Marjani Forté-Saunders

Marjani Forté-Saunders

She // Her // Hers

[ID: A woman peers over her left shoulder with a black mesh hat and denim vest. She is wearing gold half moon–shaped earrings, and half of her face is painted silver.]

Portrait photo by Angel Origgi.

Choreographer, Conjurer, Corporal Spellcaster, and Storyteller
Pasadena, CA and Brooklyn, NY
2024 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Marjani Forté-Saunders is a mother, choreographer, performer, community organizer and a three-time Bessie Award winner. Saunders is a recent awardee of the prestigious Dance Magazine Harkness Award (2020) and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Fellowship. She is in a steady collaboration with her partner and composer Everett Asis Saunders (New Music USA Awardee). The duo has emerged as 7NMS| Marjani Forte & Everett Saunders (7NMS| M + E), with awarded residencies at the Petronio Residency Center, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (2020–21), Brooklyn Arts Academy of Music (2020), and the Baryshnikov Arts Center (Nov 2019). They are recipients of the 2021 National Dance Production Grant for their new work PROPHET.

Saunders is the Visioning Founder of Art x Power, a platform dedicated to fostering purpose and innovation by investing in and building resilient futures for Black artists. After a year of strategic planning with consulting organization, PS 314 — with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and seed funding from the WHH Foundation — Art x Power is launching into its inaugural year of operations.

Humbly, Saunders defines her work by its lineage, stemming from culturally rich, vibrant, historic, loving, irreverent conjurers!

PROPHET trailer. Video courtesy of the artist.