Nicole Klaymoon's Embodiment Project

Nicole Klaymoon's Embodiment Project

Performing in the 2013 Green Show Saturday, August 17 and Tuesday, August 20.

This is their third season in the OSF Green Show.

Urban dance theater featuring live vocals and spoken word.

Nicole Klaymoon is a choreographer, spoken word artist, dancer, arts activist, and educator. She has had the opportunity to perform in dance works directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Sean San Jose, Meredith Monk, Maria Gillespie, Annie Rosenthal-Parr, Anne Bluethenthal, and many others. In 2007, Klaymoon created her solo dance theater production, The Sixth Vowel, which was directed by Kamilah Forbes of the Hip Hop Theatre Festival (New York) and choreographed by Rennie Harris. Through personal narrative the piece responds to the ways the U.S. public school system crushes children’s creativity and imagination. Chuck Strouse, art critic of Miami New Times wrote “she played the part of a school kid, commented on the way schools don’t work, made you laugh your ass off, and think even harder.” The Sixth Vowel toured to various venues including the Hip-Hop Theater Festival (New York and DC), Illadelph Legends Festival (Philadelphia), Electric Lodge (Los Angeles), Miami Hip-Hop Project (Miami), the Bride Theater (Philadelphia), UC Riverside (Riverside), and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland). Her passion for community based arts activism ignited when she facilitated a performance training with G.R.A.C.E Africa sponsored by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Deadalus Project, in Kenya, Africa. The aim of this work was to harness ways that dance theater can help disseminate information about HIV/AIDS awareness and activism. Klaymoon founded Embodiment Project (EP) in 2009. Rita Felciano, art critic of the  San Francisco Bay Guardian, wrote, “you can have a first encounter with an artist who pushes you right to the edge of your seat — the work’s ingredients are good, but it’s the way they interlock or bounce off each other that makes you look forward to what else this person will come up with in the future. Such was the case with Nicole Klaymoon.” She received a B.A. in dance from UCLA and is currently completing her M.F.A. at the California Institute of Integral Studies (San Francisco). She is on faculty in the dance program at Marin Academy High School (Marin County) and the ODC Dance School (San Francisco).

Valerie Troutt is a remarkable singer-songwriter who fuses R&B, soul, funk and jazz in her original compositions. Her talent as a Jazz vocalist and soul composer has inspired the hearts of many listeners. Valerie's accomplishments include a yearlong run as an artist-in-residence at the Red Poppy Art House (San Francisco) and performing on the Jazz stage for the Best of East Bay Express party. On numerous occasions, Valerie has sung back-ups for singers Tiombe Lockhart of Cubic Zirconium, Les Nubians, Crystal Monee Hall, and Sabina Sciubba of Brazilian Girls. She has performed with singer songwriters, Jennifer Johns, Maria Muldaur, Kimiko Joy, Sista Monica Parker, and Mala Waldron who is the daughter of the late jazz pianist Mal Waldron. Valerie has recorded with modern composers, Emanuel Ruffler, Howard Willey and Jaz Sawyer of Pursuance Records. In 2008, Valerie became the youngest member of the Grammy nominated Oakland based a cappella ensemble, Linda Tillery Cultural Heritage Choir. She is featured on their latest album, Still We Rise, Still We Sing. Rachel Swan, art critic for the East Bay Express said that she is “unquestionably one of the best songwriters around. Armed not only with a pure-toned voice but a preternatural sense of rhythm.” Ms. Troutt has performed in New York for the Israeli Consulate honoring Bobby McFerrin. She has written and arranged music for the Oakland Youth Chorus, The Congress, and at See.Think.Dance at the Museum of African Diaspora (San Francisco). Valerie has served as an ambassador of the United States to the International Association of Jazz Schools in Santiago De Compo Stella, Spain. She has also sung aboard the QE2 Transatlantic Cruise Line with Junior Mance. Valerie participated as a principle singer in La Peña - Ayer, Hoy y Pa'lante, an original suite of music by three-time Grammy nominee, Wayne Wallace. Currently Valerie is the director of the all female artists showcase, The Shepeoples. She is also a member of The Congress, a Neo Soul Orchestra lead by Marcus Cohen. John Murph of NPR said, “Troutt approaches her imaginative lyrics with stirring conviction, but she never oversells the song.”

Sabela Grimes aka Ovasoul7 is a multi-hyphenated artist, choreographer and educator whose work transforms speech and sound into a visual performance with movement that is electric on transmission. Sabela has conceived and presented a body of dance theater work that proactively seeks to expand beyond contemporary notions of Hip Hop culture and aesthetics. Projects such as World War What?Ever?, 40 Acres & A Microchip: Salvation or Servitude, Sankofa and his evening length tour-de-force BULLETPROOF DELI exemplify his propensity to funktion as performer, choreographer, writer, composer, actor and costume designer. In addition to his own work, Sabela has functioned as composer/sound designer for Victoria Marks’ Medium Big Inefficient Considerably Imbalanced Dance, Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project’s Beautiful Struggle and is currently composing for David Rousseve's Stardust. He has also worked with the Dances Made To Order film series contributing his latest short film, AVEILable, and served as curator. In 1997, Sabela joined Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM). During his tenure with RHPM, Sabela became a principal dancer and the company’s Education/Outreach Coordinator. In addition to playing a leading role, Ben-V, in RHPM’s award winning production Rome and Jewels, Sabela also contributed two musical compositions and co-authored the script. Sabela holds a MFA in choreography from UCLA’s World Arts and Culture Department and a BA in English also from UCLA. Sabela’s performance work and pedagogical approach reveal his invested interest in the physical and meta-physical efficacies of Black dance practices. He created and continues to cultivate a technique-based approach to learning Black dance vernacular dances/dance forms called Funkamentals.

Nicole Klaymoon's Embodiment Project on Community: Embodiment Project (EP) is particularly interested in continuing to strengthen our relationships with theater companies and communities that are also invested in supporting work that addresses social justice, and is relevant to upcoming generations of art leaders. Our company members work extensively with youth, and are always conscious of making work that empowers and inspires youth to find their own means of expression and art-making. Additionally, EP aims to create performance that is accessible to older generations — work that helps to maintain and find ways to honor the elders of our community. With regard to other artists we work with, EP is linked to street and contemporary dance communities within the United States and internationally, particularly Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia, and New York. Our home is the Bay Area, where EP teaches a weekly street/house dance class at Dance Mission in San Francisco. EP’s performers are immersed in the house dance scene; several members battle regularly and even host events throughout the Bay. For instance, Valerie Troutt hosts ShePeoples — a monthly showcase for female artists of all disciplines in Oakland.