Blood Babyis an iterative performance project exploring gender, parenthood, family-building, and sexuality from a queer and gender non-conforming perspective and as acts of belonging - to Earth, to lineage and culture, and to ourselves-- //how we are created and how we are shaped (our bodies as ourselves) //through the forces of parenting and family //considering those efforts as part of geology + nature (Earth's progression) and social community
A crucial aspect of Blood Baby is a series of Queer Parent Convenings engaging queer and trans parents. We are currently building these convening groups and are looking for interested parents.Want to learn more? Presented in parts or in total, Blood Baby embraces performance, dance and somatics as expansive, extending beyond a discrete theatrical moment. The four forms--Carpet Womb, Communion, Primordial and Touch Library—can be presented together or accordioned apart, each embracing a distinctive aspect and materiality of the experience of parenting queerly through choreography, sculpture, and drag. Created and performed by a community of queer artists, Blood Baby enlists the perspective of queer parents to extend the physical materiality of gestation and gender into performance, utilizing multiple materials and performative formats to unhinge the intersectionality of gestational experience, queer experience, and parenthood and bring distinct parts into relief.
Please relax your soft palate and perineum as you watch this video’s beginning, especially the velvet stretching and the shape distending. Make a low tone sigh.
Blood Baby is broad in its approach to unpacking queer parenthood. It does not culminate in a single performance but a series of intimate, public events. The whole project becomes a prism, bridging visual and experiential art, participatory workshop, and dance, using text, foam, fabric, carpet and site-responsive, durational, participatory, drag, performative sculpture devices. Tying these forms together will be an auto-mythological, queer creation story.
Carpet Womb: An environment of overwhelm and totality. A dance amongst viewers inside a small constructed room entirely covered in soft materials so that every surface provides tactile feedback, designed by Friedrich.
Communion: A spare theatrical environment, an alternative re-situating of our physical selves in the universe that embraces an extended lineage and immediate sensory noticing, and a soft somatic journey, enacted by both audience and performers, led by Foley's facilitation.
Primordial: Alternative drag performance as a fabric rock, performed in various environments and presented through visual installation created by visual artist Carmichael Jones. A durational, devotional somatic process of inserting oneself into environments, exploring one’s body, warmth, wild, and edge pressed into an earthly or architectural other.
Touch Library: A participatory somatic workshop with the sculptural and prop materials to share the choreographic practices of Blood Baby.
Throughout development and presentation, we will host convenings with queer parents to share their experiences of pregnancy, labor, and delivery in relationship to gender, sexuality, community, and what parenting queerly means to them. Their words serve as the backbone of the project, an ongoing reinforcement of Blood Baby’s critical orientation and the need for these conversations. Blood Baby will engage a patchwork of local networks, driven by connecting queer parents and communities and aligning the modular form with a particular venue’s vision and capacities, building temporary communities towards a larger national network. Post-presentation convenings provide a forum to advance the conversation.
Original text for Blood Baby: Communion written and assembled by Sylvan Oswald based on interviews with Meg Foley, Dr. Shaunna Morrison and Jason Young, used by permission, interpreted and altered by Meg Foley.