ABOUT THE ARTISTS

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PROGRAM A: Elena Rose Light // Gregory King & Megan Young // Raha Behnam
PROGRAM B: Jonathan Gonzalez // NIC Kay // Samantha CC
PROGRAM C: Dalel Bacre // Dorian Nuskind-Oder & Simon Grenier-Poirier // Tina Wang & Tingying Ma


PROGRAM A - AUGUST 18, 2017

Elena Rose Light // "PHANTASIA"

Image Credit: Em Watson.

Image Credit: Em Watson.

THE WORK // What does resistance look like in a hyper-regulated body? In "Phantasia", a naked, lone white woman survives in a dystopian reality not far from that of The Handmaid’s Tale. In this world, all physical movement is banned. Her head covered and thoughts filtered in through a speaker, her minuscule corporeal actions become radical acts of resistance. Remembering life before here, she escapes—until she wakes up.

BIO // Elena Rose Light is a Brooklyn-based choreographer and performance artist. Her interests lie at the intersection of historical research, feminism, and performativity. She has presented her work at the Center for Performance Research, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Gibney Dance, and Movement Research at Judson Church, among other venues. She has been in residence at Chez Bushwick, The School of Making Thinking, and Earthdance. She was a danceWEB scholar, a LANDING mentee, a Dance Institute for Leadership Training mentee, and is currently an EMERGENYC mentee at NYU’s Hemispheric Institute.

STATEMENT // As an educated cisgendered white woman from an upper-class upbringing, I feel committed to confronting and dismantling the oppressive structures in which I was raised. I seek to reconfigure minimalist movement practices often associated with white complacency as spaces for subtle somatic political resistance. Embodying heightened physical states and subtle physical gestures, I pair minimal movement with text to shift paradigms around what it means to see. Here, dance becomes a radical optical illusion.

 

GREGORY KING & MEGAN YOUNG // "CLOUD OF WHITENESS"

Image Credit: Evan Prunty of artist Gregory King.

Image Credit: Evan Prunty of artist Gregory King.

THE WORK // In "Cloud of Whiteness," an interactive environment with solo performance simulates the endemic processes of discrimination saturating contemporary culture and policies. The performer arranges movable clay bricks – dreaming, building, falling, rebuilding – while his actions trigger a pushback of whiteness from a programmed system that drops snow-like particles. The performance score showcases the stamina, grace, and persistence required to overcome the inherently hostile environment.

BIO // Megan Young’s artist activism has been featured in Hyperallergic and The Atlantic. She has presented at Open Engagement, ISEA (Hong Kong ’16; Vancouver ‘15), DCASE SpinOff, Site: LAB, SPACES Gallery, and Playhouse Square Center. Awards include OAC Individual Excellence, Creative Workforce Fellowship, and ArtPrize Seed Grant. She holds an MFA interdisciplinary arts and media from Columbia College Chicago, BFA choreography from Ohio University, ranked instructor Grupo Unidade Capoeira/ASCAB. Gregory King has performed with Washington Ballet, Donald Byrd/The Group, Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Erick Hawkins Dance Company, and Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway. He is Assistant Professor of Dance at Kent State University and previously served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Swarthmore College. He writes for Dance Enthusiast, ThINKing Dance, Philadelphia Dance Journal, and Broad Street Review. He holds an MFA in choreographic practice and theory from Southern Methodist University.

STATEMENT // MegLouise creates interactive installations, ruptural performances, digital portraits, and coded rule sets highlighting individual agency within a system. Considering the body as a contested site, we utilize digital mediums as tools of resistance. Our work tests boundaries and exploits loopholes. We disrupt standard use practices, hack protocols, implicate viewers, and champion deviations. Since social codes have become blueprints for human - computer interactions, our interactive environments are laboratories of defiance, holding space for difference.

 

RAHA BEHNAM // "IMMIGRATION II"

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THE WORK // The initial iteration of this work engaged with the exotifying nature of the performing "other" by implicating audience members in the performance through conversation and requests. “Immigration II” continues this exploration with other means of resisting and challenging the colonial gaze, through moments that disrupt the comfort of witnessing a performance as passive witness. Playing with products of both Iranian and US culture, the work is a pastiche of moments; some appearing strange in their familiarity, others confronting the witness as familiar tropes of the “other.”

