New York Premiere of Shamel Pitts' BLACK HOLE - TRILOGY AND TRIATHLON Announced

Deeply inspired and infused by the spirit of Afrofuturism, this contemporary Gesamtkunstwerk combines dance, original sound, video projection, and light design.

By: Mar. 16, 2022

New York Premiere of Shamel Pitts' BLACK HOLE - TRILOGY AND TRIATHLON Announced

New York Live Arts and 92Y will present the New York premiere of BLACK HOLE - Trilogy and Triathlon, a multidisciplinary performance choreographed by the award-winning movement artist Shamel Pitts, co-created and performed by his Brooklyn-based arts collective TRIBE. Deeply inspired and infused by the spirit of Afrofuturism, this contemporary Gesamtkunstwerk combines dance, original sound, video projection, and light design in a tale of vitality and tenderness, darkness and light, personal growth and collective empowerment. BLACK HOLE - which constitutes the final installment of Pitts' Black Trilogy - will be presented in the New York Live Arts Theater (219 West 19th Street, New York, NY 10011) on Thursday, April 21st, Friday, April 22nd, and Saturday, April 23rd, 2022 at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at or 212-691-6500, on sale now.


In BLACK HOLE, a trio of Black performers (all of African heritage) shares the stage in a narrative of unity, vigor, and unrelenting advancement. Their journey originates in the darkness of the titular Black Hole, understood not as a cosmic void but a metaphorical place of transformation and potential. Engulfed in an evocative soundscape of original music, sound samples, and spoken word, the dancers embark on an hour-long, uninterrupted journey in movement in which their tenacity and grace are emphasized by cinematic video projections and stark, monochromatic lights. Choreographed by 2020 Guggenheim Fellow and 2021 Bessie Award winner Shamel Pitts who also performs in it, the piece features dancers Marcella Lewis and Tushrik Fredericks; video and lighting designed by Lucca Del Carlo; music composed by Sivan Jacobvitz; spoken word text by Shamel Pitts; and costumes by Naomi Maaravi and Mirelle Martins. Photography and cinematography for the piece are by Itai Zwecker.

BLACK HOLE - Trilogy and Triathlon concludes the Black Trilogy, a series of deeply personal live performance pieces conceived and choreographed by Pitts since 2015. The first work of this collection, a solo BLACK BOX - Little Book of RED, introduced the recurring themes of this cycle: identity, search for the roots and community, and personal evolution of the artist, born "young, gifted and Black." 2019 saw the New York premiere of BLACK VELVET - Architectures And Archetypes, "a haunting duet" (The New York Times) with Brazilian-born Mirelle Martins. Collaboration with her and other Black Series artists subsequently spurred the inception of TRIBE, a multidisciplinary collective of international creatives, united by Afrofuturistic ideals and shared goals. As an artistic hub and a nonprofit organization, TRIBE became not only a tool for producing works but a creative endeavor in its own right. Pitts explains: "By working with performers from different places within the African diaspora, my own understanding of the many facets of Blackness has evolved. Now, united by the feedback loop of ideas and empowered by shared resources, we can create and seize our own space."

The New York Live Arts "Our Season of Anniversaries" - celebrating 10 Years of Live Arts and 40 Years of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company - emboldens commitment to artists at every stage of their career: artists notable for their conceptual rigor, formal experimentation and active engagement with the social, political and cultural currents of our times. Shamel Pitts I TRIBE is a 2021-'23 Live Feed creative residency program artist, a laboratory for the development of new commissioned work directed toward the Live Arts theater. A new work from Pitts I TRIBE will have its world premiere in the '22-'23 Live Arts season.

BLACK HOLE was developed with the kind support of Trust for Mutual Understanding (TMU), American Dance Abroad, gloATL, PearlArts Studios, CrossAward (Italy), Dock 11 / Eden (Germany), and Derida Dance Center (Bulgaria), Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, New York Live Arts, and 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center.

Effective February 27, 2022, all ticket holders will be required to provide proof of full vaccination and a booster dose for those eligible upon arrival. All visitors ages 5+ are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and booster dose (when eligible in accordance with CDC guidelines). All visitors and staff ages 18+ must also show a valid ID with proof of vaccination. Children under the age of 5 will not be permitted to any indoor program or event. Live Arts also requires all visitors to wear masks while on the premises during a ticketed public event.


