N(8)tive Enough


Christopher K. Morgan is a dancer and choreographer influenced by his Native Hawaiian ancestry and a diverse, international dance career.

Artist Bio

N(8)tive Enough is a dance-theater piece built from the personal stories of a Hapa-Hawaiian, hula, modern dance, kitschy pop culture images, and humor, asking audiences to reflect on what it means to be Native while highlighting the impossibility of fulfilling the endless expectations, misperceptions, and misinterpretations of Native identity. Drawing from Christopher K. Morgan’s own experiences as an ethnically ambiguous Native Hawaiian, the project asks, “am I Native enough for the non-native eye? Am I Native enough for my own people? Am I Native enough for me?” Using dance, storytelling, an original score, and projected pop culture imagery, N(8)tive Enough will be an evening-length solo performance addressing these questions with equal parts anger, frustration, sadness, and humor.


Discipline
Dance, Theater
Award Year
2022
Status

In Progress

A light brown skinned person with closely shaved dark brown hair, wearing a long sleeve medium grey button up and a dark grey vest with diagonal stripes over top, smiles wide and has his arms crossed. Behind him is a gray background.

Christopher K. Morgan

Takoma Park, MD

Born in Orange County, California, Christopher K. Morgan’s Native Hawaiian ancestry and a diverse, international dance career influences his work. His identity is informed by the tension of knowing but being separated from his ancestral land. The hula Morgan danced as a child made indelible impressions on him before discovering modern, ballet, and jazz dance at 17, launching him into a dance career in these forms. While dancing the work of others, his desire to choreograph socially conscious and identity-focused work took root. Morgan’s first work, Ties That Bind, commissioned in 2002 by Aura in Lithuania, explored socio-political restriction. His 2004 solo work The Measure of a Man interrogated toxic masculinity and queerness. His 2005 work, Rice, examined a Native child’s naïve desire to be white. In 2007, Morgan became Resident Choreographer of CityDance Ensemble, where he continued choreographing issue-driven work. In 2011, he founded the dance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists to further hone his voice and movement vocabulary, making work addressing immigration, pollution, human trafficking, and Native identity. His 2016 work, Pōhaku, and the premiere of Native Intelligence/Innate Intelligence in 2022 reflect his research into a combination of western movement practices and traditional Hawaiian forms, and how they can express contemporary indigeneity.

Photo: Brianne Bland