NIICUGNI - THE WORD - IS A YUP’IK DIRECTIVE TO PAY ATTENTION. NIICUGNI THE DANCE, QUIETLY COMPELS SUCH ATTENTIVENESS THROUGH ITS LAYERING OF MULTIPLE DANCES, LIVE MUSIC, STORIES, AND HISTORIES.
Niicugni’s fish skin lanterns were sewn by volunteers in Vermont, Alaska, California, Minnesota, and Arizona over the course of two years in a series of free workshops led by Emily Johnson. Each lantern took an average of twenty hours to complete - a task that begins with a large filet of wild caught salmon, which, after it is eaten and shared, is scraped, sewn, and dried, over the course of many days.
These fish-skin lanterns were made for Emily Johnson / Catalyst’s performance installation Niicugni.
THE LANTERN MAPS WERE DESIGNED TO ACCOMPANY THE US TOUR OF NIICUGNI.
It details the distribution of 47 hand-sewn fish skin lanterns that hung, glowing above the stage, audience, and lobby as part of the performance. This map represents each unique lantern’s shape and design and where it hung as part of the larger installation. Use the corresponding numbers to find where the lantern was placed, who made the lantern, what kind of fish the skin came from, and where the fish was caught. The mileage noted in the map key symbolically represents energy - the migration of fish, the work of harvest, the work of preparing and sewing fish skins. In reality, this mileage charts the migration of each particular fish after it was caught - to where it was eaten, where the fish-skin lantern making workshops were held, and to the subsequent tour of the lanterns with Niicugni.
Sound design by
Whale Mouth Construction by
Vermont Performance Lab and James Everest
Lanterns Maps by
Lanterns made by
Akikwe Cornell, Carol Schnabel, Emily Johnson, Tania Balsley, Alexis Balsley-Petraska, Kris Hall, Marlaine Cox, Elena Vetter, Jonathan Whitney, Elin Waagen, Harold Mendez, Brydee Rood, Damon Little, Judy Dow, Angie Vo, Julia Bither, Elizabeth Day, Michelle Holzapfel, Max Wirsing, Isadora Snyder, Sara Kazemi, Anne-Marie Schwankl-Hoolihan, Keely Eastley, Yarrow Keenan, Cynthia Elek, Cherie Buck Hutchinson, Katie O’Brien, Brian Ganter, Chandler Willie, Melissa Vuletich, H. Tracey Mason, Laurel Johnston, Veronica Whitney, Allison Thiel, Barbara Parker, Chholing Taha, James Everest, Guinevere de Brunier, Veronica Edwards, Pam Passey, Sally Dischinger, Neva Boechenek, Colleen Jennings Roggensack, Virginia Fairchild, Kris Pourzal, Julie Mate, Cynthia Elek, Inertia Dewitt, Emily Sawyer, Cheryl Amick, Brittney Dale, Co Pelgarito, Sam King, Elisha DiiMatteo-LePape, Heather Sperling, Erica Morse, Kate Morgan, Evelyn McLean, Sara Kazemi, Carol Hendrickson, Sara Coffey, Ellie Joy, Minnia Joy, Susan Moore, Caroline Keefe, Annette Joy, Maryanna Harstad, Karen Kasel, Aretha Aoki, Heidi Eckwall, Nor Hall, Elena Vetter, Sarah Mahowald, Lisa Yankton, Olivia Starkie, Chantz Erolin, Rose Todaro, Claire King, Beth Barron, Matthew Hardy, Brita, Marty Everest, Alexa Yankton, Alicia Denny, Kathleen Gavin, Kim Yeager, Fedya Korobtsov, Katya Korabtsova, Greg Hines, Lauren Smith, Violet Steingrube, Michael Reed, Shane, Brad Meyers, Dana McGuinness, Theresa Dickerson, Michelle Johnson, Victor Hamburger, Alexis Green, Ana Smith, Thomas Swenson.