Mesmerizing is the best way to describe the video. A figure, face fully concealed, in an inflated blue bodysuit — and donning a shaggy black bob — dances with concise constricted movements in a room swallowed by denim clothing. With haunting music playing throughout, the covered dancer wildly quickens their movements before shedding the suit and revealing themselves.
The video is called “Is A Thousand Times Enough,” and the dancer is the video’s creator and performer, movement artist Greg David. Once David’s face and body are shown, undisguised, the video slows as they dance in a fluid motion before the camera dizzyingly cuts back and forth, pivoting between shots of them in and out of the suit. The juxtaposition of the two different dance styles when in and out of the suit conveys a sense of struggling when trapped by emotions. David’s intent is to portray the frustrating cycle of feeling stuck, despite one’s best efforts to break free from a rut.
After watching “Is A Thousand Times Enough,” Director of film and performative art collective haus of bambi, Robert Woofter, felt inspired. He was so moved, in fact, that Woofter decided to honor David with the haus of bambi’s first HAUS AWARD, which aims to recognize DMV-based LGBTQ+ artists committed to exploring the depths of queer identity.
“Greg’s work demonstrated a clear and fresh perspective that is exciting to see come out of D.C.,” Woofter says. “When [‘Is a Thousands Times Enough’] premiered, I said to myself, ‘this is the kind of work I want D.C. to be known for’ and is what finally kick started HAUS AWARD. It’s an investment in his voice, and I can’t wait to see how he continues to show us what excellence in D.C. can look like.”
Woofter and David worked together as performers for Woofter’s Electric Idols performance commissioned by The Kennedy Center in 2019. Electric Idols was influenced by queer nightlife culture and the community dance floors can foster, which is also what galvanized Woofter to start haus of bambi after experiencing the club scene in Berlin.
“I had such a transcendent experience at a [Berlin] rave that it put into stark relief how cathartic being in queer spaces can be,” Woofter recalls. “It was that night that showed me exactly the communities and work and perspectives I am invested in supporting and building. haus of bambi was born in the hopes of being a home to queerness across the spectrum.”
The ethos behind haus of bambi represents the same energy Woofter envisions the D.C. queer art scene to embody. He has dreams for local LGBTQ+ artists to consistently support one another and create a prominent queer art community within the District. Creating HAUS AWARD is Woofter’s first step in making his hopes a reality.
“I never wanted [haus of bambi] to be centered solely on my work and my perspective, and HAUS AWARD, along with the other collaborative projects I’m working on, are steps in supporting the voices of others who are contributing so damn much to D.C.”
Woofter wants to rewrite the District’s narrative, one too often driven by its political and corporate culture. As he points out, “D.C. is the highest per capita gay Black and queer population in the country, and for it not to be known as a mecca of queer art is a travesty. What I really want is for D.C. to be known as this crazy [art] scene of queer work of all kinds. And that is what haus of bambi is trying to do with this award.”
Along with the honor, the HAUS AWARD recipient is awarded a $1000 cash prize. Woofter plans for the award to be an annual event, fittingly held every July following June’s Pride month.
“We’re looking at an annual award coming out in July,” Woofter says. “Part of that timing is just to have Pride month be Pride month, and then reinvest or reiterate our commitment to queer narrative celebration once Pride month is over.”
While uncertainty with Covid restrictions leading up to announcing David as the winner prevented a ceremony, Woofter hopes future HAUS AWARDs will include a more formal and grander in-person celebration.
“Coming out of this pandemic has been so touch-and-go. For the future, I would absolutely love an actual event honoring the recipient.”
Woofter then jokingly adds, “We’ll throw a rager next year.”
Greg David will be performing at Krystal Collins New Growth Collective, “Ceremony,” at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens’ Dance Place on Friday, July 23 to Saturday July 24. Tickets start at $2 and can be purchased here. To learn more about Greg David and stay up to date with their upcoming performances and projects, follow them on Instagram @missgregdavid. To learn more about HAUS AWARD, visit haus of bambi website here or follow on Instagram here.
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