EPISTOLARY

Brittany Harlin is originally from Bolingbrook, Illinois, where she began dance in jazz at the age of six. Her original dance and music influences began in her close multigenerational family, and formational influences are the pioneers in Hip Hop and Modern dance. She studied dance at Loyola University Chicago. She is the founding artistic director of Egun Artist Collective, which is driven by Harlin’s purpose to represent the full spectrum of Black Vernacular Dance to live music as well as live production on the concert stage. 

Harlin is a former High Concept Labs Artist in Residence, in performance choreography and filmmaking. She is a 2017 recipient of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award, and the 2018 recipient of the Sybil Shearer fellowship. In addition to work for her company, her dancing and choreography has been featured at Ragdale Foundation, Links Hall, Elastic Arts, Aragon Ballroom, DRAMA Duo Music Productions, Black Ensemble Theatre, and Hip Hop International, as well as Vice and Uproxx. 

Her first dance web-series, “Delinea Renda”, inspired by the work of visual artist and writer Barbara Chase Riboud, features original poetry, vocals and choreography by Harlin, music by composer Josh Luis, and engineer-producing by Peter Angorola and Melvin Rosario. The film’s development was a coveted 3Arts Project Match selection in 2018, and the project is set to release late December of 2020.

Her third evening-length work for her company, “Delinea Renda”, was premiered by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in 2018. Her latest full length piece for her dancers, ”Don’t Forget Your Mother,” is a choreographic memoir set to music and dedicated to mothers on Earth and ancestors beyond, and received its world premiere as part of the 2019 Pivot Arts Festival.

Harlin regards the body of work to date as a living investigation of social movement origins in the music and dance forms of Hip Hop, Modern, Funk Styles, Waacking, and House, which she combines with her growing knowledge of somatics and kinesiology. Her teaching artist pedagogy and philosophy are weighted in respecting the integrity of the sociopolitical movement, and as an extension of this movement, creating space for community and innovation. As an educator, she aims to bring dance to a place of complete body awareness, spiritual expression, and connection.

Away Lyrics

I’ve been pushed away a lot /

And I’ve almost been taught to expect /

Distance /

You walk through the door /

I can tell you want more /

But all I know is /

Distance /

Lots of borders have been set /

And i times I forget  /

That these boundaries do not exist /

Please be patient with me /

I don’t know what to say /

This is getting too heavy /

Come here, now go away /

Expressing myself only through pressing /

Imaginary characters /

Imagine if I  /

I had to use my voice /

I don’t know how /

How to say no /

 Through the motions i go /

Imagine if I  /

I knew I had a choice /

It’s already too much /

What’s your definition of more? /

I may have only experienced love once /

Maybe that was enough /

Come here now, go /

DELINEA RENDA’ ALBUM LYRICS

Drums

Light heart counters your complexity /

Tension builds whenever you’re next to me /

Hand on your forearm yours on my leg /

Feeling your strength as you force me to spread, but /

I want you to /

Pain seeps in /

But I’ll take it for you /

Crying out overrides your deep breaths /

Conversation opening our minds will ensue /

Breathing in the haze /

Of course, you can’t stay /

I’ll give it a handful of days /

And meet you under the moon /

Follow the drums /

Listen to my heartbeat /

Find they are one /

Salute to our journey /

Here’s to discovering /

Vulnerability Uncovering /

Paradox of freedom /

In connecting to one /

Light heart counters your complexity /

Tension builds whenever you’re next to me /

Hand on your forearm yours on my leg /

Feeling your strength as you force me to spread, but /

I want you to /

Pain seeps in /

But I’ll take it for you /

Crying out overrides your deep breaths /

Conversation opening our minds will ensue /

Breathing in the haze /

Of course, you can’t stay /

I’ll give it a handful of days /

And meet you under the moon /

Follow the drums /

Listen to my heartbeat /

Find they are one /

Salute to our journey /

Here’s to discovering /

Vulnerability Uncovering /

Paradox of freedom /

In connecting to one /

Follow the drums /

Listen to my heartbeat /

Find they are one /

Salute to our journey /

Flames

I am fire. You are water. 

Wha’ll become of my flames?

I am fire. You are water.

What’ll become of my flames?

You’re gonna ruin me, aren’t you?

Here to extinguish me, aren’t you?

I jumped the gun /

I fell in your trap /

I am fire. You are water.

What’ll become of my flames?

If I’m powerless, who am I?

I’m undone. 

We’ve just met, but I recognize you /

Do I hold on and get dragged through the mud?

If I let go, am I relieving myself?

Would I be cheating myself /

A life of sensation /

Or saved from a world of hurt?

I hate that you’re wise /

Beyond your years /

You’ve been here before /

So have I /

I have a feeling you won the last time /

I am fire. You are water. 

