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A Talk With BRIANA ASHLEY STUART

Each form of expression shares something so rich, and universal: a desire to overcome, connect, or merely express that puts us into a heightened state of being, what I like to call a Moving Meditation.

What inspires you?

Philosophy inspires me. Those universal questions and concepts that we continually ask ourselves as humans regarding our existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind and ways of being. I believe that it’s these philosophies that connect us to one another more than anything else. Even though our stories are different they share a common thread of seeking to understand our purpose and experiences.

How has your artistic journey progressed so far?

My journey has been a series of experiences and research periods led by questions. Whenever I get into the studio, create a new work, or perform, I ask a question, find an answer which would lead to another question. This process has always led me to a deeper understanding of myself as an artist, performer, choreographer and person.

What was the impulse to create MOVING MEDITATIONS?

Within my research, I took a deeper look at the history of Stepping and most importantly the reason why the percussive form emerged. I then noticed that the purpose behind the emergence of stepping was quite similar to other percussive forms such as Flamenco in Spain, the Haka in New Zealand, Gumboot Dance in South Africa or even universally clapping our hands in celebration or shouting in times of suffering and pain. Each form of expression shares something so rich, and universal: a desire to overcome, connect, or merely express that puts us into a heightened state of being, what I like to call a “Moving Meditation”.

How do you distinguish yourself from other artists?

My interest in multidisciplinary work specifically in fusing different styles as well as my research in the relationship between movement, sound and rhythm.

What is your favourite part of the performance?

It’s difficult to choose one, so I’d say my top two favourite parts are high energy sections and interactivity. As a body percussionist and dancer there’s no greater feeling than sharing the stage with the other performers where we push each other, motivate each other, and show our connectedness through movement. In addition, Interactivity breaks the 4th wall, makes an instant connection with the audience, and really brings the audience into the work on a deeper level.

If the sky’s the limit, who would be part of your dream team?

A few members of my dream team, just to name a few, would be greats in the history of African American music and dance including Katherine Dunham, Alvin Ailey and Ella Fitzgerald.

Briana Ashley Stuart PLAYS the première of MOVING MEDITATIONS 25.03.2023 at KVS, info & tickets – click HERE

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Mestizo Arts Platform