Carrying the voices of a newfound community to the stage, Au Collective’s guest choreographer Alicia Mullikin aims to shed light on the assemblage of experiences that inform their lives. A cast of multi-cultural dancers with diverse dance backgrounds will fill the stage with spacious, momentum-driven phrase work. Staying true to Alicia’s movement aesthetic, the dance will feature daring partner work and bottom-heavy dance phrases while bringing a sense of community to the dance through subtle intimate encounters. The new work explores what it means to have your place among people. As a first generation Mexican-American, the straddle of two contrasting cultures has weighed heavily on Alicia’s creative path. Searching for a place among her people, either by blood or by choice, Alicia sheds light on the moments your community holds together to lift you up and stands by your side when the fight is nearing. Alicia’s new work En brazos entre líneas enemigas will feature an original composition by Seattle composer and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Mullikin, and long-time collaborator Margaret Hotchkiss.
Cheryl Delostrinos’ (Pat Graney Company, Alicia Mullikin) new work In the Garden honors the work our mothers put into building this garden. They maintain the soil, trim the dead branches, and make sure these living beings have all they need to bear fruit, bloom, and drop seeds into the earth, spreading this vibrant color for the world to see. We see the garden and appreciate all the smells, shapes, and beauty it brings—but the the true beauty lies with the ones who envisioned the potential of the garden. Our mothers built the garden. We are the flowers.
Drawing from ancestral rituals developed by the native Indonesian ethnic group from which she comes, untuk ibu, untuk sri is a gift from journalist and dance artist Imana Gunawan (Alice Gosti, Faunix) to her mother, the women of color in her life, and the Sundanese agrarian goddess Nyai Pohaci Sanghyang Asri. Flowers, golden turmeric-soaked rice, and lush flowing fabrics will pepper the space, creating a world exploring rites of passage and the ways that both magic and trauma are passed down through the feminine lineage. Through textual research, writings, and movement explorations, this work is an endeavor to reclaim roots across oceans. It searches for the spiritual histories that have been erased since the arrival of Abrahamic religions and European colonizers on the shores of the Indonesian archipelago. This dance installation is developed in collaboration with Au Collective member Hallie Scott, Indonesian-American composer Isaac Boyle, and Indonesian visual artist Anissa Amalia.
Why can't we talk about religion without getting defensive and emotional? WORSHIP was choreographed in collaboration with the dancers and explores the different relationships each of them have with their own religious/non-religious/spiritual backgrounds and practices. Choreographer Randy Ford (House of Dinah, YMCA Powerful Schools) considers themself a cultural Christian. They grew up in the C.O.G.I.C. (Church of God in Christ) church participating in Sunday School, Bible Study, Church Choir, and more. As they grow older and discover more about their queer identity, they went on to find a relationship with God that is true to them, leading them to create a praise dance. This piece is a reflection of how although we in the Collective come from various backgrounds (Muslim, Catholic, Christian, non-religious) we still come together to create our own “church." A place where our truths belong to us, and we are all valid within our truths. However, once we project our truths onto others and act out of fear, that is when do our faiths an injustice.
Images of waves, moon cycles, women kneeling at the edge of water, and swirling energy pours into El Nyberg’s new work. A world full of sharing, inviting, loving, and caring for each other. Three queer brown femmes draw on the work that women of color have been doing for each other since the beginning of time. All of us holding each other up, witnessing our own power. “We return to each other in waves. This is how water loves.” -Nayyirah Waheed
Created through genuine relationships between friends, Au choreographer Megan Erickson (Relay Dance Collective) presents a new work Through innocence we dream, which explores the intersection between childhood memories and present identities. By going back to our roots, we can discover ourselves and find wisdom and inspiration from our past. By reconnecting with our imagination, we can believe in ourselves, and continue to fight for a better future together. Through innocence, we dream. Megan's work will also feature an original song written in collaboration with the dancers.
Rooted in traditional street, club, and urban dance vernacular, Angel Alviar-Langley (What’s Poppin’ Ladiez?!) , Austin Nguyen, Jordan Rohrs (The Purple Lemonade), and Michael O’Neal, Jr. (Chapter1NE, Beat Hippies) created an homage to coming up queer and of color in an urban landscape. These movement styles manifest a physical exploration of the struggle to find one’s voice within the diverse and complex spaces in queer communities and communities of color. Street, club, and urban dance—as American art forms—lean heavily on their connection to music from the economically and racially disenfranchised city centers very similar to ones found in Seattle. At a time when we find people of color and queer folks becoming liberated from the society that has long held them back from being themselves, Urban American dance styles and music provide a perfect vehicle through which to raise collective voices against oppression. The cohesive experience of these styles is just as unapologetic and in-your-face as the music and communities that nurtured queer voices and voices of color in America.
que bonito es lo bonito by Fausto Rivera (Spectrum Dance Theater, Chamber Dance Company) explores the idea of the validity, necessity, and relevance of friendship in the constant struggle to belong. Excerpts of this work have been performed at the Seattle Art Museum and Bellingham Repertory Dance.
Rebecca Smith’s (The Three Yells, Bainbridge Ballet) work, sprinkled with red balloons and birthday hats, is an alternate universe of quirk and party favors. It explores the subjective way that humans perceive reality—and how much of each person’s universe is perceived as reality by others. In this universe, Rebecca investigates the human fear of being alone, and how far we are willing to go to avoid it.