Thesis Concert Explores Race For ‘Monologues’

Graduate student LaNita Joseph will pay homage to Black History Month through her full-length thesis concert “The Monologues of My Nappy Hair,” a performance that challenges society’s standards of beauty and exposes racial oppression from slavery until now.

The concert will be presented on Thursday and Friday (Feb. 9-10), at 8 p.m. each evening in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Dance Theater.

“The event is a stunning multi-character drama told through monologues overlapping a plot and dance,” Joseph said. “It focuses on the issue of identity for black women as they deal with the trials and tribulations of their hair that has historically been used as a mode of objectification and exploitation.”

“The Monologues of My Nappy Hair” was inspired by Joseph’s personal trials and tribulations, as well as the stories of others, in an effort to find beauty in the darker side of the human experience.

“I wanted to acknowledge the pain black women may or may not know they are going through and challenge the notions of white supremacy in hopes to gain solidarity not only in the black experience, but the human experience,” she said.

Joseph has been a self-supporting artist in Chicago as an independent producer, director, choreographer, dancer and filmmaker for the past five years.

Her work has been shown to audiences of thousands on stages such as the Regal Theater, Harold Washington Cultural Center and Chicago Park District. In addition to her own company, she has worked with several prestigious companies such as River North Dance Chicago and Joel Hall Dancers.

Admission to the MFA thesis concert is free.
For more information, contact the dance program at 936.294.1875.

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