MICHAEL J. LOVE

INTERDISCIPLINARY TAP DANCE ARTIST

  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Vimeo
 

LIVE From The BEATBOX (S1)

Learn more about LIVE From The BEATBOX Season One (S1)—Livestream No. 001, Livestream No. 002, Livestream No. 003, Livestream No 004, Livestream No. 005, Livestream No. 006, Livestream No. 007: The S1 Finale—below.

About LIVE From The BEATBOX Season One (S1)

The first season of the LIVE FROM THE BEATBOX virtual performance series offers snapshots of Michael's research and development of The AURALVISUAL MIXTAPE Collection, Part III: (RHY)PISTEMOLOGY! (OR, TO KNOW THROUGH THE RHYTHM), the third portion of his triptych of evening-length tap dance pieces. Each livestream chronicles in-process ideas, rhythm and movement sketches, as well as artistic-intellectual explorations of music, melody, Black identity, legacy, and themes such as Black futurity. Guest artists and collaborators include Yunina Barbour-Payne, Jamal Batts, Benae Beamon, Dominique Garrett-Scott, siri gurudev, Kaitlyn B. Jones, Sade M. JonesAri L. Monts, Adriana J. Ray, Taji Senior, and kt shorb.

Each livestream has been archived into a Livestream Library. These libraries include short writings on themes, reference citations, notes, biographies and information on guests and collaborators, process drafts, livestream recordings, revised drafts, and credits. 

To view excerpts of the series, see the video below—a collection of footage from Livestreams No. 004, No. 005, and No. 006 paired with passages from Michael's Choreographic Practices article for a January 2022 virtual event hosted by Austin-based queer poc community organization allgo.

Livestream No. 004  - Cover (6).png

LIVE From The BEATBOX was supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and was fiscally sponsored by ARCOS Foundation for the Arts.

Establishment of The BEATBOX, Michael's personal artist studio and flexible rhythm workspace, was made possible by support from The Alison Howard Fund and ARCOS Foundation for the Arts

Additional support was made possible by Ground Floor Theatre's GFT-In-Residence program and 26 patrons who subscribed to the LIVE From The BEATBOX content via Patreon.

The BEATBOX (1).png

LIVE From The BEATBOX—Livestream No. 001 was originally presented on Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 4pm Central Standard Time. It featured guest artist Kaitlyn B. Jones. A post-performance Q&A was led by writer and curator Jamal Batts. 

Approximately 38 minutes in length.

Streamed live via Zoom and YouTube Live from The BEATBOX (Austin, TX).

"With Livestream No. 001, I reflect on the labor of Black protest and activism while venturing to create space for healing and an opportunity for escape."

NO.

001

1.png

LIVE From The BEATBOX—Livestream No. 002 was originally presented on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 4pm Central Standard Time. It featured Guest Artist Yunina Barbour-Payne and a post-performance Q&A led by Moderator, poet-scholar Dominique Garrett-Scott

Approximately 50 minutes in length.

Streamed live via Zoom and YouTube Live from The BEATBOX (Austin, TX)

"Livestream No. 002 is shaping up to be a meditation on Black culture (and some aspects of American culture more broadly) of the late 1970s, the 1980s, and early 1990s... A meditation through which I am investigating how sounds and imagery/ images of youth, beauty, joy, and escape from these three eras talk to and reference each other... how they move forward and backwards through each other. I’m interested in how visions of the future and recollections of the past have maybe changed or stayed the same throughout these eras. I’m interested in the idea of conjuring the strength, power, and promise (and maybe even the actual presence) of some of our beloved icons. I’m also interested in celebrating the resilience of Black folks and how this sort of energy (Savion Glover and George C. Wolfe called it “da beat”) continues to be sustained through the theorizing and imagining Black folks do though creativity, art, and popular media.... which often involves evoking the past and hoping for a better future for ourselves and those we love.⁣⁣"

NO.

002

Livestream No. 003 - Cover (3).png

LIVE From The BEATBOX—Livestream No. 003 was presented on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 4pm Central Standard Time. It featured a special guest presentation by “SKAM, or the performance driven, witty brain game-meets-radio-talk-show/ open discussion collaboration of four Black/ of color and queer artist-scholars: (S)iri gurudev, (K)t shorb, (A)ri L. Monts, and (M)ichael J. Love

Approximately 55 minutes in length.

Streamed live via Zoom and YouTube Live from The BEATBOX (Austin, TX).

