(-in progress-)

Directed by Jumatatu Poe
Choreography and Performance by Jermone Donte Beacham and Jumatatu Poe

This project (possibly best described as a study) was first developed in a residency through Kultursekretariat’s Tanzrecherche program at Kulturforum Alte Post in Neuss, Germany.  Jumatatu and Donte used J-Sette movement and performance structures as jumping-off points for experimentation with the role of strategy in dance making and social design.  Major interests for these explorations included rhythm, pattern, and presence.  In addition to research in the studios of the Alte Post, Jumatatu and Donte also used movement as a way to agitate social codes in gay bars and clubs in Köln.  Work on this project will continue likely toward the development of a duet between the two, and an eventual  larger evening-length work.

(-in progress-)

Choreographed by Shannon Murphy
Sound Design by Steven Surgalski
Performed by William Robinson and Michele Tantoco

supported in part by a Philadelphia Live Arts Fellowship

Shannon’s choreography explores the endurance and limitations of the anatomical and emotional body. Colliding the world of dance with elements of theater, Shannon’s choreography is a rigorous physical exploration of bodily expression as a means to experiment with presentation of one’s personal identity. With ecstatic physical energy and complicated maneuvering, her work demands our attention to the human form as our foremost vehicle for expression.

Directed by Jumatatu Poe
Dramaturgy by George Sanchez
Choreographic Consultation by Jermone Donte Beacham, LaKendrick Davis, and Shannon Murphy
Lighting Design by Catherine Lee
Garment Design by Katie Coble
Program Booklet by Cara Cox
Performance and additional Movement Design by Leanne Grieger, Gregory Holt, Shannon Murphy, Jumatatu Poe, Gabrielle Revlock, Samantha Speis, Zornitsa Stoyanova, Michele Tantoco

Private Places has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through Dance Advance. Private Places is partially supported by a grant from Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, a program developed and funded by The Heinz Endowments; the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency; and The Pew Charitable Trusts; and administered by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Private Places is supported in part by a New Edge residency at the Community Education Center, and a residency through Pittsburgh’s Kelly-Strayhorn Theater.

thank you to Danielle Currica and Maya Johnson for original performance contributions, and Scott Nelson for lighting design contributions in Pittsburgh performances

From subtle interaction to bombastic theatrical expression, Private Places examines notions of order—how we order, categorize, groom, distinguish, and distort ourselves to achieve standards of presentation. Immediate and exquisite switches of physicality, direction, and formation create a dizzying interplay between the movement of one and the movement of the group.  Private Places plays with the stylized movement of the service industry and the high-powered approach of J-Sette, a dance culture developed in black gay clubs with roots in drill team and majorette events of Southern historically black universities. The two share spatial formations that are tight and meticulous, activity that is repeated for accuracy, and routines performed under the surveillance of a captain.
“…the work achieved an intriguing dynamic between control and disintegration: The dominating elements of authoritarian control and direction embodied the piece, manifested in the stylized movement and gestures of the torso and arms, including in one section the encasing of a dancer (Gregory Holt) within a suitcase where, quite amazingly, he continued his performance in muffled restraint.  Throughout the performance, a tyrannical digitized metronome provided both the soundscape and the choreographic commands to the dancers, controlling or irritating their movements.”
– Jonathan M. Stein, Broad Street Review

photos by Lindsay Browning

Private Places Program

Created and performed by Shannon Murphy and Jumatatu Poe
Costumes by Katie Coble
Music by Blind WIllie McTell and Tune-Yards

This work was commissioned by the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh, PA, and has been supported through a NewEdge Residency from Philadelphia’s Community Education Center

Plastic City is the first choreographic collaboration between Jumatatu and Shannon, who have danced with and for one another since 2007.  The work questions unity and sameness as the performers journey through a landscape of shifting energies, shifting relationships to one another.  Even when it is a game, it is serious.  In this duet, earnestness is a tool to negotiate the reality of each moment, and its distinction from any other moment.  The performers tap into divergent worlds, from vaudeville to musical theater to lecture/demonstration to modal movement improvisation.

photos by Tayarisha Poe

Directed by Jumatatu Poe
Garment Design by Katie Coble
Music by Margel Overton
Movement, Text, Vocal Design, and Performance by Jungwoong Kim, Jumatatu Poe, and William Robinson

originally commissioned by Philadelphia Center for the Book and Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts; also supported through a Philadelphia Live Arts Brewery Fellowship

A reflection of grief as an obsession for those things not in our reach.

photos by Tayarisha Poe

Created and performed by Jumatatu Poe


This work (a study) explores tension along a continuum separateness and connection.

