Just Dance: Tajabone

A transcendental parade of black french queer empowerment

https://www.nowness.com/series/just-dance/tajabone

Tajabone is a short film about the french black queer community taking pride in who they are, what they have achieved, and embracing the bodies they are in. Wearing leopard-print leotards that embody their fierce dancing styles, the stars of Tajabone use their bodies to explore the fragility, strength, and conviction at the heart of a community bonded by radical self-expression.

Nicolas Huchard, who has collaborated with the likes of Christine and the Queens and Madonna as a dancer and choreographer, based Tajabone’s thunderous dance sequences on bucking and voguing—styles that were popularized in queer clubs in Atlanta and New York City respectively.

Huchard reached out to director Raphael Chatelain—whose work focusses on LGBTQ+ themes that delve into the political and humanitarian aspects of the subjects he portrays— to help him craft stunning visuals that complemented the choreography.

The creative duo describes the work as “a direction of movement with tribal connotations, putting forward the notion of communication through the body.” Each dancer uses their body to tell a personal story and represent their identity.

Tajabone takes its name from a unique tradition in Senegal, ten days after Tamkharit, or Islamic New Year. In the evening, after a day spent feasting and visiting friends and family, men and boys would dress as women and vice versa. In a carnivalesque exchange of kaftans and boubous, the night ends with a chorus of singing, cavorting, and dancing through the streets to the sound of percussion instruments.

Musician and writer Mykki Blanco wrote a poem that is heard in the stirring voiceover in Tajabone. It explores the vulnerability and strength of the queer, black community and the ongoing trauma they live through. Blanco’s powerful words echo throughout this film like a trance; uplifting, inspiring, uncompromising.Yesterday, June 2, 2021

CONTRIBUTORS

Mykki Blanco

Mykki Blanco

EDITORS

Gavin Humphries


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