Spotlight on Juke Cry Hand Clap: A People’s History of House

Fri | Sat – 8pm
Sunday – 4pm


As part of their residency at High Concept Laboratories, HPP hosted a series of monthly public workshops called the Mapping Sessions from January through July 2014, drawing people from all over Chicago to dance, share memories, and map sites of musical and social development. These Mapping Sessions culminate in the performance Juke Cry Hand Clap presented by High Concept Labs at MANA Contemporary October 3-5 and October 10-12 2014.

Juke Cry Hand Clap explores 20th century Black Chicago social practices through the lens of house music culture. Drawing from blues, gospel, disco, and funk as well as dances like the slow drag, bopping, and the hustle, Juke Cry Hand Clap imagines house as an evolving lineage of African American forms of making community and of cultural resistance influenced by the Great Migration from the rural South to the urban North. The performance will be activated in a Juke Joint immersive installation set created by local designer Norman Teague. The Juke functions as a framing stage to help audiences make connections between the Southern juke and urban sites of musical creativity.

A series of free public humanities programming events will also take place in the Juke, highlighting the importance of Chicago’s social music and dance cultures across the 20th century as part of the evolving urban landscape. See the website for the public program calendar. The myriad Juke Cry Hand Clap programming outputs include a dance theater performance, public humanities programming inside the Juke Joint installation, an exhibition of house artifacts, a mapping website of Chicago social practices, and two artisan book projects in collaboration with Ben Blount and Tandem Felix Letterpress.

Honey Pot Performance is a woman-focused collaborative creative community committed to chronicling and interrogating Afro-diasporic feminist and fringe subjectivities amidst the pressures of contemporary global life. Following in the footsteps of cultural workers such as Zora Neale Hurston, Beryl McBurnie, Pearl Primus and Katherine Dunham, Honey Pot Performance forefronts African diasporic performance traditions. We draw upon a central notion found in performance studies, black feminist discourse and sociology: non-Western, everyday popular and/or folk forms of cultural performance are valuable sites of knowledge production and cultural capital for subjectivities that often exist outside of mainstream communities. Most importantly, Honey Pot Performance enlists modes of creative expressivity to examine the nuances of human relationships including the ways we negotiate identity, belonging and difference in our lives and cultural memberships. Dismantling the vestiges of oppressive social relationships is part of the work. Through performance, we emphasize everyday ways of valuing the human. Honey Pot Performance is Felicia Holman, Aisha Jean-Baptiste, Abra Johnson and Meida McNeal.

Juke Cry Hand Clap is a production of Honey Pot Performance and is sponsored by High Concept Labs at Mana Contemporary, CAM 2014 and generous support from the Illinois Humanities CouncilThe Richard H. Driehaus FoundationChances Dances(Mark Aguhar Memorial Grant) and The Chicago Community Trust. It is also a feature in the 2014 Chicago Artists Month. 



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