Descent by Alice Sheppard.

Ralph Lemon
The Geography Trilogy

The Geography Trilogy reflects Ralph Lemon’s perceptions of his research travels in Africa, Asia, and the U.S., and his identification with collaborators who include artists from Haiti, The Ivory Coast, Guinea, China, India, Japan, and Taiwan. Come Home Charley Patton: Part 3 of the Geography Trilogy explores the complicated past and rich folk culture of the southern United States as well as Lemon’s family history, from Lemon’s great-aunt Mattie in her nineties through his parents and himself (who straddle the periods of segregation into integration) to his daughter, in her twenties and of mixed race, whose life has been entirely “post-segregation.” Come Home Charley Patton investigates how different generations remember the same critical events and places, what kind of narratives do justice to traumatic memories, and what forms these memories can take through interconnected artistic ventures—a stage performance, video documentary, visual art exhibit, book, and website.

Ralph Lemon received a CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts, and has been invited to participate in the National Theatre Artist Residency Program, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. He was an Associate Artist at Yale Repertory Theatre and is a Board Member of Danspace Project at St. Marks Church.

Alice Sheppard's Descent

Alice Sheppard

Descent is both a dance experience and a radical experiment in aesthetic accessibility and audience design. Through a mobile application—built in partnership with designer Laurel Lawson—and 360 film experience, Descent enables audiences to encounter wheeled embodiment.

Alice Sheppard creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies, and engages the intersections of disability, gender, and race.

Kyle Abraham
Dearest Home

Dearest Home is an interactive dance work conducted in a multi-year format focused on Love, Longing and Loss. Comprised primarily of solos and duets generated in conversation and collaboration with a variety of age groups and self-identified subcultures, Home interweaves movement, in its most vulnerable or intimate state with my interest in cross-cultural conversation and community action to create an open dialogue on how different demographics view and converse on topics rooted in love and the absence of love. Thus creating a genuine departure from the violence and injustices prevalent in my work over the past five years. In addition, these solos and duets may be broken up and performed as individual works for installation settings. This work will be documented in the form of a documentary film and a book rich with imagery and writings to accompany the research and presentations of Dearest Home, including its premiere at YBCA in May 2017.

Kyle Abraham is an artist whose works as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer have been presented throughout Europe and the United States.

Poor People's TV Room by Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born. Photo by Mena Burnette.

Okwui Okpokwasili & Peter Born
Poor People’s TV Room

Inspired in part by the Women’s War of 1929 in Nigeria, Poor People’s TV Room is a multidisciplinary performance work that plays in a discursive performance space concerned with the entanglement of visibility and shared embodiment, with the spectral and insistent presence of forgotten women. It is a speculative, impressionistic work grounded in a narrative of the bodies of brown women. In her inquiry into the Igbo Women’s War, Okwui Okpokwasili discovered the empowered role of women as stewards of the pre-colonial marketplace and how the colonial project sought to supplant women in the market with men. The current spate of suicide bombings in Northern Nigerian markets, often carried out by young women violently coerced or radicalized by Boko Haram, presents a twisted and violent irony where young women are visible not as caretakers of the market but as an existential threat. As her work often entangles histories of grief and desire, the TV room in Poor People’s TV Room is an attempt to open up a space where history is excavated by the body even after the mind has lost its ability to remember. The TV room is a kind of resistance or talking back to the disappearance of black women in cultural narratives, especially as empowered agents of their own change.

Okwui Okpokwasili creates performance and choreographic work that speaks to her history of growing up in New York, raised by parents who are Nigerian immigrants.

Peter Born is a director, designer, and filmmaker known for his collaborations with artists David Thompson, nora chipaumire, and Okwui Okpokwasili.

Elizabeth Streb
Action Heroes

Action Heroes includes extreme action works derived from classic stunts. Working with the Espana Circus Family, a group that integrates traditional circus arts with wild action like rodeo and kung fu film stunts, Action Heroes attempts to find the universal actions that transcend class, adopting movements associated with the circus and fusing them with movement associated with high-risk sports.

Elizabeth Streb is an American choreographer, performer, and teacher of contemporary dance.

Michelle Ellsworth
Clytigation: State of Exception

In a 4’x4’x7′ faux sod-covered box, Michelle Ellsworth demonstrates her “over-the-counter counter-terrorism” protocols for avoiding surveillance, interpersonal drama and death. Using an ancient text and modern technology, Clytigation investigates the impact of wars on bodies and legal protocols while examining the gap between emotional intention and physical execution. A mobile device-friendly website and a choreography-generating exercise bike both accompany the performance, and help technologize and outsource this embodied experiment.

Michelle Ellsworth makes solo performance work, performable websites, drawings and videos.

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