Baye & Asa: HotHouse

Pioneer Works is pleased to present HotHouse, a newly commissioned performance by Baye & Asa, the artistic moniker of Sam “Asa” Pratt and Amadi “Baye” Washington with a live score by Julian Pratt and Harlan Steed of Show Me The Body. Hip hop and African dance languages make up the foundation of their technique, informing the way that they energetically confront contemporary dance and theater. The New York-based duo uses their choreography to create political metaphors, interrogate systemic inequities, and contemporize ancient allegories.

Conceived as a duet between the two dancers, HotHouse unfolds within a large plexiglass structure originally designed as a response to the epidemiological hurdles presented by the pandemic. Brought to vivid life through Baye & Asa’s physicality and paired with an original live score by Julian Pratt and Harlan Steed of celebrated punk band Show Me The Body, the enclosed stage becomes a narratively adaptable canvas, transforming into a medical isolation unit, a prison cell, a church, and a building on fire throughout the hour-long performance. HotHouse is a commentary on confinement—one that acknowledges COVID-19’s role in unmasking the greater systemic failures of America. Viewers peer into the structure from the outside, becoming spectators to the trauma of isolation and the myth of White Jesus.

HotHouse builds on past work by Baye & Asa, which has been presented at venues such as the Joyce Theater and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among many others. Their entrancing dance film Second Seed (2018), for instance, uses the racist 1915 movie The Birth of A Nation as the basis for an exploration of the cult of white victimhood. At Pioneer Works, Baye & Asa will dive further into such themes with powerful movement that provokes meaningful contemplation. The work will subsequently be performed as part of The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, in February 2023.

About the Artists

Baye & Asa is a company creating movement art projects directed & choreographed by Amadi ‘Baye’ Washington & Sam ‘Asa’ Pratt. The artists grew up together in New York City and consider their shared educational history as the mother of their work. Baye & Asa has presented live work at The Joyce Theater, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The 92nd Street Y, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Jacob’s Pillow, DanceHouse Vancouver, Blacklight Summit, and Battery Dance Festival. They were selected as one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" for 2022. Their film work has won numerous awards and has been presented internationally.

Baye & Asa: HotHouse is made possible with support from Bard College, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, The Kennedy Center, and Baryshnikov Arts Center. The live musical score by Julian Pratt and Harlan Steed is made possible with support from the Omomuki Foundation.