Reggie Wilson

Doris Duke Artist Award, 2012

Brooklyn, NY

Reggie Wilson is a choreographer, performer, and artistic director of Fist & Heel Performance Group, which he founded in 1989. His movement style, self described as “post-African/Neo-HooDoo Modern dances” can be seen in recent works including The Good Dance-dakar/brooklyn, Black Burlesque (revisited), and Big Brick – a man’s piece. His work has been presented nationally and internationally at venues such as Dance Theater Workshop (New York City), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (Becket, MA), Festival e’Nkundleni (Zimbabwe), Danças na Cidade (Portugal), Dance Factory (South Africa), Festival Kaay Fecc (Senegal), and The Politics of Ecstasy (Berlin, Germany). He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2002), the Alpert Award in the Arts (2009), a USA Fellowship (2009), and the Joyce Award (2012), among others.

  • Photo Credit: Sarah Hickson
  • Moses(es) (2013)
  • Reggie Wilson- ...Moses(es) (2014):
    ...Moses(es) (2014)
  • Reggie Wilson- Moses(es), a short film (2013):
    Moses(es), a short film (2013)
  • Moses(es) (2013)
  • Reggie Wilson- Introduction:
  • Reggie Wilson- The Good Dance — dakar/brooklyn (2009):
    The Good Dance — dakar/brooklyn (2009)
  • Reggie Wilson- Big BRICK: a man’s piece (2002):
    Big BRICK: a man’s piece (2002)
  • Photo Credit: Atoine Tempé
    Big BRICK: a man’s piece (2002)

What fuels your impulse to make creative work?

Because of its peculiarities, Dance is always, always, always an expression of culture. The body and perception of the body does not exist in a vacuum void of culture; where you’re located and your assumptions of what “culture” is determines its perceptibility and visibility. Individuals create culture; via research (field, academic and other) and long time engagement with individuals and communities, I create dance and multi-disciplinary performance work. The use of specific gestures, movement, mannerisms, rhythms and even weight sensibilities have all entered and impacted various aspects of the choreography, as well as the very process of rehearsal. My work also, often, articulates the intricate relationship individuals and communities have with ritual. The subtle but major influences of deep, mystical and secretive cultures (often hidden in plain sight) have rarely been recognized or understood. My work often utilizes choreographic tools that have been used to transform traditions for generations. My work is focused on re-claiming and reconstituting images of Africa and the Diaspora. The goal, however, is not to create re-constructions or museum pieces, but to manifest something new, vibrant and alive; something highly relevant to contemporary culture validating history, culture and the choices of the past.