Miami, September 6, 2023 – Live Arts Miami, Third Horizon and Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator present the World Premiere of SUMMON by Miami based performance artist Shamar Watt on September 23 and 24 at the Sandrell Rivers Theater. Created in both Miami and Jamaica, this international exchange project takes us from the streets of Miami into the heart of Maroon Town. Featuring a new cinematic work by Jamaican film director Nile Saulter and world premiere performance by Shamar Watt and Austin Williamson, SUMMON lives on screen and on stage.
A fiercely mesmerizing performer born in Jamaica and raised in Miami, Shamar Watt proudly traces his heritage back to the Maroons, formerly enslaved Africans who escaped and rebelled against British colonialists. SUMMON seeks to give form to this spirited lineage through an immersive journey that invites the audience to explore worlds of resistance and freedom.
Watt reimagines his Maroon roots as a cosmic garden, intertwining scientific phenomena like black holes with the perception of the black body and spirit. This epic experience incorporates music, film and dance in one extraordinary performance blending maroon, krump, and rave aesthetics with scientific theories around behaviors of the invisible matter/energy that governs life.
A Bessie Award Winner for Outstanding Performance, Watt’s creative spirit has taken him around the world in collaborations with artists like Nora Chipaumire and Matthew Barney. In preparation for this project, Watt took a deep dive into the exploration of his personal ancestry- traveling to Jamaica to explore his roots and connect with family members in the Maroon Town of Trelawny Parish to engage in research and develop the work.
“Returning home for me was like finding lost bones at the bottom of the Atlantic sea, the rattling of bones coming back to life, telling untold secrets, unleashing future possibilities.” said Watt. “As a black people in the Americas, the idea of belonging to a people of sovereignty shifts the way one looks at himself in society. This has enabled me to further explore maroonage as an idea – maroonage as a way to perceive and hear the free black body.”
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Shamar Watt is an experimental multidisciplinary independent artist born in Kingston, Jamaica, raised in Miami, and based in Miami and New York City. He has worked as a multidisciplinary performer with Nora Chipaumire since 2015. He was nominated as one of the top 25 performers/choreographers to watch for 2019 Dance Magazine. Watt was a 2018 Bessie Nominee and in 2019 he was the recipient of the prestigious Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance. Watt is driven by the politics of black frequencies as they shift/manipulate space and can enable the body to respond in radical ways towards illumination.
Austin Williamson is a musician and artist who challenges the way music is created and experienced. With a primary focus on drums and percussion, Williamson subverts the boundaries of sound through improvisation and unconventional compositions. Williamson is the co-founder of Onyx Collective, a collective of artists and musicians united by a shared intent of creative expression.
Nile Saulter is a Jamaican director whose short film work has been shown in film festivals, screenings & gallery shows all over the world. Over the past few years he’s worked with brands such as Puma, Levi’s, Sephora & Gatorade while also crafting music videos for Popcaan, Tarrus Riley & Jesse Royal to name a few. Nile is currently in pre-production on his first feature film Escape to Last Man Peak.
SUMMON is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Live Arts Miami in partnership with Third Horizon, Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator and NPN. The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
WHAT: SUMMON by Shamar Watt
WHEN: Saturday, September 23 at 8:00PM
Sunday, September 24 at 3:00PM
WHERE: Sandrell Rivers Theater
6103 NW 7th Ave
Miami, FL 33127
ABOUT LIVE ARTS MIAMI
Live Arts Miami is one of the city’s oldest and boldest performing arts series: an action-driven, people-centered platform for powerful performances, impactful community programs, and learning experiences that spark dialogue, raise awareness around pressing issues, and open minds and hearts in all who take part. Created in 1990 as Cultura del Lobo, Live Arts Miami is proud to be a part of Miami Dade College’s celebrated Department of Cultural Affairs.
For more information, please visit iveartsmiami.org and follow @liveartsmiami on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The programs of Live Arts Miami are funded by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council; the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the National Endowment for the Arts; South Arts; National Performance Network (NPN); the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
ABOUT THIRD HORIZON
Third Horizon is an award-winning filmmaking collective dedicated to developing, producing, exhibiting and distributing film and other art forms that give voice to stories of the Caribbean, its diaspora and other marginalized and underrepresented spaces in the Global South. Our films have screened festivals such as Sundance, BlackStar, Berlinale, and TIFF. Its annual festival was named “one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” in 2019 by MovieMaker Magazine.
ABOUT DIASPORA VIBE CULTURAL ARTS INCUBATOR
Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator’s commitment to artists of Caribbean and diverse cultures ensures they receive validation, visibility and professional opportunities. We promote, nurture and exhibit the diverse talents of emerging artists from the Latin and Caribbean Diasporas through an artist-in-residence program, international exchanges, community arts events and a dynamic exhibition program collaborating with art spaces and inhabiting the virtual landscape.