presented as a part of Dance New Amsterdam’s (NYC) RAW Material series

photos by Erika Latta and Jumatatu Poe

Directed and designed by Jumatatu Poe
Movement by Poe and the performers
Lighting Design by Catherine Lee
Performed by Kristel Baldoz, Justin Bryant, Danielle Currica, Christine Gerena, Gregory Holt, Maya Johnson, Shannon Murphy, Shavon Norris, Gabrielle Revlock, William Robinson, Michele Tantoco
performance videography by Martin Lautz and Steven Surgalski

sponsored in part by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
thank you to Willie Brown, Lindsay Browning, Karama Butler, and Leigh Mumford for early work on this project

FLATLAND 2010 satirically addresses the flatness of human communication. Take a magnified look upon the world of FLATLAND, as you watch 11 of its inhabitants figure out how to communicate in a place where everything is so, well, one-sided. This is a world in which abbreviation and simplification rule, where the sound byte supersedes substance, where the instant message overpowers the intimate one.

Duration: 70 minutes (full-length)

photos by Lindsay Browning, Bill Hebert, and JJ Tiziou

FLATLAND 2010 (from a preview showing)

“One of the most exciting things I\’ve seen in a while. I feel simultaneously hungry and incredibly satisfied, and very very awake” – Chloe Paisley, artist

“Provocative, entertaining, very skillful” – Joanne Fleisher, psychologist

“Unapologetically human. Bold. Complex. At the surface” – Marcie Mamura, dance artist


Directed and visually designed by Jumatatu Poe
Sound Design by Jason Carr
Choreography by the performers
Performed by Jeffrey Davis, Shannon Murphy, Jumatatu Poe, William Robinson, Michele Tantoco
Dramaturgy by Shannon Murphy
Text sampled from Quan Blanche, Jesús Hernández, Sophia Maria Kienhuis, Tenile Pritchard


Unstuck was informed by responses to a question that Jumatatu posed to repertory students at Drexel University and Swarthmore College: “What if there were only this moment… forever?” The question prompted the creation of a dance work at each institution, as well as idiosynCrazy productions’ own explorations of the topic.  idiosynCrazy productions circulated a survey to people of the Millennial generation (born roughly between 1980 and 1998) that posed questions about identity, image, classification, allegiance, and how relevant these things are when the notion of time/era is shifted. From the entire pool of respondents, five Millennials were selected to be interviewed further on these topics. Text from four of these interviews is heard throughout the piece. The modulative vocal qualities of the interviewees were used to create the sound for Unstuck. The movement from the videos of the interviews helped to inform the movement of the performers, whether set or improvised. This piece premiered in the 2010 Live Arts Festival.

Duration: 40 minutes

photos by Bill Hebert and Angie YoukYung Chung

Directed by Jumatatu Poe

Choreographed and Performed by Jumatatu Poe and Michele Tantoco

YOU are invited into the tense world of Ricky and Roz, two flight attendants on a trip that doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. They are at your service, bending over backwards, turning upside down, and fitting into the smallest of spaces to provide you with a comfortable, luxurious voyage… kind of. Let’s kindly take a moment to give them our attention, please.
This piece is a look at service: the people that serve, the way that they interact with those who are serving. Also, through this piece, we look at the claustrophobia that accompanies being fit into a space: physically, sociologically, categorically…

Duration: 20-minutes

“Poe warps a flight attendant’s practiced gesture into a stylized sweep, his long fingers tracing the arc of exit, the movement joined by his whippy, loose body until the gesture is full-on vogue, twisting to the floor. Escape! He and Michele Tantoco, such radically different movers (she’s all tight bursts of energy) try to fly through each other. They’re earthbound, effortful, and yet their wrestling produces a beautiful truth of contact. We can go here.”
Lightsey Darst,

“…wonderfully scrappy…”
– Caroline Palmer, Star Tribune

Directed and choreographed by Jumatatu Poe
Video design by Marquise Lee
Performed by Lindsay Browning, Karama Butler, Krystle Henry, John Luna, Jumatatu Poe

Alibi is a dance/theater work examining how guilt and the politics of identity cause those affected by guilt to change their actions, reform habits, repent sins (“real” or imagined). The movement is a composite of set and improvised material that explores a spectrum of embodiments confronting wonder.
Duration: 20 minute and 45 minute versions

Audience quotes from a showing of Alibi at the AWARD Show, Philadelphia Live Arts Festival 2009
“Violent & still. Beautiful & compelling”
“Powerful and haunting. Perfect balance of revealing and hiding”
“Amazing partner work”

pictures by Bill Hebert