This is VIBE Spotlight: a weekly series that celebrates and shines a light on VIBE Arts’ roster of talented artists. Each Monday, our Instagram and website feature a different VIBE Artist and provide a look into their craft. Stay tuned and get to know the diverse talent that makes up our organization and community with #VIBESpotlight.
On this VIBE Spotlight, we’re shining a light on Nailah Ramcharan-Gibbs, a dance and circus artist on VIBE’s Emerging Artist Roster and one of the twelve Black Youth Artists in Cohort II of NExT, VIBE’s Black Youth Mentorship Program.
VIBE: What has been one of your greatest accomplishments to date?
Nailah: One of the things that I’m most proud of is my resiliency and professional success throughout the pandemic. Despite everything that had happened and the obstacles I faced as a performing artist, I was selected for multiple creation residencies, awarded grants for choreographic exploration and training in circus arts, and cast as a featured dancer and soloist in five separate productions. A year ago today, I would never have believed that I would have found the most success in quarantine, and I’m proud of myself for finding creative ways to navigate and make the best of this new world.
VIBE: What has been one of your favourite moments while being on the VIBE roster?
Nailah: My favourite memory of my time on the VIBE roster is our ending retreat for the NExT Artists. Because we were never really able to spend time together in person, the opportunity to bond and just relax with my cohort was an incredibly fulfilling and heartwarming event to end my time in this program.
VIBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that you would like to share?
Nailah: I’m currently in the process of creating a contemporary circus solo work that explores the incredible limits, diversity, and fragility of the physical form.
VIBE: What are some of your future goals?
Nailah: Some of my future goals include becoming a Certified Athletic Therapist and Registered Massage Therapist, learning Cyr Wheel and other circus apparatus’, and performing abroad in a dance or circus company.
VIBE: What is one of the greatest lessons you have learned thus far?
Nailah: The greatest lesson I’ve learned so far is to never be precious with my work, advice from Tracey Norman, one of my professors at York University. By being able to critique without emotion, I know that the work that I’m producing is the best of the best.
VIBE: What changes would you like to see in Toronto’s Art community?
Nailah: I would like to see more interdisciplinary collaboration opportunities, and more integration of art communities that are a little more isolated, like the circus world.
Support Nailah by following her at @nailahrg!
Stay tuned for more VIBE Artists on VIBE Spotlight.