About the Event
Performance artist Jenn Freeman, also known as Po’Chop, presents their latest project, Bamalama Legs, an audio-visual collage that shares their research into the experiences of Black women’s bodies as a site of spectacle. Mining Claudia Rankine’s writing on Serena Williams, pop-culture’s obsession with the Brazilian butt lift, and the life of Sarah Baartman, an enslaved woman from South Africa who was exhibited as a freak show attraction in 19th-century Western Europe, Freeman seeks to affirm thick thighs and embrace the jiggle. Bamalama Legs is a collaborative work that brings together Freeman’s multidisciplinary performance practice and sound artist Itunuoluwa Ebijimi, aka Petty.
In Progress is a series designed to give artists, thinkers, and curators a platform for developing new works with input from audiences, and to give patrons a glimpse into the creative process. This program is organized by Laura Paige Kyber, Curatorial Assistant.
About the Artist
Chicago-based burlesque artist Jenn Freeman, also known as Po’Chop, uses elements of dance, storytelling, and striptease to create performances and inspire students and collaborators across the country. Po’Chop is the creator and author of the blogzine The Brown Pages and has performed at the Brooklyn Museum in Brown Girls Burlesque’s Bodyspeak, and headlined shows in Minneapolis, MN; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; and St. Louis, MO. Po’Chop is a Board Member and Cast Member for Jeezy’s Juke Joint, an all-Black burlesque revue. Po’Chop performs on Netflix’s Easy (Season 2), appears in music videos for songs by Jamila Woods and Mykele Deville, and creates and performs experimental dance films such as LITANY. Freeman was recognized as a 2022 United States Artist Fellow, is a 2021 Foundation of Contemporary Art Grant for Artists recipient, and was selected as a 2019–2020 Urban Bush Women Choreographic Fellow as well as a 2018 Chicago Dancemakers Lab Artist. Po’Chop was voted #10 of the 50 Most Influential Burlesque Artists by 21st Century magazine and was dancer in residence at Rebuild Foundation in 2020.
In Progress is supported by the New Works Initiative, which puts the creative process at the heart of the MCA’s relationship with Chicago by supporting the development of new performances and creative projects.
Lead support for the New Works Initiative is provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman.