Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group

Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group

 

Biography

Reggie Wilson (Artistic Director, choreographer and performer) founded his company, Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group, in 1989. Wilson draws from the movement languages of the blues, slave and spiritual cultures of Africans in the Americas and combines them with post-modern elements and his own personal movement style to create what he calls "post-African/Neo-HooDoo Modern dances." 

His work has been presented nationally and internationally at venues such as Dance Theater Workshop, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), UCLA Live (Los Angeles), The Flynn (Burlington, VT), Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans), Dance Umbrella (Austin, TX), Summerstage (NYC), Linkfest and Festival e'Nkundleni (Zimbabwe), Dance Factory (South Africa), Danças na Cidade (Portugal), and Festival Kaay Fecc (Senegal), The Politics of Ecstasy (Berlin, Germany). 

Wilson has traveled extensively: to the Mississippi Delta to research secular and religious aspects of life there; to Trinidad and Tobago to research the Spiritual Baptists and the Shangoists; and also to the Southern, Central, West and East of Africa to work with dance and performance groups as well as various religious communities.

Wilson is a graduate of New York University, Tisch School of the Arts (1988, Larry Rhodes, Chair) He has studied composition and been mentored by Phyllis Lamhut; Performed and toured with Ohad Naharin before forming his own Fist and Heel Performance Group. He has lectured, taught and conducted extended workshops and community projects throughout the US, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. He has served as visiting faculty at several universities including Yale, Princeton and Wesleyan Universities. He is the recipient of the Minnesota Dance Alliance's McKnight National Fellowship (2000-2001). Wilson is also a 2002 BESSIE-New York Dance and Performance Award recipient for his work The Tie-tongued Goat and the Lightning Bug Who Tried to Put Her Foot Down and a 2002 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. He has been an artist advisor for the National Dance Project and Board Member of Dance Theater Workshop. Most recently, in recognition of his creative contributions to the field, Wilson was named a 2009 United States Artists Prudential Fellow and is also the 2009 recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in Dance.

His latest evening-length work, The Good Dance – dakar/brooklyn had its World premiere at the Walker Art Center in November 2009 and NY premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in December 2009 followed by a ten city US tour. 

Artist Statement

Founded in 1989, Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group is a Brooklyn-based dance company that investigates the intersections of cultural anthropology and movement practices and believes in the potential of the body as a valid means for knowing. The group has received support from major foundations and corporations and has performed in the United States and abroad at venues including Dance Theater Workshop, Redcat, the Kohler Center, Yerba Buena, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and Festival Kaay Fecc in Senegal. Our performance work is a continued manifestation of the rhythm languages of the body provoked by the spiritual and the mundane traditions of Africa and its Diaspora.