I’m in awe of, and overcome by, the multiple dialogs in play: the political, the spiritual, the everyday, the cathartic, the painful, and the beautiful. Dance, or any other art form, rarely affects me this way.
- Andrew Sargus Klein, thINKing Dance
"Exquisite Choreography." - DC Metro Theater Arts
"Luxuriant Dancing" - New York Times
MKArts devises intergenerational dance performance rituals that are place-honoring, and accountable to community partners. Moving from a spirit of joy and ease, our community building amplifies the lives, stories and wisdom of Black, queer, women and gender expansive folks.
MKArts by MK Abadoo (they/she), and collaborators, exists at the crux of dance theater and anti-racist cultural organizing. Combining funk/family kitchen dances, classical American modern and postmodern dance vocabularies, neo-traditional Ghanaian movement, and a community-centered creative practice, our work draws from the "tradition of black literature and art that unites past and present in unsparing dialog."
Considered a "breakout star" by Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch,” and a Clyde Fitch “changing-making artist to track,” MK's work has been commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the University of Richmond, and the Dance Exchange. As a 2016-2017 U.S. Fulbright Fellow, they worked closely with the Noyam African Dance Institute and the National Dance Company of Ghana. In 2017 they received a 40 Under 40 award from Prince George's County Social Innovation Fund for their leadership and achievement in the arts. In 2020, she was awarded by Richmond, VA Dance Awards for her collaborative choreography of a commemorative justice site-specific work performed at one of the United States oldest African burial grounds.
MK's dance and cultural organizing moves within and alongside the legacies of companies and choreographers she performed with for more than a decade including, Gesel Mason, Liz Lerman, Urban Bush Women, and the Dance Exchange. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Dance and Choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and chairs the Racial Equity, Arts, and Culture Core of VCU's ICubed, the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry & Innovation. As an educator, they are sought out for their keen ability to facilitate group learning as unique communities of shared wisdom, and embodied knowledge. She’s worked with students as a guest artist at Towson University, Texas A&M, New York University, the University of Richmond, the University of Maryland, Brown University, James Madison University, East Carolina University, Dickinson College and the University of Virginia. She earned her BFA in dance education with a concentration in modern dance and a minor in strategic advertising from the University of the Arts. They also minored in African studies as an international student at the University of Ghana, and hold an MFA in dance from the University of Maryland.
Core Partners and Collaborators
Women Dance Artists of Color - DMV
The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond
The International Association of Blacks in Dance
Christine Wyatt, Care Infrastructure Specialist, Operations Manager, Core Performance Collaborator & Rehearsal Director
Judith Bauer, Core Performance Collaborator & Creative Aging Facilitator
Seshay Durant, Core Performance Collaborator & Rehearsal Assistant
Julinda Lewis, Core Performance Collaborator & Creative Aging Facilitator
Asia Wyatt, Dancer & Repertory Assistant
Shanice Mason, Dancer & Rehearsal Assistant
Meoleake "Monte" Jones, Dancer
Ama Law, Dancer
Khalid Yaya Long, Dramaturg
Torian Ugworji, Film Director, Video & Media Manager
Tricia Homer, Marketing Advisor
Sam Crawford, Sound Designer
Johnathan Alexander, Stage Manager & Lighting Designer
Keara Dial, Stage & Project Manager
Keola Jones, Grants Writing & Social Media Assistant
Joi Brown, Engagements & Community Partnership Building Assistant