Without Ever Leaving the Ground (She Flew)
She Flew is a dance film project within the Dreams of Flight series created by Nia-Amina Minor. Performed by Akoiya Harris, Michele Dooley and Nia-Amina Minor, She Flew explores the internal landscape of collective dreams of flight. The piece is influenced by the ancestral embodiment of flight within the Black community. From the historic presence of flight in spiritual and gospel music to the movement of Black people during the Great Migration and also the Folk legends of flight found in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon and Virginia Hamilton’s The People Could Fly.
In She Flew, three figures are adorned in and surrounded by clouds. Created entirely from zero waste textiles and a collection of single use plastics, the costume and set pieces (designed by Janelle Abbot) join with the movement to create a psychic landscape rooted in the aspirational and the unobtainable. In the piece, flight becomes a site of possibility, a secret language, and a paradox as we consider those who could fly without ever leaving the ground.
Creator, Director, Dancer
Nia-Amina Minor is a movement artist + educator. Her creative work focuses on the body and what it carries. Through performance and teaching, Nia-Amina converses with black realities and investigates the intersections of movement, memory, and rhythm.
As an artist, educator, and arts advocate, Nia-Amina centers community building as a mobilizing space for connection, support, and collaboration. Whether on stage, in the studio, or in the streets, Nia-Amina approaches movement based practice as a site for collective gathering. She holds a MFA from the University of California, Irvine and a BA from Stanford University. She is a co-founder and former curator for Los Angeles based collective No)one Art House. Nia-Amina currently resides in Seattle and performs as a Company Dancer and Community Engagement Artist Liaison under the direction of Donald Byrd.
Nia-Amina has taught and guest lectured at UC Irvine, Saddleback College, Cypress College, and University of Washington. She has presented original work at the Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, WaNaWari, and Central District Forum for Art & Ideas Showing Out: Seattle Black Choreographers Festival, Seattle's Reflection Dance Festival, and the Seattle Black Film Festival. Nia-Amina has performed in acclaimed works such as A Rap on Race, Shot, and Strange Fruit. She received a Seattle Dance Crush Award for her performance in Shot and was recently recognized as Dance Magazine's 25 Artists to Watch in 2021.
Akoiya Harris (she/her)
Akoiya Harris was born and raised in the Central District of Seattle Washington. She graduated from The Ailey Schools Certificate Program where she had the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of her body’s relationship to movement through technique and choreography. She has worked as a company member with Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theater. Akoiya has been able to perform in galleries such as The Henry Art Gallery (Seattle), Seattle Art Museum, The Luminary (St. Louis), and The Frye (Seattle). She is currently a part of several cohorts that deal with cultural preservation. Through her art, Akoiya hopes to unearth and illuminate the stories of her community.
Michele Dooley is a dance artist and teacher from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She began her dance training at The Institute of the Arts, graduated from The High School for Creative and Performing Arts, and later earned her BFA in Dance from The University of the Arts. Michele has completed programs with Bates Summer intensive, BalletX Summer Program, and DCNS Summer Dance Intensive and has worked with choreographers Gary Jeter, Tommie-Waheed Evans, Dara Meredith-Stevens, Milton Myers, and Nora Gibson. She has had the privilege of working with Eleone Dance Theatre, and Spectrum Dance Theater.
Zero Waste Costume + Panel Set Design:
Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet and Keane Nwede