Live Arts Miami, in collaboration with Third Horizon and Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, is set to unveil a groundbreaking artistic endeavor that promises to transcend boundaries and captivate audiences. The world premiere of “SUMMON,” an immersive masterpiece by the Miami-based performance artist Shamar Watt plays at the Sandrell Rivers Theater on September 23 and 24.
This transcultural project, which has been meticulously crafted in the vibrant locales of both Miami and Jamaica, embarks on an international odyssey. “SUMMON” artfully navigates the bustling streets of Miami and then seamlessly transports spectators to the heart of Maroon Town, where the echoes of history and the vibrancy of contemporary life converge. Spearheaded by Jamaican film director Nile Saulter, this project boasts a brand-new cinematic creation that is destined to leave an indelible mark on the world of performance art. Furthermore, it will feature the highly anticipated world premiere performance by none other than Shamar Watt himself, in collaboration with the prodigious talent of Austin Williamson. In an unprecedented fusion of mediums, “SUMMON” comes to life on both the screen and the stage.
Born in Jamaica and nurtured in the multicultural tapestry of Miami, Shamar Watt stands as a mesmerizing performer, deeply rooted in the traditions of his Maroon ancestors. These Maroons were the courageous souls of African descent who escaped the clutches of British colonialists and forged their path to freedom. “SUMMON” serves as Watt’s artistic endeavor to breathe life into this spirited lineage, inviting the audience to embark on an immersive journey that traverses the realms of resistance and liberation. Watt envisions his Maroon heritage as a celestial garden, ingeniously interweaving scientific marvels such as black holes with the essence of the black body and spirit. This epic production seamlessly merges music, film, and dance into a breathtaking performance that blends the aesthetics of maroon culture, krump dance, and the immersive energy of a rave. All of this is anchored in profound scientific theories pertaining to the enigmatic behavior of the invisible matter and energy that governs life as we know it.
Shamar Watt’s creative prowess has garnered him a Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance and has led him on a captivating artistic journey across the globe. Collaborations with luminaries such as Nora Chipaumire and Matthew Barney have solidified his status as an artistic force to be reckoned with. In preparation for “SUMMON,” Watt embarked on a profound pilgrimage into the depths of his personal ancestry. He embarked on a journey to Jamaica, where he delved into his roots and forged connections with family members in the hallowed Maroon Town of Trelawny Parish. This research-intensive expedition was instrumental in the development of “SUMMON,” as it allowed Watt to unearth the untold stories and secrets of his lineage.
Reflecting on his transformative journey, Watt poignantly remarked, “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. As a black person in the Americas, the notion of belonging to a sovereign people reshapes one’s identity within society. This has empowered me to delve deeper into the concept of maroonage – to perceive and celebrate the free black body in a new light.”
“SUMMON” promises to be an artistic tour de force, where history, culture, science, and performance converge in a breathtaking spectacle that transcends time and space. The collaboration between Live Arts Miami, Third Horizon, Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, and the visionary Shamar Watt serves as a testament to the enduring power of art to inspire, provoke, and illuminate. As the world eagerly awaits the world premiere of “SUMMON,” it is poised to leave an indelible mark on the annals of contemporary performance art.
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.
Learn more at www.liveartsmiami.org.