Reggie Wilson: Grounds That Shout! (and others merely shaking)

In partnership with Partners for Sacred Places and Danspace Project (NYC)

Curated by award-winning choreographer Reggie Wilson, Grounds that Shout! (and others merely shaking) is a series of performances that respond to the layered histories of Philadelphia’s religious spaces through contemporary dance, reflecting on the relationships and connections between practices of movement and worship. Over two weeks, eight choreographers and performance groups will perform in four historic Philadelphia churches, drawing from site and spirit to present original and re-situated works of dance. 

On May 2, 3 and 4, Reggie Wilson’s own Fist and Heel Performance Group will perform … they stood shaking while others began to shout following a residency at Church of the Advocate. These evenings will also feature performances by Germaine Ingram and David Brick.

On May 11, the series will culminate with a series of original performances by Meg Foley, <fidget>, Lela Aisha Jones | FlyGround, Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, and Tania Isaac, with accompaniment from members of the church congregations at three historic Society Hill churches. Attendees will move from one site-specific performance to the next in a procession through St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church, and Mother Bethel AME. This cycle of performances will be staged three times over the course of the day

In addition to the performances, three public conversations will offer further insight into the process and thinking behind the artistic production of Grounds that Shout!, featuring dialogues with key contributors as well as thinkers affiliated with the project’s themes.

Performance Schedule:

Tickets for Grounds That Shout! (and others merely shaking) at Church of the Advocate
– Thursday, May 2 at 7:30 PM
– Friday, May 3 at 8:00 PM
– Saturday, May 4 at 8:00 PM

Tickets for Grounds That Shout! (and others merely shaking) Procession
Saturday, May 11 at
– 12:30 PM
– 2:00 PM
– 3:30 PM

Panel Schedule:

*All talks are free and open to the public!

How Did We Get Here? | Arriving at Grounds That Shout! (and others merely shaking)
Friday, May 3 at 3pm
Temple Contemporary
The curator, partners, and producers of Grounds that Shout! (and others merely shaking) reflect on the project’s development process. This panel will feature Kerry Bickford, Karen DiLossi, Judy Hussie-Taylor, Harry Philbrick, Robin Stamey, and Reggie Wilson, moderated by Arielle Julia Brown.
Tickets Here

In Observance: Blackness within Ethnographic, Liturgical, and Movement Practices
May 6 at 6 pm
Church of the Advocate
How do practices across ethnography, liturgical dance, and post-African/Neo-HooDoo Modern Dance intersect in movement practice, cultural transmission, and text-based articulation? Dance scholars and makers meditate on historical, contemporary, and emergent repertoires of Black sacred dance. This panel will feature scholars Josie Hoover and Deborah A. Thomas and Grounds that Shout! curator Reggie Wilson, moderated by Arielle Julia Brown.
Tickets Here

Rights, Rites, and Ashes: On Public Remembering on Lenape Land
May 7 at 6 pm
Old Pine Street Church

Respective community leaders across St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Old Pine Street Church, and Mother Bethel A.M.E Church engage with the public histories of these three neighboring colonial-era churches. Ranging from topics of precolonial land histories to histories of slavery and enduring memorial rites and practices, this panel contends with the question, “What does it mean to be an enduring neighbor across shared and divergent practices of land occupancy, faith tradition, and legacies of subjugation and freedom?” This panel will feature Libby Browne, Consultant, Becoming Beloved Community, The Episcopal Church; Katrina Browne, Producer/Director of Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Chuck DeMund, the Ceremonial Chief of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania; Jason Ferris, Pastor at Old Pine Street Church; and Crawford Wilson, public historian at Mother Bethel A.M.E; moderated by Arielle Julia Brown.
Tickets Here


Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group, …they stood shaking while others began to shout at Danspace Project, 2018. Photo by Ian Douglas, courtesy of Danspace Project (NYC).
Portrait of Reggie Wilson by Aitor Mendilibar

Reggie Wilson is Director and Choreographer of Fist and Heel Performance Group.  His work draws from cultures of Africans in the Americas combined with post-modern elements and his own personal movement style creating what he often refers to as “post-African/Neo-HooDoo Modern dances.”  He has lectured, taught and conducted workshops and community projects, and had his work presented nationally and internationally.  Wilson is the recipient of numerous awards, a selection are the Minnesota Dance Alliance’s McKnight National Fellowship (2000-2001), 2002 BESSIE (The New York Dance and Performance Award), 2002 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, 2009 United States Artists Prudential Fellow, 2009 Herb Alpert Award in Dance, 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award and Wesleyan University’s Creative Campus Fellow, 2012 Joyce Foundation Award for Moses(es). His critically acclaimed work CITIZEN, premiered 2016 (FringeArts – World; BAM NextWave 2016 – NYC). Most recently, Wilson was curator of Danspace Project’s Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance (Platform 2018)

This project is presented in partnership with Partners for Sacred Places, Danspace Project (NYC), and the Center for Experimental Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania.

Support for Grounds That Shout! (and others merely shaking) has been provided to Partners for Sacred Places by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.