SHORE in Lenapehoking presented in partnership with Emily Johnson/Catalyst, New York Live Arts, and The Lenape Center in various locations, April 19-26, 2015.
Grand Marais Art Colony
Friday Feb 27-Sun March 1
Learn how to sew fish-skin, create a fish-skin lantern, and have a feast! Emily is an award-winning choreographer originally from Alaska whose knowledge of fish-skin sewing stems from her experience building an installation of 50 fish-skin lanterns for her dance, Niicugni.
Arrowhead Center for the Arts
Saturday February 7, at 7:30pm
Join us for this performance of Niicugni, the second part of our Alaska-inspired trilogy of award-winning performance installations.
Join us as we share just a bit of SHORE in two intimate showings at Gibney Dance Studios. We're sharing select moments from the work as well as a bit of food…some good energy….some love.
Emily Johnson / Catalyst perform their award-winning performance installation, The Thank-you Bar, at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts this weekend, Friday & Saturday October 24 & 25 - two shows on Friday (7pm & 9:30pm) and two shows on Saturday (2pm matinee and 7pm) followed by a special BLACKFISH concert on Saturday at 9pm. Intimate performances with extremely limited capacity - advance tickets HIGHLY recommended!
Through an approach of perception, movement, improvisation and storytelling, Emily Johnson conducts workshops and classes that bring a heightened awareness of bodily practice and commitment to performance.
Over the course of a week, SHORE includes volunteer actions in partnership with community organizations, a curated reading by local authors, theatrical performances that begin outdoors and move into the theater, and a festive, culminating potluck/Feast. SHORE premieres as part ofNorthrop's grand re-opening celebrations in June 2014, in conjunction with the Dance USA conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Tickets onsale now!
SHORE is our next performance installation, the third in our current trilogy of works that began withThe Thank-you Bar and Niicugni. It will premiere at Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis in June 2014.
SHORE will be equal parts volunteerism, storytelling, performance, and feasting.
To celebrate the making of this work and Catalyst's 15 year anniversary we're throwing a party!
We are in Alaska, where Niicugni was born. It is good to bring it home! It's also good to share this place I love with Aretha, James, Heidi, Max, and Russ! As I write this to you, they are out on the ocean with my parents, fishing. Eagles perch on the roof of our theater everyday. We've had breakfast with my grandma, spent time with my niece and nephew, walked on a few beaches. How lucky we are!
I can only tell you what I know.
Niicugni is many things. It is a dance. It is a story made of many. It is a word that instructs us to listen. There is hope here, and death; monsters and laughter, salmon, bear, blood, and a never ending attempt to pay attention.
I think of the land beneath our feet. I think of everyone in the world.
Three years ago, when I saw an exhibit of fish-skin work at the Bunnell St. Gallery in Alaska, I wanted to learn. Harvesting wild salmon has been part of my family's life for thousands of years. I still return every summer for the Sockeye run. We fish, then clean, fillet, de-bone, strip, brine, kippur, freeze, smoke, can, and feast on the fish that will feed our family for the year. There is thankfulness in this process, and now, we also sew.
We are so humbled and honored to have been awarded a Bessie Award for The Thank-you Bar for our November 2011 performances at New York Live Arts. Huge, heartfelt thanks to Carla Peterson and all the NYLA staff, to Aretha Aoki, our NYC "secret" dancer, to everyone who has supported this work, and to everyone who attended the shows - we are really blown away. Emily and James attended the awards ceremony at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, and that alone was a huge thrill.
2012 is nearly half done, can you believe it? And I have been meaning to write to you since it began. Woe! My steady friends who purposefully or inadvertently signed up on my mailing list - either way - oh, my friends I meant to write to you in January, then February, March....and maybe it was a good thing you didn't have another email or two in your inbox - I understand how that is - but I have missed you. I make these dances for you and I think of you all the time! Last week someone told me that it'd been two lifetimes since we'd seen one another. Lives within lives. That's how it goes sometimes.
Emily: Often I will dance and I will try to put my mind somewhere else, and I will try to be back in Alaska. But, that’s too broad. I will find a specific place, or a specific time, or a specific visual landscape to do it in. A physical interaction between past and present, that’s obviously only actually present. But, somehow, for me at those times, it merges. It becomes where there isn’t that much space between past and present and future. I think that is the truth about our physical body, is that we are all those times at once. Maybe physical action is the only true place that you can find that sublime sense of time where it is all at once. I can be standing in Minneapolis but, I can also at the same time, with intention, be at my grandma’s house in Alaska or I could be in New York. Maybe talking about it makes it seem like that can’t be true, but it really is.
