Black Collectivity Presents: A Practice of Return [In-Person Only]

This event took place on Apr 1, 2023

Sliding scale, pay-what-you-can: $0–25
Suggested ticket price is $15

Pay-It-Forward: $30
Pay-it-forward ticketing supplements needs-based ticketing, and helps us pay all the contributing artists.


** Taylor Brooks, the African-American collection and community service librarian for the Douglass Truth branch of Seattle Public Libraries, will host a panel discussion after the screening. **


The Black Collectivity Project is excited to partner with NWFF to present film programming connected to BCP’s upcoming performance, A Practice of Return. Featuring film works by contemporary artists Akoiya Harris, Nia-Amina Minor, and Abdiel Jacobsen, the evening will conclude with the rarely-screened 1979 documentary tribute to dancer-choreographer-educator Syvilla Fort titled Syvilla: They Dance to Her Drum (dir. Ayoka Chenzira, Alma’s Rainbow). The screening brings together films that highlight dance, storytelling, and the transmission of both individual and collective memory.

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Ticketing, concessions, cinemas, restrooms, and our public edit lab are located on Northwest Film Forum’s ground floor, which is wheelchair accessible. All doors in Northwest Film Forum are non-motorized, and may require staff assistance to open. Our upstairs workshop room is not wheelchair accessible.

The majority of seats in our main cinema are 21″ wide from armrest to armrest; some seats are 19″ wide. We are working on creating the option of removable armrests!

We have a limited number of assistive listening devices available for programs hosted in our larger theater, Cinema 1. These devices are maintained by the Technical Director, and can be requested at the ticketing and concessions counter. Also available at the front desk is a Sensory Kit you can borrow, which includes a Communication Card, noise-reducing headphones, and fidget toys.

The Forum does NOT have assistive devices for the visually impaired, and is not (yet) a scent-free venue. Our commitment to increasing access for our audiences is ongoing, and we welcome all public input on the subject!

If you have additional specific questions about accessibility at our venue, please contact our Patron Services Manager at Our phone number (206-329-2629) is voicemail-only, but we check it often.

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⚠️ Covid-19 Policies ⚠️

NWFF patrons will be required to wear masks that cover both nose and mouth while in the building. Disposable masks are available at the door for those who need them. We are not currently checking vaccination cards. Recent variants of COVID-19 readily infect and spread between individuals regardless of vaccination status.

Read more about NWFF’s policies regarding cleaning, masks, and capacity limitations here.

Films in this program:

Syvilla: They Dance to Her Drum

(Ayoka Chenzira, US, 1979, 22 min, English)

Born in Seattle in 1917, Syvilla Fort was an influential artist who began her dance career in the 1930s at the Cornish School (now Cornish College). She went on to find fame as a performer in the Katherine Dunham Company and was recognized as a transformative dance educator in New York.

Courtesy of Milestone Films and Kino Lorber.

Home Is Here

(Akoiya Harris, US, 2022, 8 min, in English)

Without Ever Leaving the Ground (She Flew)

(Nia-Amina Minor, US, 2021, 10 min, in English)
Performers: Akoiya Harris, Michele Dooley, Nia-Amina Minor
Videographer & Editor: Luke Wigren

She Flew is a dance film project within the Dreams of Flight series created by Nia-Amina Minor. Performed by Akoiya Harris, Michele Dooley and Nia-Amina Minor, She Flew explores the internal landscape of collective dreams of flight. The piece is influenced by the ancestral embodiment of flight within the Black community. From the historic presence of flight in spiritual and gospel music to the movement of Black people during the Great Migration and also the Folk legends of flight found in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon and Virginia Hamilton’s The People Could Fly.

In She Flew, three figures are adorned in and surrounded by clouds. Created entirely from zero waste textiles and a collection of single use plastics, the costume and set design join with the movement to create a psychic landscape rooted in the aspirational and the unobtainable. In the piece, flight becomes a site of possibility, a secret language, and a paradox as we consider those who could fly without ever leaving the ground.

Feel in the Vibe

(Abdiel, US, 2022, 17 min, in English)
Directed, written, and edited by Abdiel
Assistant Editors: Sarah Nguyễn, Amy L. Piñon
Videography: Amy L. Piñon
Performers: Abdiel, Orb, Tracey Wong
Music: WD4D
Creative Consultant: Alia Swersky

New to Seattle, a dancer seeks to connect with the current street and club dance community. Interviewing two community leaders in the Seattle dance scene–Orb and Tracey Wong–about their history, dance journey, and connection to music, we gain more insight on what motivates them individually and collectively. In unpacking the energetic layer of body-to-sound, we discover what binds participants to the practice of social dancing and its collective spaces of justices. Through freestyle and improvisation, a conversation begins and extends as they brainstorm through steps, rhythms, and words how to feel in the vibe.

Film works by Akoiya Harris and Abdiel Jacobsen were supported and developed through the Emerge Arts Cohort and Showcase program, a partnership between Velocity Dance Center and Gay City.

For more information about A Practice of Return, visit the project website.

About A Practice of Return:

March 30 – April 8, 2023 *
   * ASL interpretation Friday, April 7th
12th Avenue Arts | 1620 12th Ave

A Practice of Return is a celebratory archival practice created by the Black Collectivity Project. Under the guiding notion ‘we build Black Collectivity out of necessity,’ Nia-Amina Minor in collaboration with marco farroni, Akoiya Harris, and David Rue envision a movement driven experience in three parts: part installation, part choreography, and part community offering. Through this work we aim to enact Black Collectivity as a necessary site of return: a practice of looking back to see where you are.

A Practice of Return is a celebratory archival practice conceptualized by the Black Collectivity Project. Through a series of offerings including workshops, film screenings, and performances, A Practice of Return weaves together embodied knowledge and research in pursuit of ‘return,’ a practice of looking back to see where you are. This programming is the result of a year-long research collaboration inspired by the ongoing legacy of Black dance artists in Seattle beginning with Syvilla Fort.

A Practice of Return will take place over the course of two weekends. Weekend 1 includes workshops and film screenings highlighting dance, storytelling, and the transmission of memory (individual and collective). Weekend 2 consists of three days of performances responding to Syvilla Fort’s 1940 solo concert originally presented at the Seattle Repertory Playhouse (now Jones Playhouse). Although few records of the original performance exist, dance allows us to access and imagine what was and what could be.

Black Collectivity is a collaborative project developed by Nia-Amina Minor, David Rue, marco farroni, and Akoiya Harris through the Made in Seattle Artist Residency Program at Velocity Dance Center.

Additional Collaborators: Jiamond Elizabeth (Performer), Chari Glogovac-Smith (Sound Design), Le’Ecia Farmer (costumes/set design), Brea Wilson (projection).

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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