Jade Solomon Curtis is a choreographer and dance artist interested in the body as an artifact of memory, space and time. Through the lens of a contemporary Black woman, the integration of Black vernacular movements with contemporary dance, innovative technology and Hip Hop cultural influences her works ponder tradition and reinvention, social justice, social constructs as well as intuition and logic- often resulting in the subversion of an idea.
Her current work, Black Like Me: An Exploration of the Word Nigger, is a multi-sensory dance work that explores the reverb of a single word in a global community. It considers the effects of the word nigger, all its permutations, its history and its casual use in Hip Hop culture. It asks if it is possible to redefine a word that was intended to belittle a people.
Jade Solomon Curtis is a recipient of the 2018 New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project. She is a 2018 Artist Trust Fellow and a 2017 University of South Carolina Inaugural Visiting Fellow. Curtis received the 2017 Seattle Office of Arts & Culture CityArts Project Award, and the 2017 4Culture Artist Project Award. Her work has received support from the Bossak-Heilbron Charitable Foundation, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Artist Trust (GAP Grant), Central District Forum for Art & Ideas (Showing Out: Seattle Black Choreographers), and 4Culture (Tech Specific Grant). Curtis is a 2019 artist-in-residence at SLIPPAGE Lab at Duke University, a 2018 Base Experimental + Art artist-in-residence, and a 2017 Velocity Dance Center artist-in-residence.
A celebrated soloist of Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theater for four seasons, Curtis is the subject of an Emmy Award-winning short film, Jade Solomon Curtis directed by Ralph Bevins. She received SeattleDance’s first Dance Crush Award for Performance/Choreography in the riveting workshop of Black Like Me that lead to further development and funding from the National Dance Project.
Black Like Me: An Exploration of the Word Nigger is a multidisciplinary evening length work that explores the reverb of a single word in a global community. It considers the effects of the word nigger, all its permutations, its history and its casual use in Hip Hop culture. In collaboration with two of America’s leading Black media-design technologists, original sound composition and local activists; it asks if it is possible to redefine a word that was intended to belittle a people. Black Like Me combines physical, verbal, visual and sonic language to tell five narratives and perspectives in a unique way. Inspired by present day youth and their casual use of the word nigger, innovative multi-disciplined artists, visual/media design experts and digital campaign strategists come together to, in essence, combine the best of arts and sciences to enhance the singular message; nigger can not be transformed. National Dance Project funding is available for engagements taking place July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.