I am a dancer and writer who fell in love with aerial arts 5 years ago. Combining the ritual of theatre with the art of aerial, I call the stories, sayings, ideas, fears, and triumphs that live in psychic memory and dwell in spirits and give them a home on the visceral landscape of the body and space. I emulate the Griot of West Africa, who is of the people and is interested in telling their story and protecting the essence in which it was told. I reflect primarily on the modern Black reality and its complexities, its light, shadow, heart, soul, and humanity,and through my art I make an offering for healing.
Erin Sharkey and I are the Co-Founders of Free Black Dirt. We are creators and writers. We seek to develop work that is opening, inspiring, challenging, and good-feeling. We seek to spark and engage in critical conversations.
As a performance artist, I create and maintain sacred space. It is a way of knowing the world, exploring truth and what resides on the insides of things. The theatrical experience is one that can transform and heal all participants involved, from the creators to the audience. I focus on creating spaces where people of all walks of life can tell their story and not be forgotten. In these spaces, there will be a yielding to Magic and Ritual. Ancestors will be in attendance with love and light. It will be a village, and all are welcome regardless of tribe and affiliations. No matter who you are, you are welcome. It will be complicated, revealing, joyful, intense, challenging, liberating and hopeful!
Junauda Petrus has received funding through the Next Step Fund Award for professional development and branding focused on writing and filmmaking.