Benji Hart performs poetry and spoken word, exploring the themes of Blackness, queerness, femmeness, and the histories of resistance that link them. They are a longtime street dancer, with a background in a range of improvisational styles, including vogue, hip hop, and bomba.
In addition to individual poetry and movement works, they are the author of several solo performance pieces. More detailed information about their on-stage work is listed below:
Dancer As Insurgent
Dancer As Insurgent explores the art form of vogue as a tool for radical social transformation. Through improvised movement and original spoken word, the piece traces the form’s roots back to its inception in Riker’s Island prison, grounding it in a history of queer struggle, and insisting that vogue is not only a source of individual empowerment, but a portal for revolutionary social and political reimaginings.
Movement & spoken word
“Voguing is a defiantly queer dance form whose roots go deep into the history of the Black diaspora, drawing on survival strategies and popular forms of celebration developed during slavery. In Hart’s performance, the queer body reveals itself as a source of revolutionary movement, while the artist’s gestures appear as an embodiment of the community’s history.”
– Sabel Gavaldón, curator for Gasworks
World After This One (Work In Progress)
Looking through the lenses of three distinct Black art forms—the queer street style of vogue, the Afro-Boricua dance and drumming tradition of bomba, and gospel music—World After This One examines how Black people have always used the tools of the present to construct portals to impossible futures. Blurring the lines between the secular and sacred, celebration and mourning, the past and the yet-to-pass, World After This One imagines Black liberation not as a metaphor, but a possibility.
Movement & spoken word
“World After This One collapses time, conjuring a liberated Black future by stirring up our artistic past. Through dance, Hart reveals what the body already knows of freedom. Through language, Hart restores our radical imaginations. Combined, they transform the impossible into a world we can begin to see, feel, and choose.”
– Kemi Alabi, poet & editorial manager at Forward Together