Give us a voice (2019)

(2019) commissioned choreography

 

Choreography set on ten young women in North Star Ballet School’s advanced level. This work was created in collaboration with the students. I’ve been interested in exploring different ways of integrating text, voice, and clear messaging into my choreographic works. This interest began with creating gifts of performance for my mother. When I arrived at North Star, I had decided that I wanted to ask my cast of ten young women the question, “what do you have to say to the generation that is leaving you this earth”. We spent a good portion of our first rehearsal time talking about this question. I wrote down each answer, after hearing all the thoughts, I explained that I wanted to build the choreography around the words that we had just discussed. Collectively we settled on “give us a voice” as the text and title for the piece.
My aim was to push these young performers to not only realise my movement ideas, I wanted them to realise their voices individually and as a collective by building vocalised text into the choreography from the very start of rehearsals. I had decided beforehand that the sound used in this work was to come directly from the performers live. Exploration of repetition, abstraction, volume, and exhaustion was the ideas I built, and shaped this work vocally, around. I feel that younger performers often have to be shown how to learn a section of choreography so that they can know this movement sequence without having to think about what step comes next. When this effortlessness is found, the next step is to run this movement sequence to the edge of exhaustion so that the dancer’s ego is shed. When this is found ten dancers can perform as one, their awareness of the ensemble grows and is able to collectively lift each other up. A clear image of the body being propelled by muscle is the intended result. This is quite a lot to ask of young performers, I feel though that this is the most important concept to have been introduced to in the development of a young professional dancer. I was quite proud of what these ten young women accomplished in our time together in rehearsal. This work was set to premier in Fairbanks in April 2020, unfortunately Covid-19 had other plans, so for now the premier is on hold.

 

Sweet Rotten Sweet (2019)

(2019) Illustrations, set design, publication

 

While working with Peggy Piachenza on her last performance/installation I created a hand drawn design that was featured in the book Peggy created to document the show. In addition to dancing, I also designed the set, fabricated and installed it as directed by Peggy. This involved building hanging video screen boxes, wall mounted video boxes, wall mounted microphones, printing and prepping and installing two wall to wall floor to ceiling posters one 11’x14’ the other 27’x14’, all the while performing in the month run of the performance component of the shows installation. 

 

We Love This (2019)

(2019) Commissioned choreography. North Star Ballet, Fairbanks AK

 

In collaboration with long time friend Oscar Gutierrez, commissioned by North Star Ballet, Oscar and I created a twenty minute duet about friends seeing each other after a long absence.

 

Tech reh

 

Artville Residency (2019)

(2019) Leadville Colorado residency

 

The month of October, high in the mountains, served as a time for allowing space. My time was spent walking, seeing mountain tops, movement researching/choreographing, environment sketches, mural painting, all while living with dear friends.

 

 

I was able to create the movement framework used for the choreographic commission at North Star Ballet in Fairbanks Alaska following my residency. My environment sketches serve as a personal photograph for my eyes, a drawn memory of any location that captures my attention.

 

 

My friends like to walk. While at Artville I was invited to go for a three-day walk along a section of the Continental Divide Trail. I have for quite a long time fantasized about long distance walking. This served as a beautiful introduction to this revealing and healing path.

 

 

I visited the peaks of five mountain tops over 14,000 feet while at Artville. I have a long standing practice of planting a handstand at the top of high points. I aim to try and pretend that while in the handstand, I’m actually rightside up and holding up the mountain and world in my hands. As a student of my own body, I love the reality of walking up a steep mountain, the physical strength and stamina needed to listen to and work through rapid altitude shifts is humbling to say the least.

 

XEIGAA LATSEEN (2019)

(2019) poster collaboration

 

Created with my best friend Nahaan. This poster speaks to the sad reality that indigenous women continue to be murdered and go missing. Inadequately investigated, this heartbreaking reality pulls at the backbone of culture and strength in native families, communities, and ceremonies. The words XEIGAA LATSEEN in Tlingit  translate to “TRUE POWER”, true power and wealth come from strong women.

 

Ol’Burgdishy (2018)

(2018) Commissioned public art mural, Seattle Center Sculpture Walk, Seattle WA.

 

For this mural I received a public art grant from the Office of Arts and Culture and Seattle Center Art Interruptions. Initially I wanted to work with a rain activated clear coating that would break down over the course of four months to a year and is biodegradable in the Seattle center fountain. I could not get clearance for the location, which kicked off a lengthy back and forth regarding what location could be used. Ultimately, we settled on the steps of the Key Arena and I got to work on a draft. The final design took into consideration the shape of space and how color would cascade down and direct the eye of the observer while traveling over the massive work. I painted the whole mural using rollers over the course of two days with the help of Taylor and Natan.

 

 

Natural Movement (2018)

(2018) New Mystics public installation located in Seattle’s Pioneer Square’s Nord alley.

 

Eight individually designed disks replaced the worn and in some cases damaged disks that have weathered summer and winter in the northwest for the last four years. Disk reads “THE BALD MAN IS WATCHING YOU”. Adhesive vinyl and acrylic paint, dimension 25” circle.

 

BASIC HUMAN NEEDS (2018)

(2018) Visual art poster, Seattle WA

 

In an effort to voice what to some might be viewed as overly idealistic. One must press ahead and put actions, thoughts and intentions into public space that support what we all understand as goals that can not be forgotten, let alone actually brought into reality for the survival and betterment of all humanity.

 

Drinking with destructo (2018)

(2018) video

 

My second music video for the Seattle band the Corespondents. I have a long standing collaboration with band member Douglas Arney. Working together we came up with the concept for this video. Shot in one day in an abandoned bowling alley. This video plays with time as we progress through a chaotic environment of play and destruction.

 

 

Daniel Covarrubias (2018)

(2018) designed and hand painted poster

 

The family of Daniel gave their blessings for No Touching Ground and I to create this portrait. De Escalate Washington acted as an intermediary between us and the family as we worked to create this memorial. NTG painted the portrait and I the text. Daniel, the proud father of seven, had been dealing with mental health issues and drug use before being murdered by Tacoma police. Daniel was unarmed when police shot him. This is another example of police killing a person experiencing mental distress. Death could have been avoided if a properly experienced social health response team could have responded instead of unprepared police. No officers have been charged in the murder of Daniel.

 

Photo NTG