Shamel Pitts (Choreographer, Performer, Spoken Word Artist, Artistic Director) is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, as well as performance, conceptual, and spoken word artist. Since 2019, he is the artistic director/founder of TRIBE, a New York-based multidisciplinary arts collective which was a 2020-21 Artist-In-Residence at 92Y Harkness Dance Center. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Shamel began his dance training at LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and the Performing Arts and, simultaneously, at The Ailey School. He received his BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and was awarded the Martha Hill Award for excellence in dance. He started his professional dance career with Mikhail Baryshnikov's Hell's Kitchen Dance and BJM_Danse Montreal. Between 2009-2016, he was a company member of the Batsheva Dance Company, led by Ohad Naharin where he studied Gaga movement language, of which he is now a certified teacher. Since 2015, Shamel has created a triptych of award-winning multidisciplinary works known as "BLACK Series," which has been performed and toured extensively to many festivals around the world. His recent New York projects include choreography for the play "Help" by acclaimed poet and playwright Claudia Rankine, directed by Taibi Magar, commissioned and presented by The Shed in Spring of 2022. He is the recipient of a 2018 Princess Grace Award in Choreography, a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Award winner in Choreography, and a 2020 Jacob's Pillow artist in residence, a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, and the cast member of the 2021 Bessie Award-winning production of "The Motherboard Suite" at New York Live Arts . He is an adjunct at The Juilliard School and has been an artist in residence at Harvard University.
Tushrik Fredricks (Dancer) is a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, currently living in New York City. Growing up, he found himself drawn towards krumping - the Afro-diasporic style of street dance. He is a 2015 graduate of the Peridance Capezio Center where he received most of his training. He has had the opportunity to work with Ate9 dANCEcOMPANY (Danielle Agami, Artistic Director) and Sidra Bell Dance New York. He is now working with TRIBE (artistic director/founder Shamel Pitts). Between 2016 and 2018, Tushrik was an assistant lecturer to Sidra Bell at The University of the Arts Philadelphia . In 2021, Tushrik was the 2021 Princess Grace Award winner and also received 3rd prize for his solo dance work at the SoloTanz Festival in Stuttgart.
Marcella Lewis (Dancer) hails from Los Angeles, CA, where she began her dance training at the Lula Washington Dance Theatre at the age of 3. She then continued her studies at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA). She received her BFA from the Purchase Conservatory of Dance in 2016, where she was awarded the Adopt-A-Dancer Scholarship. The same year she joined Abraham.In.Motion (A.I.M) . Marcella was featured with A.I.M on the cover of Dance Magazine in 2017, and has been lauded as "regally unadorned" by The New York Times in a review of A.I.M's 2018 Joyce season. She is also a 2018 Princess Grace Award Winner in Dance. "BLACK HOLE - Trilogy and Triathlon" is her first collaboration with TRIBE and Shamel Pitts.
Lucca Del Carlo (Transmedia Artist) Lucca Del Carlo is a graphic designer and video artist based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and is a founding member of the Brooklyn/New York-based multidisciplinary arts collective known as TRIBE. He has created the lighting and video mapping projections for numerous performance works and has toured and performed live with the collective in many countries all over the world. He specializes in transmedia, mixing cinema techniques, concepts of architecture, visual arts, light design, and technology, and integrating those into the direction and creation of scenography, immersive environments, and visual live shows. In his view, all ways of visual communication have interlacing points, not only using technology but also using human cognition and its related censorial illusions. Del Carlo's specialty is mixing it in new ways to inspire and break common pattern in visual expression.
Sivan Jacobovitz (Composer) is a producer/musician living in NYC. Dance collaborations include: Kimberly Bartosik's "I Hunger For You" (BAM Next Wave) and "Through The Mirror of Their Eyes" (NYLA - Bessie Outstanding Production Honoree); Shamel Pitts' Black Hole (touring internationally), MENAGERIE (with Gibney Company) and Touch of RED (upcoming - Jacob'sPillow Lab); ASSEMBLY with GREYZONE.
Mirelle Martins (Costume Designer, Creative Director)
Originally from Brazil, Mirelle Martins received her Bachelor's Degree in Social Communications (UnB 2002-06). She has worked as an artist, independent curator, and art producer since 2010. In 2013, Mirelle started to research her own artistic expression in performance art with the intensive summer course of Gaga.people.dancers in NYC. Since 2015, she has been producing Gaga courses yearly in Brazil, so far reaching over 1200 students. In 2016, as a 32-year old, Mirelle made her dancing debut in "BLACK VELVET", a duet by Shamel Pitts, with light designer Lucca Del Carlo. The show toured in the US and internationally from 2017 to 2020, and has received the Audience Choice Award in Stockholm Fringe Festival (Sweden, 2017), and Best out of Town Production by ArtsATL (Atlanta, 2018). The partnership with Pitts continued with "BLACK HOLE" (2018), where Mirelle has collaborated as performer and costume designer. Since 2019, Mirelle is one of the founding artists of TRIBE, Brooklyn-based arts collective led by Pitts, where she also acts as Creative Director.
Naomi Maaravi (Costume Designer) is a Dutch-born, Israel-based EcoFashion Designer with over 30 years of experience creating upcycled re-designed fashion pieces. Naomi made her first piece for her daughter out of worn-out jeans. Her garments are fashioned from either her own collection of high-end materials, or out of materials supplied by her clients. Her brand line has since evolved into a high-end recycled - albeit high fashion - line worn by Israeli artists and celebrities. "Memories, events, joy, happiness, sadness are all parts of the materials I use, blended to create a unique garment with a story on its own," Maaravi says.
Itai Zwecker (Photographer, Cinematographer) is an Israeli-born director of cinematography, photographer, and video editor, collaborating with Shamel Pitts and later TRIBE since 2018. His photography has been featured in The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, and other outlets. Zwecker is based in Brooklyn and Tel Aviv, where he works shooting film, dance, music, documentary, and commercial projects.
Founded in 2019, TRIBE- Multidisciplinary Visual Performances is a Brooklyn-based Afrofuturistic arts collective dedicated to creating, producing, and sharing original art projects. Understanding that performance art and live art are practices of human connection, TRIBE projects include, but are not restricted to: movement-based work, live performance, video art, short film, video documentary, photography, exhibition, installation, commissioned dance choreography, art residencies, and workshops. With Artistic Direction by Shamel Pitts, TRIBE acts nationally and internationally developing art exchanges in collaboration with institutions and individuals, with a focus on the African diaspora. Ultimately, TRIBE aims to bring the audience and community into experiences that humanizes Black and Brown bodies and shares the colorfulness within Blackness that allows us to be multiplicitous.