Staycee R. Pearl received her initial dance training at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. Once she relocated to Pittsburgh, she began her six-year tenure as artistic director of Xpressions Contemporary Dance Company, premiering numerous choreographic works and performing choreography by celebrated national artists such as Rennie Harris, Robert Battle, and Kyle Abraham. She is responsible for the choreography in Nathan Davis’ jazz-opera, Just Above My Head, Carmen Jones, and Lost in the Stars, all of which were produced by the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. Mrs. Pearl graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with honors in Studio Arts/Africana Studies. She continues to produce multi-media work with her husband Herman ‘Soy Sos’ Pearl and debuted the STAYCEE PEARL dance project at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in 2010, which served as resident dance company for the theater until Spring 2013. Staycee’s visual arts exhibitions include STACKS, inspired by Romare Bearden, and Fe Gallery’s My Mythos. Mrs. Pearl was honored with an August Wilson Center Artistic Fellowship in 2011/2012 and presented OCTAVIA, a movement/multi-media installation based on the life and writings of famed Science Fiction writer, Octavia Butler. Staycee and Herman Pearl proudly opened their dance/art/sound space, PearlArts Studios, in April of 2012. In February of 2013, SPdp unveiled the evening-length piece ...on being..., an investigation of race, gender, and personal identity in relation to conversations around Post-Blackness. …on being… remained on Creative Capital’s national listing, ON OUR RADAR for a year after it premiered. Currently a guest teaching artist at the University of Pittsburgh, Staycee choreographed the acclaimed musical production In The Heights for the university’s theatre arts department. Her work as a choreographer has been supported constantly by the Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation since 2001. She is humbled to have been nominated for the Carol R. Brown award three years in a row for dance and multidisciplinary arts in 2015. In 2016, Staycee and SPdp have appearances scheduled for Slippery Rock University and the University of Pittsburgh where they will conduct lecture demonstrations and special workshops.
Herman Pearl (Soy Sos) is the head engineer and owner of Tuff Sound Recording, as well as the sound designer and co-founder of PearlArts Studios, a sound and creative movement company he formed with his wife, Staycee Pearl. Through PearlArts, Herman creates soundscapes to serve as a component to contemporary dance. As a sound designer, Herman’s repertoire includes a wide variety of projects and collaborators. His work has been featured in various independent films and documentaries, video games, and advertisements. He has designed soundscapes for numerous choreographers. He has collaborated with many visual artists to create installations and touring exhibits. In addition, he has recorded and produced work for a plethora of recording artists across genres and techniques. Herman is also an artist; he has performed, created, and recorded his own music for over 25 years. With DJ MKL, Herman created 3 Generations Walking and MKL vs. Soy Sos, a deep, house music-centered collective that produced approximately 30 releases with worldwide distribution and acclaim between 1998 and 2006. In 1997, Pearl and longtime collaborator Christiane D founded the band Soma Mestizo, which produced 8 albums and performed over 500 shows. With reggae group Chill Factor International/CFI Massive, Pearl acted as co-founder, member, manager, and producer between 1986 and 1999, during which the band performed at nearly 1,000 engagements and released six records. He has produced immersive installations for art galleries. His full-scale sound installation, “Named/Unnamed,” was featured at 937 Gallery for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Three Rivers Arts Festival. He continues to develop live performance ensembles, remix projects, and multimedia art installations. For news on these projects and more, check out our blog.