"This time around, I am carrying my thinking on Black futurity through the rhythms, sounds, sights, and sensations of the seminal cultural products of the 1990s and early 2000s that we all hold so dear. Maybe Livestream No. 003 is actually just a way for me to identify how I’ve learned about Afrofuturism through the work of such visionary cultural architects as Missy Elliot and her frequent collaborators (which is probably the case for many Black millennials). Remember what it was like the first time you heard each of the turn-of-the-millennium Timbaland-produced hits? It always felt like Missy, Tim, and Pharrell were illustrating and giving life to an extraterrestrial, otherworldly sort of Blackness and demonstrating expanded possibilities for what we could be, where we could go, and what we could imagine for ourselves. The fisheye lens. The forward leaning fashions. The penchant for sonic and visual innovation. Everything was glossy, covered in sheen, and focused towards the sky and space. Think of our aesthetic evolution from Brandy with her microbraids and lip gloss sittin' up in her room, watching a sphere-shaped television... to TLC dressed as leather-clad space divas, denouncing “scrubs,” and jumping around in black platform shoes... What does it mean that we had such a strong sense of and vision for futuristic Blackness during the 1990s and early 2000s? And, now 31+ years later, are we any closer to where/ how we dreamed that we’d be?"

NO.

003

1.png

LIVE From The BEATBOX—Livestream No. 004 was presented on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 4pm Central Standard Time.

Approximately 60 minutes in length.

Streamed live via Zoom and YouTube Live from The BEATBOX (Austin, TX).

"With Livestream No. 004, I launch myself towards a new Black ’elsewhere’ - or ‘soul territory’ à la the theory of literary scholar Nadia Ellis - of dynamic Black possibility. The cultural excavation work of Livestream No. 002 and Livestream No. 003 informs a remixing and repurposing of aesthetic and expressive strategies for realizing both my own and my ancestors’ freedom dreams. In this new location, the past and present spill into the future at a steady house bpm of about 120 and the passed-along embodied knowledge of countless generations manifests as polyrhythmic percussive phrases. This location, though, is metaphysical. It is embedded in the collective Black consciousness. And so, Livestream No. 004 is an affective, emotional-intellectual illustration of this location. Ultimately, after studying 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s visions of Afrofuturism, with Livestream No. 004, I conjure my own vision of Black futurity."

NO.

004

1.png

LIVE From The BEATBOX—Livestream No. 005 was presented on Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 4pm Central Standard Time. 

Approximately 60 minutes in length.

To mark the culmination of Michael's time as a GFT-In-Residence artist,

Livestream No. 005 was streamed live from Ground Floor Theatre in

East Austin, TX via Zoom and YouTube Live.

"With Livestream No. 005, I extend the narrative and theoretical arc of Livestream No. 004 and return to 'rhythm-dreaming' of a future time, space, and place of uninhibited Black queer possibility. I reimagine portions of the lobby and exterior space surrounding Ground Floor Theatre as the outer reaches of a utopic futuristic location and I curate a soundtrack anchored by house and electronic music to underscore my improvisation on top of a range of different types of surfaces. I will spend Livestream No. 005 under the East Austin sky, tracing my movements and percussive sounds through/ over sand, soil, wood, and pavement to continue conjuring my own vision of a Black 'elsewhere.'”

NO.

005

9.png

LIVE From The BEATBOX—Livestream No. 006 was presented on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 4pm Central Standard Time. It featured Guest Artists/ Collaborators Benae Beamon and Adriana J. Ray who also took part in a post-performance discussion. 

Approximately 50 minutes in length.

Streamed live via Zoom and YouTube Live from The BEATBOX (Austin, TX).

“I was recently chatting with dear friend, writer, and performer Taji Senior about some of the themes I’ve been exploring with my ‘LIVE From The BEATBOX’ series when she perfectly articulated the method I’ve been conjuring to do this embodied, tap-based work of mining the Black past to dream and build a dynamic Black future. ‘Excavation, Retrieval, Return,’ she offered. A three step process that repeats. So concise and elegant. But, profound. Because, it’s absolutely a short summarization of how Black folk have been laboring to free ourselves, and then returning to reach a hand back and free someone else—our kin, those we love, our dear friends, other Black folks looking/ dreaming towards liberation. 

No story of a futuristic Black ‘elsewhere’ can be complete without an epilogue that illustrates a ‘return’ and the ‘retrieval’ of others. This is the primary focus of Livestream No. 006. What does such a ‘return,’ or ‘round(/ retrieval) trip’ from (and back to) a Black, queer ‘elsewhere’ beyond feel like? What might a ‘return’ announcement sound like? What might the ‘retrieval’ of others look like? How might those ‘returning’ to ‘retrieve’ prep their loved ones for arrival to their own ‘elsewhere?’ Livestream No. 006 explores a process of ‘returning’ and ‘retrieving’ as old and true as the Underground Railroad, as visceral as teachings on divine redemption...