We're having a benefit to support and preview our new dance installation, Niicugni (Listen), and celebrate the release of our THIS IS DISPLACEMENT exhibition catalogue. Enjoy live music, poetry, and dance performances in the theater, h'ordeuvres and cocktails in the lobby, a crafted silent auction, and DJ Jen Downham's Groove Garden. Please join us!
In March we were part of the New Genre Festival at Living Arts of Tulsa, along with great friends Art Spot Productions/Mondo Bizarro and Kristina Wong. The audiences in Tulsa were incredible – I can't wait to go back!
It was quite interesting to perform a piece that is so linked to land/identity in Oklahoma - a land ingrained with the lives and deaths of displaced and relocated peoples - the promises of land “as long as the rivers flow and the grass is green” and the reality of sooners, land grabbers, and lies.The Thank-you Bar is not exactly a “political” piece, but here, it felt political. I was conscious of this and questioning of our role and relatively short relationship to this place. Prior to our performances I reached out to friends from or very familial with Oklahoma. I was graced with personal histories, accounts, and a feeling that doing this piece in Oklahoma was the exact right risk to take. I had some of my most ultimately heartfelt connections to audiences in Oklahoma. One audience member told me the show changed her life and I am humbled by her response.
We enjoyed a wonderful, sold-out premiere tour of The Thank-you Bar in Alaska in October. BLACKFISH performed 4 concerts in conjunction with this tour (a new CD is forthcoming!) and we celebrated the opening of the related exhibit, This is Displacement: Native Artists Consider the Relationship Between Land and Identity. Thank you to all of the artists who were part of this exhibit and to our audiences in Anchorage and Homer!
Catalyst premieres The Thank-you Bar at Out North, in Anchorage, Alaska October 8 – 11, 2009, along with the accompanying art exhibit THIS IS DISPLACEMENT: Native Artists Consider the Relationship Between Land & Identity (co-curated with Carolyn Anderson) and concerts by BLACKFISH. See our upcoming shows page for more information!
THE THANK-YOU BAR, which is a new solo I am working on with composers James Everest and Joel Pickard will have its pre-premiere at Franconia Sculpture Park (MN) in September, 2009 and then its official world premiere at OutNorth Contemporary Art House (Anchorage, AK) in October, 2009.
ADY, a play written by Rhianna Yazzie, with scene design by Carolyn Anderson and choreography by me will open in Minneapolis at Pangea World Theater in November, 2009.
And TERRIBLE THINGS, an amazing new project by Lisa D'Amour, Katie Pearl, and myself will open for a two-week run at PS 122 in NYC in December, 2009.
2007 is almost to a close and I could list the many performances Catalyst had throughout the year, and give you a heads up on what is to come, and this would probably be the smart thing to do....but, I am not in such a directorial, strategizing mood (I often am not) - and I looked up from my computer and I saw this poem and it seems more important to share than any news I have at the moment.
Catalyst enjoyed a fine 2006 with performances at the Rogue Buddha Art Gallery in Minneapolis (thank you RBG,) at Dance Theater Workshop in New York City, on the banks of the Missouri River in South Dakota, on a farm in Nebraska, along 35W in Iowa and as part of KICK! in Montreal, Quebec.
June brings the entire Catalyst dance company to the eastern coast of the U.S.A.; we’re performing in New York City for the first time: Heat and Life at Dance Theater Workshop June 28- July 1. We’re cooperating with New York’s “Citizens Campaign for the Environment,” holding post show discussions and conversations
Welcome to our newly redesigned website. I've never tried this 'news forum' before, but plan to update it monthly - so check back often.
I'm starting out the new year with an intensive travel schedule, heading to Amsterdam to study with Julyen Hamilton, Brussels to visit the P.A.R.T.S studios, and Berlin - mostly to check out the scene. I hope to return to Minneapolis invigorated and inspired, ready for 2006.
2005 was, in large part, spent in fundraising and administrative mode as I am working to move Catalyst's dance piece "Heat and Life" to all 50 states in the U.S. "Heat and Life" is a work about global warming and this 50-State-Tour will cover enough ground to define the U.S. as a site where art-based work can be seen and be an impetus for change. That, at least - is my hope.