Painted Bride and Ma’at Works Dance Collective Present New Residency On Softness For Black, Neurodivergent, and Queer Folk

March 12, 2024
Dance, Education & Outreach, Press Release

Painted Bride and Ma’at Works Dance Collective Present New Residency On Softness For Black, Neurodivergent, and Queer Folk

Philadelphia artists Ma’at Works Dance Collective to present public workshops and performances from March 23 – April 28 in West Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA (March 8, 2024) – Painted Bride presents “something soft,” a series of public sound/movement workshops and performances on softening. The offerings are by and for black, neurodivergent, queer, trans and non-binary folk. The residency, named a “multimodal performance ritual,” is facilitated and performed by Philadelphia artists Ma’at Works Dance Collective (Mawu Ama Ma’at Gora, Jah Elyse Sayers, Majesty Royale-Jackson). Four workshops and three distinct performances, informed by the workshops, will take place between March 23 – April 28, 2024 at the Painted Bride (5212 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19139).

“We invite the audience into rhythmic somatic patterns, sensory exercises and lullabies to reimagine how we hold, suspend and care for ourselves. Afro Presentism speaks of the future as a moving present. We implore these strategies and use technologies from Alexis Pauline Gumbs’ “undrowned” to imagine ourselves in our softest humanity,” shares Ma’at Works director and project lead, Mawu Ama Ma’at Gora.

Workshops will include “Rage Rituals: Dissent and Softness,” on vocalizing and moving with righteous rage, and “soft riot sounds,” where participants will collaborate on an improvised sound score inspired by house/electronic music, gospel, and jazz. For community health and access, all workshops and performances will be masked, with masks available at the door. In addition, all workshops will be pay-what-you-can, with a suggested $20 donation.

The event is co-presented by Painted Bride, Ma’at Works Dance Collective, National Performance Network, and The Velocity Fund. For more project information and tickets:

# # #

About Mawu Ama Ma’at G. Oyesii

Mawu Ama Ma’at G. Oyesii (they/them) is a Brooklyn native currently residing in Philadelphia. As a black, queer, caribbean and multi hyphenate artist they became.a graduate from Georgian Court University (BA) and Temple University (MFA). They have had opportunities to work with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Dr. Kariamu Welsh and Lela Aisha Jones. They toured nationally and internationally with Cardell Dance Theater directed by Silvana Cardell. Currently, they are founder and director of Ma’at Works Dance Collective. They are an adjunct professor at Bryn Mawr College empowered by their roles as educator and storyteller.

About jah elyse sayers

jah elyse sayers (they/them) directs their creative energy toward liberatory placemaking using research, writing, teaching, building, and artmaking. they have shown work at Fringe Festival, Vox Populi (Philadelphia) and metaDEN (NYC), and you can find their writing in Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies, BRICLab Essays, Deem Journal, Society & Space Magazine and

About Majesty Royale-Jackson

Majesty Royale-Jackson (they/them) is a performance maker, sound artist, and ghost occupying liminal spaces. Royale-Jackson is a graduate of the University of the Arts (BFA Dance), a 2020 Pina Bausch Choreography fellow, and 2021 New York Live Arts Fresh Tracks Artist. Their work confronts claims of ownership on the body by engaging in radical defiance of how one should be. They use flamboyance, language reconstruction, community engagement, coded language, (mis)representation, voice, glitter, and sweat in their performance work.

Royale-Jackson has performed in the US and Europe with artists such as: Niall Jones, Bouchra Ouizguen, Isabel Lewis, Jesse Zaritt, makini m. poe, Solange Knowles, Gerard & Kelly and Jocelyn Cottencin among others. They have designed sound art in their own work and the works of others to include at the University of the Arts and the Philadelphia Ballet. They have also presented at Tanzmesse NRW, See Chicago Dance, and Abrons Art Center. Learn more about Majesty at

About Painted Bride Art Center

Building on a 53-year legacy, the Painted Bride brings together artists, audiences, and communities to push the boundaries of how we create and experience art. It has supported over 25,000 artists, hosted over 5,000 events, commissioned over 100 new works, and facilitated manifold artist and community workshops and educational programs. The Bride cultivates a welcoming environment for critical dialogue and playful exchange to transform lives and communities through art. It is committed to supporting artists from all walks of life and amplifying underrepresented voices to foster diversity and inclusivity. To learn more, visit