...and as enduring as the most cited bits of Black tradition, oral history, and culture that we continue to remix and rework in order to sustain ourselves as we wait to (perhaps) (one day?) be ‘retrieved.’”

NO.

006

Livestream No. 007 Cover (1).png

LIVE From The BEATBOX—Livestream No. 007: The Finale was presented on Saturday May 15, 2021 at 4pm Central Standard Time. It featured new collaborations with Sade M. Jones and Taji Senior as well as conversation with past BEATBOX collaborators Yunina Barbour-Payne, Jamal Batts, siri gurudev, Kaitlyn B. Jones, and kt shorb.

Approximately 65 minutes in length.

Streamed live via Zoom and YouTube Live from Austin, TX.

"To conclude six + months of embodied research, artistic exploration, and original livestream performances, Livestream No. 007 will be a reunion of a handful of my collaborators and "LIVE From The BEATBOX" Season One guests. Together, this dynamic groups of artists, thinkers, scholars, writers, organizers and I will reflect on making art in the midst of a pandemic as I turn my focus towards the development of the forthcoming initial production of my evening-length piece, The AURALVISUAL MIXTAPE Collection, Part III: (RHY)PISTEMOLOGY! (OR, TO KNOW THROUGH THE RHYTHM). In a variety-talk format, Livestream No. 007 will weave together interviews, discussion, and performance, with guided moments of healing and meditation—the ideal farewell to a virtual performance series that has sustained my physical practice and artistic-intellectual processing of an especially tumultuous moment."

NO.

007: The S1 Finale

LIVE From The BEATBOX Season One (S1)

Livestreams No. 001, No. 002, No. 003, No. 004, No. 005, No. 006, and No. 007: The S1 Finale

November and December 2020

January, February, March, April, and May 2021

 

Streamed live from The BEATBOX (Austin, TX)

Livestream No. 005 streamed live from Ground Floor Theatre (East Austin, TX) in front of a

small, outdoor, socially-distanced, masked, live "drive-up" audience of seven people

who agreed to and followed strict COVID-19 safety protocols.

All Choreography and Improvisation

by Michael J. Love

All Sound, Lighting, Video, and Projection Design and Media Curation

by Michael J. Love

Livestream No. 005 Soil and Sand Installation

by Michael J. Love and Ariel René Jackson

Livestream No. 005 on-site and setup assistance

by Jamal Batts, Ariel René Jackson, Hiram MajicaLisa Scheps, and Patti Neff Tiven

Livestream No. 004, No. 005, and No. 006 Text

by Michael Love

Livestream No. 004, No. 005, and No. 006 Voice Acting

by Deja Morgan (recorded in Philadelphia, PA)

Livestream No. 001 Guest Artist Performance

by Kaitlyn B. Jones (recorded in Houston, TX)

Livestream No. 002 Guest Artist Performance

by Yunina Barbour-Payne (recorded in Austin, TX)

Livestream No. 003 Guest Artist Performance

by siri gurudev, Ari L. Monts, and kt shorb (streamed live from Austin, TX)

Livestream No. 006 Guest Artist Performance

by Benae Beamon (recorded in PA)

Livestream No. 007: The S1 Finale Guest Artist Performance

by Taji Senior (recorded in Austin, TX) and Sade M. Jones (recorded in Austin, TX)

Livestream No. 001 Post-Performance Q&A Moderation

by Jamal Batts

Livestream No. 002 Post-Performance Q&A Moderation

by Dominique Garret-Scott

Livestream No. 006 Post-Performance Discussion Panelists

include Benae Beamon and Adriana J. Ray

Livestream No. 007: The S1 Finale Additional Guests

include Yunina Barbour-Payne, Jamal Batts, siri gurudev, Kaitlyn B. Jones, and kt shorb.

All Graphic Design, Promotional Photography, and Marketing/ Public Relations

by Michael J. Love

Livestream No. 004 album cover design includes “Oxygen in the Great Carina Nebula.jpg”

by Dylan O’Donnell, deography[.]com as made available to the Wikimedia Commons.

Livestream No. 005 album cover design and photography

by Michael J. Love with shoot assistance by Jamal Batts.

Livestream N. 005 album cover design includes “Oxygen in the Great Carina Nebula.jpg”

by Dylan O’Donnell, deography[.]com as made available to the Wikimedia Commons.

Livestream No. 006 album cover design includes “Statue of Liberty Nebula.jpg”

by Dylan O’Donnell/ deography[.]com as dedicated to the public domain.

 

Special Thanks:

Sound/ Audio Mixer, courtesy of Ariel René Jackson

Projector, courtesy Eliot Fisher and Erica Gionfriddo

All presentations Streamed via Zoom and YouTube Live.