jumatatu m. poe
jumatatu m. poe
I am a choreographer, performer, and educator based between Philadelphia and New York City who grew up dancing around the living room and at parties with my siblings and cousins. My early exposure to concert dance was through African dance and capoeira performances on California college campuses where my parents studied and worked, but I did not start formal dance training until college with Umfundalai, Kariamu Welsh’s contemporary African dance technique. My work continues to be influenced by various sources, including my foundations in those living rooms and parties, my early technical training in contemporary African dance, my continued study of contemporary dance and performance, and my recent sociological research of and technical training in J-setting with Donte Beacham. I produce dance and performance work with idiosynCrazy productions, a company I founded in 2008 and now co-direct with Shannon Murphy. Previously, I have danced with Marianela Boán, Silvana Cardell, Emmanuelle Hunyh, Tania Isaac, Kun- Yang Lin, C. Kemal Nance, Marissa Perel, Leah Stein, Keith Thompson, Kate Watson-Wallace, Reggie Wilson, and Kariamu Welsh (as a member of Kariamu & Company). As a performer, I also collaborate with Merián Soto.
Jermone “Donte” Beacham
Dancing has been in my blood since I can remember. It started off with hip hop dancing for my high school — I began to recognize my skill and talent. After 4 years of that, I was introduced to the world of J-Sette by women. J-Sette historically refers to Jackson State University’s female drill team that began in the 1970s. They “created” the dance style, and thus far have made it a distinctive form of dance. I was interested in this type of dance, but not entirely until I saw a group of males performing it. At that point, I claimed the style for myself and perfected it on my body. Currently, I have my own J-Sette line, Mystic Force, and plan to increase our already considerable renown in this style of dance in our community, and eventually internationally. Previously, I served as co-captain of Dallas’ Texas Teasers. I have participated and competed in several events and competitions, including 2 SetteItOff video challenges, Atlanta Pride 2010, Tennessee Classics 2009, and Memphis Pride 2008. In 2015, I was named New Legendary by the Meet Me on the Dance Floor J-Sette council, and have gained many titles since then, such as, Best Dancer and Most Entertaining.
In 2009, jumatatu m. poe and Jermone “Donte” Beacham began an artistic relationship, initiated by jumatatu’s interest in Donte’s sharply rhythmic approach to J-Sette.