with the virtual stage manager is required.
Company can adapt activities to meet the needs of each presenter/theater and their respective communities.
DANCE FILM SCREENING & ARTIST TALK
Join Staycee Pearl for a screening T2/350, a new dance film accompaniment to her staged work CIRCLES: going in and part of the touring visual art exhibit CIRCLES: reclamation. The Company offers a digital stream followed by discussion with Staycee Pearl, allowing audiences to become better acquainted with her choreography and to have a discourse on the differences between creating dance for film and stage.
One stream of T2/350 short film plus multimedia presentation w/Q&A.
30 Students Max (can also be presented as a multimedia presentation with one moderator to lead the Q&A session following the presentation. In this case the number of audience is unlimited).
60 minutes (40-minute multimedia presentation followed by 20-minute Q&A session or interview).
Beginning/Intermediate/Advanced Contemporary Technique Led by Artistic Director Staycee Pearl or company dancers, this class focuses on developing techniques for moving efficiently and expressively, with consciousness, strength, and grace. Special attention is given to cultural specificity in relation to contemporary dance technique. Classes begin slowly, with a guided improvisation focusing on inner musicality and breath. Center and across the floor exercises gradually guild to a dynamic phrase. Running time: 90 minutes.
CIRCLES Workshop SPdp&SS has developed a progressive technique and performance training practice used to access individuality for meaningful physical expression. In this workshop, company sound designer, Herman Pearl DJs his mixes live, centering the company’s musical collaborators, as instructors guide students into the beat, expanding from center to the edges of their bodies in an improvisational warm up. Company instructors then use those ideas in technical practice, and teach repertory phrases taken directly from CIRCLES: going in. Running time: 60 minutes.
Sum of Y’all Workshop SPdp&SS has developed a progressive technique and performance training practice used to assess individuality for meaningful physical expression. In this workshop, company sound designer Herman Pearl DJs his mixes live, centering the company’s musical collaborators, as instructors guide students into the beat, expanding from center to the edges of their bodies in an improvisational warm up. Company instructors then use those ideas in technical practice, and teach movement generation exercises, and repertory phrases taken directly from Sum of Y’all. Running time: 60 minutes.
Lecture Demonstration Lecture/demonstrations offer audiences, including dance students and non dancers alike, community groups, seniors, and more, an informal performance while providing a sneak peek at SPdp&SS creative process. Lec/dems can be adaptable to meet the needs of the presenter and audience interests. NOT Full company. Length 20 min with 10 min for Q&A or 50 minute with 10 min for Q&A.
Sound Design for Dance Co-founding artistic director Herman “Soy Sos” Pearl will share sound design strategies and methods specifically used to create the sound for Sum of Y’all. Additionally the class will cover the collaborative process across the disciplines of sound, music and dance. Students will get hands-on access to the tools used in the performance including Ableton Live, control surfaces and custom channel strips/macros designed for the project. This class is designed for high school thru college age students specifically interested in sound design and audio engineering. The venue for the class must be equipped with a full range sound system, large video monitor or projection setup, work table and access to power.
Pre and Post-performance discussions available upon request.
"costumes that included platforms and platinum wigs, “CIRCLES: going in” became an uplifting spiral perfect for counteracting the pandemic blues."
STAYCEE PEARL dance project & Soy Sos named "10 who are raising the dance bar(re) in Pittsburgh in 2019"
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
"We discovered so many parts put together with uncommon ease by [Staycee Pearl] whose range has become something to behold."
"[SPdp dancers] flowed barefoot through choreography that combined elements of ballet with African-inspired dance, yoga and hip-hop."
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
"Herman (Soy Sos) Pearl’s thoughtfully crafted soundscape for CIRCLES: going in was the driving groove to the work."