An underground interdisciplinary network of artists of color founded by award-winning performance artist Baraka de Soleil,  D UNDERBELLY derives its name from the ‘underbelly’ of a slave ship; excavating the kinetic energy that surfaces from the depths of our intercultural experiences.

D UNDERBELLY emerged circa 1996, first in Minneapolis, as a performative forum for exploring the multi-layered dimensions of culture as it relates to societal notions of "blackness" and vehicle for  the development of  Baraka de Soleil's creative & curatorial endeavors.   Invested in interdisciplinary experimentation of live art forms and communal exchange, D UNDERBELLY rigorously explores the ever-fluid relationship between music and movement; weaving text, multimedia elements and environmental configurations. Moving onto Brooklyn, Ny and finding connections in Chicago, Austin, California and internationally, this network continues to evolve; embracing & interrelating with Latin, Asian and Native/Indigenous traditions and forms. This work is rooted in the theatrical jazz aesthetic carried forward by theater artist & collaborator Sharon Bridgforth, Dr Omi Osun Joni L. Jones along with other acclaimed artists including Laurie Carlos, Helga Davis, Daniel Alexander Jones, Keith Antar Mason, Djola Bernard Branner and Marlies Yearby.

As it evolves, D UNDERBELLY seeks to craft & activate communal spaces for complex conversations on race, body, culture and diversified aesthetics; acting as a catalyst for shifting perceptions; demystifying racism and recognizing the underlying contributions indigenous people from the Latin, Asia, Native and African diaspora have made to this new world culture. 

At the core of this network currently are artists:
Baraka de Soleil
Francine Sheffield
Sunder Ashni
Sharon Bridgforth
Awilda Rodriguez-Lora

PROJECTS include:
Out of Africa & Beyond
Un-slave diaries
Basking in Negritude
Vive La Intersections
Revolutionary Acts
Non Je Ne Regrette Rien
Receding 'emories
Koool-aid Luv Odyssey
N This Hous
First Dark Drama
Childr'n of "O"
S'Kin Deep

Studies N Black
Spoken Unspoken Legacies
Live Deep N Flow
Intersections: Embracing the Spirit
Black Out!

Currently in development:
Water Moves the Soul
UN- rendered
Re-Frame: A Gathering
77...Back to the Land

artists within the network of D UNDERBELLY who have been a part of a project's development:
Jada Odom
Christal N. Brown
Chanon Judson
Daniel Givens
André Austvoll
Manelich Minnifee
Geoff Albores
Pene McCourty
Margaret Morris
Usry Alleyne
Leann Johnson
Rachel Bernsen
Sonja Parks
Laurie Carlos
Rafael Sanchez
Nikki Patin
Akil Davis
Joe Wilson
Chevon Stewart
Aole T. Miller
Gesel Mason
Mameri Blue
Valerie McCleod-Katz
Nicole Mitchell
Bernard Brown
Stefania Strowder
Yaa Asantewaa
Reza Salazar
Ronnell Wheeler
Susan Scalf
Morgan Thorson
Stephan Reynolds
Ni'Ja Whitson
Debra McGee
Sandra Gaillard
Brenda Bell Brown
Theresa Cermanski
Chelsea M. Gregory
Aixa Kendrick
Mia Breaux
Mutale Kanyanta
Erin Ming Lee
Signe Harriday
Channie  Waites
Matt Morgan
Ceci Lewis
Cheles Rhynes
e.g. bailey
Sha Cage
Monstah Black
JSun Howard
Shawn Hamilton
Ojay Morgan
James Scruggs
Whitney V. Hunter
Pamela Sneed
Dred Gerestant
Anitrice Anderson
Tanya Lea
Tanisha Christie 
Mankwe Ndosi
Roxane Wallace
Leah Nelson
Roger Hall
Lela Jones
Keisha Booker
Natasha Diamond-Walker
Prem Neerajan
Delano Jean-Pierre
Amanda Nicole Pope
Olase Freeman
Omagbitse Omagbemi
Leslie Parker
Christopher Jones
Marcus Quinones
Jerome Harris
Mark Hairston
Tezra Bryant
Marco Luque
Omaris Marinas
Jose Braithwaite
Danny Calden
Luis Guillen
Mireya Navarro
Enrique Jaramillo
Claudia Lamboglia
Jaime Newball

(from 1996 - 2010 D UNDERBELLY's projects were informed by this notion)
the passing on of traditions through the body
the passing down of ancestral memories
the body becomes the container for this information
the body fills with the pain of slavery, the passion of love,
the struggles of the human spirit, the labor of identity
this passing on is liquid, thick, porous,
moving into the core of our muscles
utterly still and yet cascading over our hearts into the depths of our being
resounding in our inner ear made vocal through outer words
igniting our souls with legacies we know
legacies we don't want to know
legacies we take on

D UNDERBELLY is an urban rite of RE-remembering:
a rite of embodying the dignity of a people
the memory of a nation
like song it propels us into states of ecstasy and fear
empowering us to truly bask
in the multiplicity of colors, emotions and
that have permeated our culture
these legacies are liquid because they continue
to flow through us
around us
up and down our spine
titillating our minds with thoughts of