Jumatatu Poe is a dance/performance-based artist, educator, organizer, and voyager based in Philadelphia. Their early exposure to concert dance was through African dance and capoeira performances on California college campuses where their Pan-Africanist parents studied and worked, but formal dance training did not start until college with Umfundalai, Kariamu Welsh’s contemporary African dance technique. Their work continues to be influenced by various sources, including foundations in those living rooms and parties, early technical training in contemporary African dance, continued study of contemporary dance and performance, movement trainings with dancer and anatomist Irene Dowd around anatomy and proprioception, and sociological research of and technical training in J-sette performance with Donte Beacham. Through their artistic work, Jumatatu strives to engage in and further dialogues with Black queer folks, create lovingly agitating performance work that recognizes History as only one option for the contextualization of the present, and continue to imagine pathways toward artists’ economic and emotional sustainability.
Jumatatu has performed their work in cities around the US, in Brazil, and in Europe, and have received various awards and honors, including: a 2010-2011 Live Arts Brewery Fellowship (Philadelphia), 2010-2012 and 2017 (each respective year) Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Performance Grants (Philadelphia), a 2011-2013 Community Education Center Residency Fellowship (Philadelphia), a 2012 Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Fellowship (Philadelphia), a 2013 NRW Tanzrecherche Fellowship (Germany), a 2013 New York Live Arts Studio Series residency with Jesse Zaritt (NYC), a 2016 Independence Fellowship (Philadelphia), a 2016 18th Street Arts Center creative residency (Santa Monica), a 2017 Rocky Dance Award (Philadelphia), a 2017 Sacatar Residency Fellowship (Bahia, Brazil), a 2017 MAP Fund award with Jermone Donte Beacham, a 2017 NEFA National Dance Project Production Grant with Jermone Donte Beacham, a 2018 MANCC residency, 2018 NPN Creation and Development Fund awards with Jermone Donte Beacham, 2018 keynote speaker for annual Alliance of Artists Communities Conference, a 2019 EMPAC Technical Residency in partnership with NEFA Production Residencies for Dance, a 2019 Queer|Art Prize with Jermone Donte Beacham, a 2020 Hearst Choreographer in Residency Award from Princeton University, a 2020 Foundation for Contemporary Art Grant for Artists, a 2020 Creative Capital Award, and three Swarthmore College Cooper Foundation grants as a curator for presenting other artists (Swarthmore, PA).