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Call for pianist

Updated: May 8

Call for pianist for interdisciplinary performance honoring Nina Simone


Who: Victoria Lynn Awkward is a Boston-based contemporary artist working through mediums of dance, visual arts, and interdisciplinary performance. Her project, VLA DANCE, explores artistry through the lineage of Black and Queer liberation practices. 


Learn more about Victoria/VLA DANCE www.vladance.com 


About work: Through dance, vocals, and piano For Nina is an intrinsic story exploring hope, love and liberatory Black Femme experience. The performers honor Nina Simone by engaging in her practice of self-honesty as a tool to inspire audiences to confront truths about themselves. 


Delving into Black diasporic practice, we play on the exchange of spontaneity and structure. Motifs of black line dancing, hand percussion, partnering, syncopated melody and vocalization provide a structure that each performer plays in and out of. Nina Simone songs like “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” are performed with dynamic musicality and virtuosic dancing. 


The first iteration of For Nina premiered fall 2023 at Hibernian Hall and the Multicultural Art Center. This summer we have two research and development periods to edit and deepen the show to be toured to Brooklyn in September 2024. We are in preliminary conversations to tour the show through 2025. For the right fit, there may be more opportunities beyond what is listed below. 


Check out the trailer here 


What we are looking for: 

We are looking for a pianist to collaborate and join alongside our vocalist and dance artist. If you only have strong qualifications in one or two areas listed below but are heavily open to exploring other points listed please still reach out! Black Femme artists are highly encouraged to apply.


  • Jazz-based pianist 

  • Able to improvise inside the set score in collaboration with the vocalist while performing 

  • Someone with experience re-orchestrating, editing/writing music or able to remember improvisations so that they can be repeatable

  • Experience, interest, or open to performing with theatricality as you may be included in the staging of the show 

  • Experience performing alongside dancers


Rehearsal, show and pay:


  • Two Rehearsal and Development periods

  • Select hours between July 8-17, 2024 to be scheduled with artist in Harvard Square, Cambridge | $600 stipend 

  • Select hours between August 18-31, 2024 to be scheduled with artist in Harvard Square, Cambridge | $600 stipend 


  • Three shows between 9/24/2024 - 9/28/2024 at Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn, NYC | $2000 stipend, housing and travel covered   


To apply:

Please email to Victoria at victoria@vladance.com by May 25, 2024 the following 


  • Your resume 

  • A cover letter sharing your interest in the themes of our show

  • 2-3 work samples of you in performance and/or rehearsal




Photo by Najee Brown

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