viii. taisha paggett

resistance lives in the spine

because in this new dance we

play gravity like a pick primping its last ‘do…

because as fish swim and birds fly, we stand against

the pressure—up, out, off, in, for and against

the ceaseless, creaseless pressure...

because we were born with resistance in our spines...

because we don’t collapse so much as

fold over, like prostrate

origami tumbling through dense sky.

taisha paggett is a Los Angeles-based Black queer artist whose individual and collaborative work for the stage, gallery and public space takes up questions of the body, agency, and the phenomenology of race and gender. paggett’s work seeks to de-center and reframe dance conventions and the ways in which bodies and spaces become normalized in both dance practices and the actions of daily life, by colliding them with social, political, cultural, and emotional metaphors and meanings. paggett's work is especially concerned with interrogating fixed notions and representations of Black and queer bodies through the construction of idiosyncratic structures and scores in which those subjects may also become agents. paggett is a member of the full-time faculty of UC Riverside’s Department of Dance, holds an MFA from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance and is co-instigator of the LA-based dance journal project and discursive platform, itch.