BIO // Raha Behnam is an Iranian-born, Canadian-raised, US-based dance artist and scholar. She holds a Master in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Bachelor in Dance and Anthropology from the University of Maryland. Raha’s interests lie at the intersections of urban politics, postcoloniality and embodiment. She has performed the works of Tino Seghal and Abby Crain in San Francisco, and presented work at The Knockdown Center, and FRESH festival in San Francisco.

STATEMENT // Conceived and born almost a decade after the Iranian revolution, my life has arisen out of the dust of destruction, turmoil, death, hope, and the sweat of my people.  Today, I live in the United States, disconnected and constantly searching for the roots of my being, my knowing, and my home.  I work with whatever medium is available - my body, images, words – to appropriate, manipulate, express, and transform my experiences of dislocation, otherness, and absence.


PROGRAM B - AUGUST 19, 2017

JONATHAN GONZALEZ

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BIO // Native New Yorker Jonathan Gonzalez is preoccupied with wildness and illustration as they relate to performance in the theater. He has most recently been a NYLA Fresh Tracks artist, BAX/Dancing While Black Fellow, and Diebold Award recipient in Choreography & Performance.

STATEMENT // I have a captivation with the theater as a container to transform a material. This illusion of suspension animates and visions, and it is this principle of fantasy in performance, this radical potential of performativities, that draw me to produce work. My current interests are in engaging wildness as a driver and formal structure; can the work negotiate with time. Liveness is profound to me as it proposes methods of interpretation, translatability, and viewership.

 

 

 

 

NIC KAY // "GET WELL SOON!"

Image Credit: Nana Adusei-Poku

Image Credit: Nana Adusei-Poku

THE WORK // GET WELL SOON! is a cultural trope that is deeply embedded in the neoliberal cultural political economy. Why must we be #carefree and #joyfilled ? Who does this abrupt shift from #blacklivesmatter and #sayhername conversations truly benefit, in a culture of speedy recovery and self help as the state cuts/destroys affordable healthcare. What is wellness - living with, despite and barely in the constant of Black death and trauma?

BIO // NIC Kay is from the Bronx. They are a person who makes performances and creates/organizes performative spaces. They are obsessed with the act and process of moving the change of place, production of space, position, and the clarity/meaning gleaned from shifting of perspective. NIC’s current transdisciplinary projects explore movement as a place of reclamation of the body, history and spirituality. NIC has shown work, spoken on panels and hosted workshops at numerous venues throughout the United States and internationally. In 2016, they developed a web series called the Bronx Cunt Tour around their debut solo performance lil BLK for Open TV, which premiered in April 2016. NIC Kay is currently a 2017 Movement Research Artist-in-Residence Van Lier Fellow in New York City.

 

SAMANTHA CC // "SANCTUARY"

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THE WORK // "Sanctuary" is a multi-media solo performance that follows the journey of Nona, a "user" who goes from an all consuming social media hell, to a virtual paradise that offers the potential for limitless creativity. The performance speaks to technology's ability to both restrain us through destructive obsession, and to free us by allowing us to render realities beyond our earthly realm. The performance takes the form of an experimental opera with architectural projections by artist Robert Crabtree.

BIO // Samantha CC is an artist, filmmaker, as well as curator of The Great BE. She has performed in works by Monica Mirabile of FlucT, including BASIC at Pioneer Works, A Ghost Story at Signal gallery, and in Authority Figure at Knockdown Center. In addition, she has performed at The Glove, Trevorshaus, La Boucle, and at Aurora in Providence, RI. Her curatorial practice, The Great BE, is a space that puts African American artists and artists of the African Diaspora at the center. We desire to create a community of expression that is inclusive and expansive.

STATEMENT // My performance practice comes from a place of pain, using that energy to reach a higher state of being. My solo performances often start in a state of delusion, to then move towards a sense of peace or increased awareness. With The Great BE, it is a goal of mine to create community or safe space for black artists, even if their work doesn't deal directly with the black experience.


