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Barak adé Soleil, new & re-interpreted dances


Man in studio dancing while using forearm crutches and wearing a large bag on his back

Barak adé Soleil

Photo: Sophie Bufton

An MCA Stage New Works Initiative presented as part of ADA25 Chicago

Barak adé Soleil makes theatre, dance, and performance art. As a disabled artist of color, he is committed to exploring the beauty of the racialized, disabled body as an inherent reflection of humanity. During a week-long residency at the MCA, he is developing new solo and duet works, which includes choreography and media created in collaboration with Puerto Rico’s Awilda Rodriguez Lora.

This MCA residency is part of adé Soleil’s ongoing exploration of the rich traditions of the African diaspora, disability arts and culture, and the innate wholeness of all bodies while questioning the historical contexts in which dance is created and interpreted. The new dance works are a response to the urgent social and political tensions in the physical body today. As some bodies are silenced and committed to eternal stillness, adé Soleil believes it is critical that all bodies move—in public streets, open spaces, and on formal stages. He dances because the movement of disability is a movement in itself.


  • Turttle

Solo, created and performed by Barak adé Soleil

  • Objects are objects

Duet, created by adé Soleil in collaboration with Awilda Rodriguez Lora. Performed by adé Soleil and guest dancer

  • reRace: a movement study

Duet, drawn from “Come Out,” part of Fase by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, which consists of three duets and one solo and is choreographed to compositions by Steve Reich. Performed by adé Soleil and guest dancer

Following the performances the public is invited to engage in a discussion with Barak adé Soleil, moderated by Yolanda Cesta Cursach, Associate Director of Performance Programs.

About the Artist

Barak adé Soleil is an award-winning creative practitioner, cultural producer and independent curator. Invested in engaging diverse communities, he has been working within the live arts scene throughout the US, Panama, Europe, and West Africa for the past two decades. He is the founder of D UNDERBELLY: an interdisciplinary network of artists of color. His directing, performing, and creative projects speak to the expanse of contemporary art; utilizing body-based techniques drawn from the African diaspora, disability culture, and post-modern and conceptual social forms. A newly awarded 2015 Chicago DanceMakers Forum Fellow, adé Soleil is developing what the body knows, an expansive project deepening his focus on movement expressed from a disabled and racialized body. Other projects include: lower(the)depths, a galvanizing interdisciplinary theatre project with Montreal's intercultural community; the black | body, a curatorial project invested in progressive art by black artists across the diaspora; An Ecology of Dance, a Chicago initiative building awareness surrounding distinctive contributions of the art form throughout the city; and creative peoples caucus, a national/international platform for exploring the intersection of live, social and civic art practices. This fall, adé Soleil is the keynote speaker for the Clifford's Symposium at Middlebury College on the "Good" Body and his archive solo performance material is being exhibited at Evanston Art Center. He serves on the Cultural Advisory Council for Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events. His poetics & reflections on dance, performance and culture can be found at dunderbelly.wordpress.com.


Lead support for the MCA Stage New Works Initiative is provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman. Additional support for Barak adé Soleil is provided by 3Arts, and the 3Arts Residency Fellowship at University of Illinois at Chicago.