Marc Bamuthi Joseph explores soccer by layering poetry, movement, visuals, and music into a fresh theatrical form based on Hip Hop aesthetics. This world premiere co-commission features verbally and physically energetic performances.
a futbol framed freedom suite
Conceived and Written by Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Developed with and Directed by Michael John Garcés
Choreographed by Stacey Printz
Composed by Tommy Shepherd
Produced by MAPP International Productions
Poet-performer Marc Bamuthi Joseph found freedom on the soccer field. As a child of Haitian immigrants, he embraced the sport as a means to navigate his own American Dream. To create this powerful work, Marc has teamed up with local youth from similar immigrant backgrounds through D.C. Scores, an organization that teaches soccer, literacy, and social issues. /peh-LO-tah/ combines Marc's explosive Hip Hop style with these young voices to explore their collective joys and struggles, all through the lens of this globally loved sport.
This multi-disciplinary work integrates spoken word, text, movement, music, and the folklore of Hip Hop in a unique and inspirational examination of the "spinning ball" (pelota) we call Earth. Marc's charismatic storytelling forms the base of a theatrical experience featuring a compelling collection of elements such as choreography inspired by South African and Brazilian movement styles and techniques from the soccer field, live music that ranges from gospel and African American spirituals to bossa nova and Brazilian carnival, and a vibrant background of filmed imagery through video projection. Most enjoyed by age 13 and up.
Part of JFKC: A Centennial Celebration of John F. Kennedy.
Performance Timing: 80 minutes, with no intermission.
Bank of America is the Presenting Sponsor of Performances for Young Audiences.
Additional support for /peh-LO-tah/ is provided by The Clark Charitable Foundation; The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; and the U.S. Department of Education.
Major support for educational programs at the Kennedy Center is provided by David and Alice Rubenstein through the
Rubenstein Arts Access Program.
Support for JFKC: A Centennial Celebration of John F. Kennedy is provided by
Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, Chevron, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, and Target.
Kennedy Center education and related artistic programming is made possible through the generosity of the
National Committee for the Performing Arts and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts.