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Our workshops explore the intersection between our 2 artistic practices: Improvising While Black (IWB) and FAILURE Lab. Both are contemporary dance, improvisation and performance practices that disrupt the normal.


IWB works with breath, utterance, bodily tremors, and speaking in tongues exploring the in between place of speaking and not speaking, dancing and not dancing. How does one approach the unspeakable in a dance? IWB also experiments with rupturing dances, songs or stories to intervene in what’s expected and improvise dance moved by breath, and language moved by utterance. How do we engage the poetics of rupture as we dance? 

FAILURE Lab exposes physical habits and thoughts absorbed from pop culture. It challenges misogyny, consumerism, and excess by making absurd images with bodies, objects, and materials. Can we disrupt trends of viewing the self and body as marketable products? How can we bring ourselves fully into the here and now, along with complex identities and uncomfortable histories?


In our workshops we investigate how to shift power through movement, transform tensions held within our bodies from historical traumas and ask questions such as: Who gets to fail, and who doesn’t? Who has license to laugh, or speak freely? How much space is your body allowed to take up? We question our own histories, stories, and expectations while creating improvised dance and performance material.


Supported by

Public Funding from Arts Council England

first made possible by a Time & Space residency at Metal Culture

further support from GPS/Global Practice Sharing program of Movement Research (NYC) with funding from the Trust for Mutual Understanding, CPR - Center for Performance Research, Independent Dance, The Bluecoat

mayfield Brooks - Improvising while Black

Mary Pearson - Failure Lab

HTBA? workshops have taken place at Independent Dance, London, Improspections festival, Zagreb, Croatia, Metal, Liverpool, and Goldsmiths' CI Society, London.

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