Arien Wilkerson is a queer, black, choreographer, dancer, film maker, director, producer, and installation artist based in Hartford, CT. They are founder and artistic director of TNMOT AZTRO, a collaborative multidisciplinary company featuring six to ten artists at any given time (photography, sculpture, installation, poetry, DJ, and at times seven or more movement artists including Wilkerson). The dance collaborators draw from distinct and diverse movement styles and traditions: modern, hip-hop, ballet, jazz, West African, and more.
Their most recent work entitled Lovepiece, a 30-minute dance and multimedia installation, is about the work it takes to build a healthy relationship with yourself, uncovering the process of healing from rejection, hate, poverty, and humiliation within black/brown queer romantic relationships. Spontaneous, erotic, queer, open-ended, club and Latin American-inspired melodramas, paired with transgressive experiential outlooks on love, take the audience through the lens of queer people of color and their relationships, specifically the dichotomy between black and Latino queer relationships, and the exchange of culture with attachments to the harboring feelings of wanting to be accepted, wanting to be in financially stable relationships, being “out” in public, being young and HIV positive, and being put on a pillory for your own personal act of love. The work features an original live score from artist, domsentfrommars, lighting collaborator Jon - Paul LaRocco and stage design by Joesph McCarthy.
Wilkerson was awarded the Connecticut office of the arts - Artist Fellow (2019), Connecticut office of the arts project grant (2018), two New England Dance Fund Grants (2017) (2018), The National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” Grant (2018), The Director’s Discretionary Fund Award from the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund (2018) and was selected as NEFA’S 2018 Rebecca Blunk Fund Awardee.
Time: 12 p.m, 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.