“Trap Moulin Rouge by Jasmin Taylor, in co-production with Motion/Pictures Dance Project, takes audiences to Chicago’s South Side to showcase the vibrant Black culture and dance that emanate from it. Taking sonic and aesthetic inspiration from the 2001 film “Moulin Rouge,” Trap Moulin Rouge combines classical, R&B and jazz melodies with a variety of dance styles with the aim of creating and promoting equity in Chicago through the performing arts.” - via Art on theMART
Trap Moulin Rouge is a dance film projection commissioned by Art on theMART for Chicago’s Year of Dance in 2022. I had the pleasure of moderating a screening and Q&A with Jasmin for Screendance Club, which they describe on their Instagram as “a radically casual watch-party and discussion of short dance films.”
The casual nature of Screendance club allowed us to dive into some important conversations around allyship, culture and equity both within the work and in our communities at large. Trap Moulin Rouge is artistically ingenious in its approach - from the lyrics to the visuals of nail art and 79th street – it is brutally honest in its messaging. Black culture, the South Side and 79th Street specifically, are beautiful, powerful, and deserving of the respect and resources that are so often disinvested from our communities.
Through our conversation, Jasmin showed us all the importance of listening. Many of the participants did not have questions to ask. This could have led us to believe that folks were disengaged, but in this case it was honestly refreshing! Everyone was so deeply invested and interested in hearing Jasmin speak about the work and her inspiration. When trying to understand and appreciate cultures and experiences outside of our own, sometimes you just have to be quiet and listen. Listening was the theme of our conversation and is also a huge part of the projection. While the visuals are stunning, the soundtrack is raw, honest, and extremely impactful when you take the time to really listen to what Jasmin has to say.
In creating actionable equity, Jasmin not only works at this through the messaging of the projection, but it is deeply embedded in the process. The cast and crew for Trap Moulin Rouge was over 90% Black and Womxn, the first of its kind for Art on theMART. Jasmin worked throughout the process to incorporate the viewpoints and creative talents of her entire team. While she admits that the trust required for collaborating in this nature was challenging at times, she acknowledges that opening up and leaning on her community allowed for this projection to truly soar. She cites the African proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
We hope that Trap Moulin Rouge will have the opportunity to be displayed on theMART again, but for now you can check out a full recording of the dance film projection here!
Page updated: 01-24-2023 at 4:22pm CST