Bewhole and Beheld
Through a series of performance vignettes, dance artists Du’Bois A’Keen and Kingsley Ibeneche invite us to see and be seen, to testify and to witness. We will create space to interrogate and celebrate Black masculinity through a montage of memories and manifestos—both performative and interactive. We journey to be whole, in the fullness of our power, and to be held, in the place where we need to heal, engaging with personal and collective thoughts, questions and realizations concerning masculinity, maleness and manhood. Can you imagine yourself fully healed and whole? Come, let’s work!
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Du’Bois A’Keen is a Creative Director, Choreographer, Producer and Filmmaker: a true renaissance spirit. He is the Founder and Director of A’KEEN BRAND a creative agency and production company. As a Georgia Native and now NYC based artist and businessman A’KEEN started his professional dance career: touring, teaching and performing for 5 years with the renowned dance company Urban Bush Women. During his time with UBW’s touring company he also worked as the marketing and branding strategist. As a solo dance artist and choreographer he has had commissioned works for a number of notable dance companies, universities and opera companies.
In 2018 A’Keen made his Operatic Debut as Choreographer and Guest Artist of Charlie Parker’s YardBird with the Arizona Opera. He will be returning to Yardbird in 2020 with the NEW ORLEAN’s Opera. A’Keen is an IFP Screen Forward Lab Fellow for the 2017 cohort, 2018 NYTV Featured Artist, and choreographer for FOX’s DANCE SQUAD. His choreographic and film work has been featured in the NY Times, Dance Magazine and Opera Wire. A’Keen has also been a guest artist/teacher and lecturer for colleges, universities and organizations around the globe: Florida State University, New Rules Conference, Darton State College, Irvine Valley College, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Red Clay Dance Company and Rhema International Ministries to name a few.
Aside from his dance and film specific work A’Keen is a singer-songwriter: writing music for jazz, Gospel and Contemporary Christian albums, as well as working with notable musicians and play-writes in the theater and musical theater worlds. A’Keen thoroughly enjoys working across the industries of film, music and dance: He looks forward to continued growth and success nationally and internationally, alongside his beautiful daughter and wife/ life partner Camry Vonyaé A’Keen.
Kingsley Ibeneche calls it “soul music.” As a child dancing and singing in a Nigerian-American church community in Camden, NJ, Ibeneche was introduced to ritual music’s ancestral power. He sang for years in exaltation of that community. As an adolescent, secular spaces gave Ibeneche a chance to experiment with expressive body movement in inviting ways, culminating in formal training in dance at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Today Ibeneche is an accomplished dance performer, having shared the stage with Travis Scott, James Blake, Halsey, and others on mainstream platforms like the Gap, Video Music Awards and Saturday Night Live. But no matter how meteoric he ascends as a dancer, Ibeneche feels limited on stage as a backup dancer. You have to listen to his voice (as on Realms EP) to understand why one medium is not enough for his expression. Writers encountering Ibeneche’s music comment on his arresting intimacy as a performer, the cryptic honesty of his lyrics, and the brave coherence of his work across durational and fixed media. Realms EP betrays a sense of just how much ambition Ibeneche intends to offer up at the bustling interstices of creative traditions from Ancient Greek tragedy and Elizabethan monologue to Nigerian high life, the D’Angelo diaspora, and so much more.
In fact, Ibeneche is now making more than music. The songs comprising Realms EP are central themes in his original
theatrical experience of the same name, which has premiere at Philadelphia Museum of Art in July. The Realms “soul opera” incorporates creative movement, decorative sets, dramatic monologue, lighting design, projection, and music by Ibeneche and his live band “The Dirty Deity.”
Gibney 280 Broadway is accessible via elevator from the main entrance at 53A Chambers Street.
We welcome the opportunity to make this event more accessible. Please refrain from wearing scented products, so that people with chemical sensitivities can join us. Please request ASL interpreting, audio description, or open captioning 30 days before the event or submit other requests by completing our Access Requests and Inquiries Form or calling 646.837.6809 (Voice only).