REDCAT Presents 7NMS| Marjani Forté-Saunders + Everett Saunders
From Sep. 21 to 23, 2023, Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater (REDCAT), CalArts’ center for contemporary arts in downtown Los Angeles, presents Prophet: The Order of the Lyricist, a four-year archival, research, and multi-genre storytelling project from 7NMS, the public emergence of choreographer and performer Marjani Forté-Saunders and composer and sound designer Everett Saunders.
Exploring the life journey of a lyricist, Prophet illuminates the distinctive practices, systems, philosophies, and political ideologies that have shaped hip-hop’s emcee/lyricists. The lyricist is an order of craft, prose, oration, and exposé. Through the coming-of-age story of Everett as “Mental,” the emcee, audiences are invited to enter a world of courage, self-determination, and devotion. Using text, sound, film, and performance, Prophet is a critical and embodied offering to the scholarly, civic, and ancient bodies of radical Black expression.
“When Saunders speaks, it is with the inherited legacies of a collective past; he has both the commanding voice of a preacher at his pulpit and the natural, rhythmic cadence of a trained emcee.” —The Brooklyn Rail
Operating in California and New York, 7NMS is the public emergence of Marjani Forté-Saunders and Everett Saunders’ work as a collaborative team, radically engaging art as a medium of elevation, healing, and futurity. With seven award-winning projects in ten years, 7NMS tote a revolutionary commitment to the Black radical imagination.
While incubating Prophet through Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 satellite residencies in their newly erected home studios, 7NMS has worked in close collaboration with co-visionaries d. Sabela grimes (movement composer and sound archivist), Meena Murugesan (filmmaker and media designer), and Marc Winston (photographer), producing Prophet’s latest filmic iteration, commissioned by dance center Jacob’s Pillow.
The program includes a post-performance talk on Friday, Sep. 22 with the 7NMS Creative Team, moderated by hip-hop musicologist and founder of the Apt. 5B Podcast, Rahaman “Kil” Kilpatrick.
Prophet: The Order of the Lyricist is a recipient of: The New England Foundation 2021 National Dance Production & Touring Award, the 2020 New Music USA Award, the 2020 MAP Fund, National Performance Network – 2023 Documentation & Storytelling Fund, and The Princess Grace Foundation USA – Special Project Grant.
Performances of Prophet: The Order of the Lyricist will be at 8:30 pm on September 21 & 22, and at 3 pm on September 23. Please note: Prophet: The Order of the Lyricist contains loud sounds. Tickets are $30 for General Admission; $24 for REDCAT members and students; and $15 for CalArts students, faculty, and staff. Purchase here.