PROGRAM c - AUGUST 20, 2017

DALEL BACRE // "NO DANCING TODAY"

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THE WORK // NO DANCING TODAY allows the conjunctural, accidental, and unexpected to coexist, opening an experiential space where the scenic act itself plays the lead; a moment represented as the here and now. This work is a hybrid of the dance and the concept of performance, moving between rehearsed choreography and improvisation. The exhibition is built from the use of two key elements, a mask and a turntable.

BIO // Dalel Bacre is an artist and choreographer from Mexico who uses body movements and interpretations through scenic performances to push the boundaries of contemporary art. Her early studies then led to master classes focused in theater and contemporary art; Dalel has recently studied the practice of Kung Fu. Recognized for her extensive career in the performing arts, Dalel has always challenged the aesthetics and traditional beauty of dance. For theater productions, workshops, and master classes she has collaborated with: Christian Weber, Gintersdofer & Klassen, Shantí Vera, Diego y José Alvarez Sanou, Ultima Vez, Akram Khan Company, Rob Hayden, Dam Van Huynh, Tony Orrico, and others. In 2013, she founded arteNÓMADA, an evolving performance group, which proposes open dialogue and collaboration across artistic disciplines.

STATEMENT // “Nomadism is an inherent condition to the artist.” arteNÓMADA supports coexistence through enriching the artistic and human experience of all.

 

DORIAN NUSKIND-ODER & SIMON GRENIER-POIRIER // "SPEED GLUE"

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THE WORK // "Speed Glue” is a project created with two professional table tennis players. Rather than playing to win points and end the game as quickly as possible, the players work together to keep the ball going for as long as they can. By resisting the competitive structure of the game, a new range of rhythmic and choreographic possibilities emerge, as well as different relationships to duration and effort.

BIO // Dorian Nuskind-Oder and Simon Grenier-Poirier are Montreal-based artists working between dance, performance and visual arts. Their work has been supported by many institutions including: Usine-C, Tangente, Circuit-Est Centre Choregraphique, Studio 303, the Goethe Institute, Quebec Council for Arts and Letters, Montreal Arts Council, Institute for Contemporary Art (Boston), Concord Summerstages, fabrikPotsdam, Mains D’Oeuvres (Paris), Summerworks Festival (Toronto), Live Arts Halifax, La Rotonde (Quebec), and as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad in Great Britain.

STATEMENT // As spectators and as artists, we connect most immediately to movement through physical empathy. We invite performers to embody vulnerability and risk while engaged in tasks that are difficult, requiring either physical precision or deep concentration. We do not necessarily care if they succeed, but we appreciate the frankness of an honest attempt. Currently, we are using choreographic structures to investigate how humans negotiate different ways of being together.

 

 

 

 

TINA WANG & TINGYING MA // "STUDIES #4"

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THE WORK // Qi-gong, an ancient holistic practice with roots in Chinese medical, philosophical, and martial arts traditions, became a curious phenomenon of “mass hysteria” in post-Cultural Revolution China and was violently crossed out from authorized history. Drawing vocabulary from the hidden history, "Studies #4" investigates how the ordinary body becomes a negotiated transcript of power through self-cultivation. Studies approaches Qi-gong as an alternative of ideological command: thou shalt produce desirable bodies are measured by health and productivity.

BIO // Tina Wang has collaborated with artists in projects in Sweden (Ippsala Museum), Israel (Leon Charney Resolution Center), and in the United States: New York (Lincoln Center, Madison Square Park, Bryant Park, La Mama Experimental Theatre, Abrons Art Center, Dixon Place, Fridman Gallery, Judson Church). Tingying Ma recently graduated from Columbia University MFA theatre program. Her work has been shown at Knockdown Center, Signature Theatre, Panoply Performance Lab and BankART in Yokohama, Japan.

STATEMENT // Departing from recent history of protest in China, as manifested in the iconic Tiananmen Square Tank Man image, Qi-gong allows practitioners to exercise bodies in public for the momentarily ungoverned. What kind of body can we possibly have other than the one that stands alone, stiff, in opposition? What craft exactly is our craft that allows us to exist while protesting a political reality, which is not just an event but also a transformative apparatus?