Born in Manhattan in 1940, Julius Eastman started to play piano at 14 and soon became an accomplished pianist and composer. He was among the first composers to superpose minimalist processes with experimental methods of extending music. He sought to combine classical music and his political fight as a Black queer man living in the United States. Eastman signalled his intent with compositions such as Crazy N*gg*r, Evil N*gg*er or Gay Guerrilla, and saw the potential of rhythm and dissonance as tools for political expression. He died in 1989 and was almost forgotten until the recent reissues of his music. Inspired by Eastman’s special relationship to rhythm and ability to combine artistic radicalism and political statement, choreographer and dancer Calixto Neto has created a space within our Free School as a forum in which Black dancers and Black pianists have experimented and tested their relationship to choreography and the body in light of Eastman’s compositions and writings. This evening, Neto opens the space of this temporary school to spontaneously share the musical, choreographical, and political potential of Julius Eastman with an audience. Crazy Evil Nigght repositions Eastman’s practice at the centre of the Western musical canon.
Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, KANAL-Centre Pompidou, MIM-Musical instruments museum Choreography and direction: Calixto Neto | Music direction: Clélya Abraham | Dancers: Calixto Neto, André Cabral, Stanley Ollivier, Luyd Carvalho | Pianists: Clélya Abraham, Neil Akenzua, Lorenzo Kobina
A programme by Kunstenfestivaldesarts
In partnership with: The Funambulist, Radio AlHara, ARGOS, Courtisane, Auguste Orts, Mophradat, MIM, Lagrange Points