What will become of my flames?

I want to run /

There’s lead in my shoes /

You hear my thoughts /

You silently imprison me.

What to do? Do with you. What to do?

What will become of my flames?

What’ll become of my /

Rubble 

Transition and transcendence /

Emerging from the rubble /

We must crumble /

To rebuild /

We must Die to resurrect /

Die to our preconceived notions /

Die to our initial Ideals /

Let Go /

Let Go /

Let Go /

Let Go /

Of  /

What we thought /

Life would be /

We’ll be free /

The moment we /

 Let Go /

Let Go /

Let Go /

Let’s Go /

Transition and transcendence /

Emerging from the rubble /

We must crumble /

Lazy 

Lazy so I lay as I  /

Hold breath, sweet voice, tap play.

Protect you, tap tin.

I’ve been here before  /

I’ll /

Stretch step down molasses /

Tracks to your temples /

Lazy as I lay as I  /

Dust charcoal over your collarbones /

High cheeks. Hide youth.

Sunken in straps your hard of hearing whisper /

Into my lap /

Lazy so I lay as I. As your /

Head tucked. Refuge in sunflower stems /

No chest on me, but you’ll feed /

Can’t breathe, you burn.

Can’t breathe, you burn.

Lazy so I lay as I.

Lazy /

Lazy so I /

Lay as /

I /

I /

Hold breath, sweet voice, tap play.

Protect you, tap tin.

I’ve been here before /

I’ll /

Stretch step down molasses /

Tracks to your temples /

Lazy as I lay as I  /

Dust charcoal over your collarbone /

High cheeks. Hide youth.

Sunken in straps your hard of hearing whisper /

Into my lap /

Lazy so I lay as I. 

Lay as your /

Head tucked. Refuge in sunflower stems /

No on me, but you’ll feed /

Can’t breathe, you burn.

Can’t breathe, you burn.

Lazy so I lay as I /

Lazy so I /

Lay as I /

Lazy so I /

Lay as I /

As you /

As I /

As /

You /

As I /

As You /

Lazy so I /

Supple Warm

I’ll still stay soft /

Penetrate my fluid form /

Can’t disintegrate sustain supple, warm /

Welcome, unknown to my own home /

There is no mistake /

There is never any wrong /

just wait /

Countless Beings intertwine /

Let’s not be naive /

My greatest fortune is not you /

Your greatest feat, not me /

There’s more to see /

More will find it easy /

To see the glory in me /

We’ve yet to reach /

I’ll be tender to me /

I’ll hold my hand /

Time will make you /

A stronger mxn /

Hold my own hand /

Don’t like to, but I understand /

Hold my own hand /

I’ll still stay soft /

Penetrate my human form /

Can’t disintegrate /

Remain Supple /

Warm /

Lake (Beach) 

Go back /

Cancel invitation to the lake (beach). 

Agree to meditate (teach) /

Make a home (for me) up in your space, see /

Said you want me to (feel) safe, please /

Now it’s hate speech /

Try again and again can’t pretend /

That you can’t see /

 You just can’t be /

It’s okay it took you till now to figure out /

I can’t replace (she) /

And with (him) there aint no replacing /

No getting through the bind of the bond of the past /

So easy. 

By the time you got to the bottom of the honeypot /

Turns out /

Can’t even taste me /

I just can’t be /

Images coming to mind /

And you just aint he /

Well you just /

Can’t be /

No getting through the bind of the bond of the past /

So easy.

At least for right now /

It ain’t so easy /

You can’t replace she /

Under 

I’m searching  /

For a love that comes to me /

That’s supposed to come naturally /

These pieces don’t fit /

This world has caused /

A young me to believe /

In a world with the mantra /

“What’s in it for me?”

This philosophy is not for me /

These pieces do not fit.

No, these pieces do not fit /

Let me cleanse myself /

Shallow stagnant waters /

Shallow stagnant Lovers /

I want to sink /

In the depths /

Take me down, pull me under /

Take me down, pull me under /

My cup runs over /

Let’s me fill you with my truth /

Let’s the Gxddess in me /

Meet the Gxd in you /

Speak to my soul /

Follow me /

To forever /

Or just now /

Just right now.

With way leave me breathless /

Leave me speechless /

Take me higher /

Let our souls ascend intertwine /

Come undone, unwind /

Destruction and rebirth /

Break me down /

Revive me what’s left what’s survived /

Is yours, is mine /

Shedding skin, what’s within /

Take me down, pull me under /

Your physicality /

Can only hold me for so long /

Show me /

That your spirit, is present /

Foundation strong /

Take me down, pull me under /

Take me down, pull me under /

BRITTANY@EGUNARTISTS.ORG

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