The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People is a roaming, large-scale installation and performance platform conceived of by Los Angeles-based artist taisha paggett. This project, which takes the form of a dance school, is shaped by the question, “what is a Black dance curriculum today?”. The installations themselves, developed in collaboration with artists Ashley Hunt and Kim Zumpfe, serve as temporary dance schools, and performance spaces.
The core of The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People is the dance company WXPT (we are the paper, we are the trees), a temporary, experimental community of queer people of color and allies, dancers and non-dancers alike. WXPT was created by paggett in early 2015 to expand upon the language and methods of modern and contemporary dance practices, to shift the ways dancers of color are positioned within the contemporary field, and to explore questions of queer desire, responsibility, migration and historical materials that inhabit our cultural imagination. The collaborators involved in The School change with each city it takes place in.
Inspired in part by a “school for colored youth” that members of paggett’s family founded in early 20th century East Texas, The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People extends the praxis of WXPT into a curriculum and pedagogy. Its various iterations take the form of a school as an artistic and social problem, building the school’s curriculum and infrastructure through physical and social sculpture, performance and image, where the roles of artist and viewer, dancing and non-dancing body, art and learning, coalesce.
The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People will offers a program of workshops, weekly classes and micro-performances initiated by its collaborators. The curriculum will be open to anyone, blurring lines between audience and participant, while especially encouraging queer people of color to join. Across the bodies of the company and the members of the public who join the school, the curriculum will build an accumulative performance score in weekly increments, culminating in “Meadow” performances at the conclusion of each exhibition.