Welcome Guest | Register | Login

Candy-Coated Conversations with Naja: Philly Fringe Edition


“Sweet Like Chocolate: Poetry In Motion II” is the name of Karen Moore-Williams’ debut Philly Fringe Performance which begins September 17th and runs through September 19th. I’m not one to habitually exploit clichés, but when talking to Moore-Williams (who, when letting harmonious poetry escape her lips onstage, goes by the name Naja) one can’t help but to think that her tone of voice is a mirror image of the show’s headline. The Philly-bred spoken-word artist will take you on a love journey, produced over a backdrop of a Soul-R&B-Jazz fusion and affixed with the fluid dance styles of modern, hip-hop and more. Naja has been giving life to sugary words and alluring verses for seven years now, starting in 2000 with the birth of her writing process and by 2005 her husband Robin Williams, Sr. (and co-performer) began writing music to fuse the two forms together. Fast forward to the present. Naja’s performance is a gift in itself. She has modestly substituted her customary live band for dancers to give visual connotation to a work of art that could easily stand on its own. Let Naja give you a foretaste of “Sweet Like Chocolate.”

Karen Moore-Williams

If you describe your upcoming performance in 4 words - say, beginning with each letter in the name "Naja," what would those four words be?

Niche, because it's poetry, dance and music combined and it's very different. Awesome, because it's going to be an awesome performance. Joy because “Sweet Like Chocolate” brings joy, love and intimacy and the last one would be Aphrodisiac.


Which piece of yours always elicits a reaction from the crowd?

A piece called "Come to Me," which is about beckoning your lover to come closer to you in a way that's not necessarily spoken – it can be a look, or simply body language. Love comes in all different forms.


Is “Sweet Like Chocolate” a particular piece that you perform or is it the overall theme of the show?

It's both. It's the opening piece we use for the show, but it's also the overall theme for our performance; love being sweet like chocolate. People say to me, "well, what if you don't like chocolate?" Who doesn't like chocolate?! You have to like chocolate!


Where's your favorite place to perform in Philly?

The CEC Meeting House Theater, where we're having our upcoming performance, and which is where we've had our past couple of shows. And I would say The Arts Garage as well.

Justin Bryant, Maya Johnson

You walk into a room and the spotlight is on you. What song would you want to play when the room is completely silent and all eyes are on you?

I'm Every Woman [by Chaka Khan]


What do you hope the audience takes away from your “Sweet Like Chocolate” performance?

We want people to feel openly about love and intimacy. In the Christian world, we're not comfortable with being intimate and even in scripture, we are made to be intimate with our lover. Intimacy is not dirty. The Bible talks about intimacy and keeping the relationship with your lover alive. It's a wonderful thing.


What kind of audience is “Sweet Like Chocolate” geared towards? Who will this performance cater to?

Sweet Like Chocolate is for adult audiences. The performance will cater to people who are looking for a unique experience in the arts.


If you were up for an award for your Fringe Festival performance, which category would Naja be nominated for?

Best Special Theatrical Event



September 17 – 19, 8pm

“Sweet Like Chocolate: Poetry in Motion II” - Philly Fringe Festival

The CEC Meeting House Theater

3500 Lancaster Avenue

Philadelphia, PA

For tickets, contact the Festival Box Office

(215) 413-1318 or visit www.livearts-fringe.org 


October 1, 2009

Fringe Wilmington

Opera Delaware Studios

For more information, visit http://najarenee.com


Sweet LIke Chocolate Dancers - Photo Credit: Krista Bonura