We will conjure future joy. We will let nothing exist. What do you want for yourself, your family, your neighborhood, your city? We will talk about this. We will come up with some ideas we can make happen. And we’ll dance. We will improvise movement and stories for and with one another; aware of what we believe about ourselves and what we completely make up. What joys have you experienced? Some stories will be voiced, some silent. (It’s the silent ones that are really exciting to me right now.) We will begin to be comfortable, really comfortable in silence. We will begin to understand and listen to silence. We will watch each other with keen interest, respect, and love. There will be a lot of watching, along with the doing. I told someone once that it might feel like watching a tree: you sit or stand or lay on the ground and watch the wind move through a tree; you notice it is green or brown and that it rests with the sky. 

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We will tell each other where we are from. We will tell each other truths and fantasies. We will think of the blood moving through our bodies – get hot and sweaty as we do so. We will imagine the land beneath our feet and understand our connection to it. We will be in two places at once. There is alot of watching in this workshop – watching and paying attention. Watching in this workshop is like that: we just watch. There is some intensely slow movement that looks deceptively simple. If you let it, it will connect you to every cell of your being – and every being connected to your cells. We will try to remember everything.


I practice watching from the outside corners of my eyes and I try to calm the piercing vision that when unchecked, moves me through the world.  

"The most powerful message was not a verbal one.  It was experiencing her creativity as she took us through the last exercise of doing our short pieces.  Her work was done through the reflection of her image on the window, but her words caused many layers of reality to take place in our heads: the outside wall across the street, the reflections of her moving slowing behind us and the story she told of the mouse in the hole and the hanging electrical line that somehow became the mouse's tail." - Steve Ligget, artistic director, Living Arts of Tulsa



Precious lamb, take the pencil, mark your colonial fields,
your revolutionary storage bins and pantry.
Your whole map.
- Diane Glancy

I thought this was a very unique and interesting experience. It is not everyday that you get to observe a very common and popular pathway from a new perspective. I have never looked at this walkway quite the same, and I can remember feeling this need to tell everyone and anyone who would listen about what I did in my dance class that day. - Student at Florida State University



Emily runs the post performance project, Post-re-view. Post-re-view is a practice dedicated to the experience of witnessing performance. It relies upon memory, rather than initial impression. It respects critique, but abhors judgment. It is a practice whereby the act of performing is given the utmost respect and the act of witnessing is called upon to be participatory. Post-re-view often involves writing, but is not limited to this form of response. In this workshop, participants work to make and witness short performances, using memory as a tool for feedback and deepening critical response. 


As part of the long process of creating Niicugni, Emily studied the traditional craft of fish skin sewing with Alaska-based teacher Audrey Armstrong and developed her design for the Alaskan salmon fish skin lanterns used in Niicugni. She then led a series of workshops in Vermont, Minneapolis, and Arizona, teaching the technique and process to large groups of participants ranging in ages from 7 to 70+. Most recently, she taught a fish-skin sewing workshop in Portland, OR as part of the PICA Symposium at Portland State University. Workshops include a salmon feast and hours of great conversation and 

See more photos on the Catalyst Flickr page