Professor’s Dance for Camera Work Included in SECCA Exhibition

Tamara Williams in front of film screening
Monday, November 22, 2021
Tamara Williams is one of 25 artists featured in Black@Intersection.

Assistant Professor of Dance Tamara Williams is one of 25 artists whose work is included in Black@Intersection: Contemporary Black Voices in Art, a new exhibition at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston Salem. Curated by Duane Cyrus, a former dancer with the Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey dance companies and a professor at UNC Greensboro, Black@Intersection features works by 25 Black and African Diasporic artists from North Carolina and beyond. It opened on November 19.

Williams’s contribution to the exhibition is ÌBÀ OBÌNRIN, a dance film created with her professional company, Moving Spirits, filmmaker Marlon Morrison, and musician Luciano Xavier. Williams and three Moving Spirits dancers were filmed over the summer, performing on location in Charlotte at the Big Rock Nature Preserve and by the Catawba River and McAlpine Creek. A version of the film premiered on June 19 as part of a larger Juneteenth project sponsored by the National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron.

“ÌBÀ OBÌNRIN acknowledges the importance and influences of women in traditions in the southern corridor of the United States and around the world,” Williams wrote in her description. “The film highlights how women have traditionally and historically connected to nature to support and fortify their communities. ÌBÀ OBÌNRIN Is an investigation of the influences of ritual, nature, and place in Black women’s traditional practices to care for community.”

Williams’s areas of research include Sylvestre technique, a Brazilian dance technique that is strongly tied to nature, the body, and the universe. Her book, Giving Life to Movement: The Silvestre Dance Technique, was published by McFarland in Spring 2021. Williams also studies the spiritual dances of the African diaspora and recently received a Cultural Visions Grant from the Arts & Science Council to support her research on ring shout traditions. Learn more about her in this Spotlight.

Black@Intersection is on view at SECCA through April 7, 2022. Founded in 1956, SECCA produces original exhibitions, publications, and programs with international and American contemporary artists. SECCA is an affiliate of the North Carolina Museum of Art and a division of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.