The street performance acquainting Scott Joplin with Josephine Baker was a joy to produce! And as the maple leaves turn red, I reflect on what we pulled off a week back at the Strand.
Granny is still there – be sure to go visit her 😉
from L>R: (back row) Odaine Williams (piano), Loreto Paz Ansaldo (producer), Pampi (director, vocals and dance), (front row) Op Browne (spoken word), Justin Francos (piano), Aaron Derman (sound/recording), Melodi Green (Strand)
Our performance had several components:
1. Know our history own our history – Loreto Ansaldo
Loreto welcomed everybody; introduced alpoarrentao Productions; went over the history of how ragtime and jazz created space that allowed the African American entertainer to take the stage as themselves and no longer in blackface and allowed for new iconography that resisted those established by minstrel and blackface forms for well over a hundred years before.
2. A tale of two dolls
Pampi did a show n tell about two childhood dolls she still takes with her everywhere
3. Faces of the past here in the present – Justin Francos on piano
Pampi takes a personal journey through dancing with masks to evoke how blackface has changed forms over time and the importance of Josephine Baker in her childhood and how her image helped battle the harsh facets of cultural assimilation
4. Amazing grace – Odaine Williams on piano
Pampi sings to take a moment to reflect on Prabhjot Singh (a Sikh man who was beaten up by 15-20 youth in Harlem two weeks back) ‘s gracious call for people to exercise restraint
5. Come Josephine
Pampi dances in homage to Josephine Baker to the Bohem Ragtime Band’s rendition on the 1928 Hungarian composition, “Come Josephine,” written for Josephine Baker when she arrived to perform in Budapest.
6. Bye bye blackbird – Odaine Williams on piano
Pampi sings in homage to Jo Baker
7. Maple leaf rag – Odaine Williams on piano
Pampi dances in homage to Jo Baker
8. Closing thoughts – Op Browne (spoken word)
Op performs the importance of remembering history on identity as spoken word