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Meet MMDF Performer Leah Tubbs


Leah & Shaun Tubbs established the MODArts Dance Collective (MADC) in 2011 with a goal to give a voice to the underrepresented and often silenced communities of color. On September 25th, we'll get to see that powerful mission in action. Inspired by her roots in Birmingham Alabama, MADC uses the movement aesthetics of ballet, modern (Horton), & West African to share subjects and themes that speak to black & brown people. The goal of MADC’s choreographic work is for POCs to feel seen and heard, to better navigate their personal avenues in life while staying true to their unapologetic selves. Learn more about her journey below!

To watch MADC in Making Moves Dance Festival 2020, RSVP here: https://jcal.meeter-app.com/event/VCVsBGX64T

1. What inspired you to commit to being an artist? How did you choose dance as your art-form? Our audience would love to hear about moments that you can pinpoint that influenced you to pursue dance as a career.

My parents took me to see The Nutcracker at the age of three, and I saw a ballerina that looked just like me: almond hued skin and black natural hair. I asked my parents if I could be like her, and they enrolled me into my first ballet class. I have been dancing even since then.

2. Regarding your upcoming performance, what are some special elements of your work that you'd like to share with us ?

Nina Remixed is the result of me fully embracing my body, seeing myself as a sexual being, and being transparent about the ebb & flow of being a black woman. The piece has been reimagined and reworked to highlight the different alliterations of the creative process and celebrate the tenacity of the artists despite the pandemic and the world’s increase of awareness towards racial injustice.

3. What offers you inspiration for your work? What are the things in your "universe" that give you motivation to make your work?

I am reminded of my lineage knowing that I stand on the shoulders of hundreds of thousands of people who placed me where I am at this moment. Community is the driving force behind what I create to celebrate and honor my ancestors and elders while building a bridge to hold space for upcoming generations of movers and storytellers.

4. What are your goals and aspirations going forward as a dancer; an artist?

I see my art used as a form of resistance to push against oppression, white supremacy, and systemic racism. I want the art that I create to be seen as a form of liberation to create a world where black and brown people can be their most authentic selves without having to be weighed down by hate.

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