Apollo New Works

Snakehips In Our DNA


A Video Exhibition by Talvin Wilks and LaJuné McMillian

Explore the trajectory of dance from the Harlem Renaissance to the present through this stunning video installation of Black movement artists. Snakehips In Our DNA is a choreographic media collage commissioned by The Apollo and conceived by director/dramaturg Talvin Wilks in collaboration with new media artist LaJuné McMillian. Produced by SOZO, with an original score by Dominique Luis, sound design by Kwamina “Binnie” Biney of DreamWolf Projects, and co-commissioning support by Jacob’s Pillow, Snakehips In Our DNA features motion capture animation and interview footage of dancers including Mickey Davidson, Drew Dollaz, Bernard Dove, Roobi Gaskins, Rocka Jamez, Chanon Judson, Michela Marino Lerman, and Maleek Washington, as they respond to the soul and spirit of the legendary Harlem Renaissance-era dancer, Earl ‘Snakehips’ Tucker.

Experience this tribute and timely meditation utilizing new media technology on the Harlem Renaissance’s permanence in today’s contemporary culture at the new Apollo Stages at The Victoria. Free and open to the public, on view for two weeks only.

The Apollo’s celebration of dance icons continues with Dianne McIntyre Group’s In The Same Tongue April 12 – 14, 2024. Tickets are $20. Current ticketholders please arrive early to experience Snakehips In Our DNA in The Victoria Theater lobby.

Snakehips In Our DNA and Dianne McIntyre Group’s In The Same Tongue are a part of The Apollo’s Winter/Spring 2024 season.

About the Curators

Talvin Wilks sitting in a chair in front of a black step and repeat.

Talvin Wilks

Talvin Wilks

Talvin Wilks is a playwright, director and dramaturg based in Minneapolis and New York City. His plays include Tod, the boy, Tod, The Trial of Uncle S&M, Bread of Heaven, An American Triptych, Jimmy and Lorraine: A Musing, and As I Remember It with Carmen de Lavallade. He is a co-writer/co-director for Ping Chong’s ongoing series of Undesirable Elements and Collidescope: Adventures in Pre- and Post-Racial America, and a member of the Ping Chong + Co. Artistic Leadership Team. Directing Credits: The White Card, This Bitter Earth, Benevolence, The Ballad of Emmett Till (Penumbra Theatre), The Peculiar Patriot (National Black Theatre/Woolly Mammoth), Parks (History Theatre), Cannabis: A Viper Vaudeville (HERE Arts/La Mama), Locomotion (Children’s Theatre Company) and The Till Trilogy (Mosaic Theatre). Dramaturgy Credits: for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enough (2022 Broadway Revival), Dreaming Zenzile (New York Theatre Workshop/National Black Theatre), An American Tail (Children’s Theatre Company), Between the World and Me (The Apollo), Scat!, Walkin’ with ‘Trane, Haint Blu  (Urban Bush Women), ink, Black Girl: Linguistic Play, Mr. TOL E. RanCE (Camille A. Brown and Dancers), In a Rhythm, A History, Necessary Beauty, Landing-Place, Verge (Bebe Miller Company), Radicals in Miniature, Relics and Their Humans (Ain Gordon/Pick Up Performance Co.). He is an Associate Professor in the Theatre Arts and Dance Department, University of Minnesota/Twin Cities and is a 2020 McKnight Theater Artist Fellow and a 2022 McKnight Presidential Fellow. He was a researcher/co-curator/dramaturg for the Sekou Sundiata Retrospective, Blink Your Eyes, the Aunt Ester Cycle at the August Wilson Center, and continues research on the ongoing book project, Testament: 40 Years of Black Theatre History in the Making, 1964-2004.

LaJune McMillan

LaJuné McMillian

LaJuné McMillian

LaJuné McMillian is a multidisciplinary artist, and educator creating art that integrates performance, extended reality, and physical computing to question our contemporary forms of communication. They are passionate about discovering, learning, manifesting, and stewarding spaces for liberated Black realities and the Black imagination. LaJuné has had the opportunity to show and speak about their work at National Sawdust, Tribeca Film Festival, Times Square, and Art & Code’s Weird Reality. LaJuné was previously the Director of Skating at Figure Skating in Harlem, where they integrated STEAM and Figure Skating to teach girls of color about movement and technology. They have continued their research on Blackness, movement, and technology during residencies and fellowships at the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship, Eyebeam, Pioneer Works, NYU ITP,  Barbarian Group, and Barnard College.

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