Words & Photography: Nana Yaa
In a recent interview with Tamu McPherson on Alltheprettybirds, Nana was asked: What do you communicate through your art? Her response was golden and worthy of sharing.
“I consider how improvisational forces explore the self and relational entities of both animate and inanimate. My repertoire of movement tests the possibilities of sensuality, roaming between stoic and seductive postures that navigate how affect, audience, and architecture inform the physics of the black female body.”
How do you describe a beautiful, strong, black woman, who uses her body to tell stories, stories in motion like nothing you’ve ever seen before? You don’t try to describe her, you let the movement take you away and enjoy the 15sec/30 seconds of good instagram content and smile. I’ve tried to explain the work that she does, sometimes to people who know her and are not aware of what she does.
Nana Yaa was born in London, grew up in Holland and is of Ghanaian heritage. She is not a classically trained dancer, but you wouldn’t know it. She looks so comfortable in her body and movements. She considers herself a performance artist, which makes a lot of sense when you hear her describe herself as such and see her work.
Nana’s movements are part dance, choreography, expression, and do I dare say protest. She’s been hired as a movement/dance choreographer for music videos, numerous commercials, and what she does is clear with a similar yet different outcome. Black women have always led the movement. They’ve invented and nurtured ways to not only survive, but thrive while taking care of the village.