When visiting Evergreen Cemetery, traditional Congolese dancer, Vivien Bassouamina and community healer, Luna Leo, were pulled and inspired by the story of London Nelson. Called to find out more about those buried at Evergreen, in their research they learned there are multiple Black people are buried in the plot surrounding London. For the third commission of Beyond the Grave, these artists have decided to honor these ancestors with traditional funerary practices through interactive storytelling and dance.
This event was created and funded in part by the Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center (TWDCC), as it supports their Black Health Matters Initiative and Diaspora Performance Project.TWDCC facilitates a working home for the professional world & contemporary dance artists while providing dance education that is committed to access, equity, and excellence. Black Health Matters is a community initiative that promotes equity through a network of community trust, advocacy, and collaboration to improve the quality of life for black residents in Santa Cruz County. Diaspora Performance Project gives professional support to 5 selected cultural artists. This program seeks to support the thriving community of artists of the African Diaspora and provide opportunities for the development of new work, a deep and meaningful connection to our community, and performance opportunity.