The company consists of Joy Angela Anderson, Charmaine Bee, Heyward Bracey, Rebecca Bruno, Erin Christovale, Loren Fenton, Maria Garcia, Kloii “Hummingbird” Hollis, Meena Murugesan, taisha paggett, Sebastian Peters-Lazaro, Kristianne Salcines, Ché Ture, Devika Wickremesinghe and Suné Woods. The installation collaborators are Ashley Hunt and Kim Zumpfe. Guests include DJ Lynnee Denise, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Nic Kay, Anna Martine Whitehead and the project, At Land’s Edge.
Joy Angela Anderson aka Alegria de la Luz is from the Los Angeles Eastside. Influenced by Chicana/o culture, she explores cultural and contemporary arts with questions about inclusivity, identity, oppression, and non-Western notions of healing. Prior to her formal education at UCLA and the Roski School of Fine Arts, Anderson collaborated with radical youth collectives as an organizer, curator performer, facilitator, and teacher. She has worked as a museum educator at the California African American Museum, Hammer Museum, MOCA LA, and the Craft and Folk Art Museum.
Heyward Bracey – a butoh influenced dancer/movement artist – has worked and performed with a number of experimental dance collectives including Corpus Delicti, Body Weather Laboratory, Los Angeles Movement Arts and most recently WXPT – The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People. He has collaborated with master butoh artist Katsura Kan in Los Angeles, New York and at the Seattle International Dance Festival. His recent solo “Stealing Skin 6” was presented at the Bare Bones Butoh Showcase in San Francisco, Pieter Performance Space in Los Angeles and Central Cultural Los Talleres in Mexico City. Heyward’s interest in the body as a social/political/spiritual process has led to recent collaborations with Emily Mast in “The Least Important Things,” presented at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and “The Cage is a Stage,” presented at University of Toronto Mississauga, the Harbourfront Centre Theater – Toronto, and the REDCAT – Los Angeles.
Charmaine Bee is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA) She is an interdisciplinary visual artist. Through photography, installation, video, textiles and herbalism, Bee explores African Diasporic spirituality and personal histories. Bee’s work places an emphasis on memory and ritual, through the examination of her personal family narrative within Gullah culture. Charmaine has been awarded the Brooklyn Arts Council Community Arts Foundation grant for two consecutive years for The Stoop Gallery, a pop up gallery project which installs fine art exhibitions onto stoops throughout Brooklyn during the summer months. Charmaine has also received the Puffin Foundation grant for her gentrification mapping project. She has been in residence at Fountainhead Residency in Miami, FL and 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, CA. She is currently an MFA candidate at California Institute of the Arts and resides in Los Angeles, California.
Rebecca Bruno lives and works in Los Angeles. She received a BA in Dance from the University of California San Diego in 2008 and conservatory training at The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance 2005-2006. In 2013 Bruno founded homeLA, a performance project dedicated to dance process in private space. One-person exhibitions of her work have been presented at Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2016); Norton Simon Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2016), the Annenberg Community Beach House, Los Angeles, CA (2015); and PAM Residencies, Los Angeles, CA (2014). Her work has been included in festivals and exhibitions at The Neutra Studios and Residence (The VDL House), Los Angeles, CA (2017); Human Resources, Los Angeles, CA (2017); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2016), Los Angeles, CA; REDCAT Theater, Los Angeles, CA (2016 and 2014); Pitzer College Kallick Gallery, Claremont, CA (2016); Velaslavasay Panorama, Los Angeles, CA (2016); Live Arts Los Angeles, CA (2015); Elephant Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2015); FahrenheitFLAX, Los Angeles, CA (2014); Machine Projects, Los Angeles, CA (2014); Eden’s Expressway through Movement Research, New York, NY (2014); Pieter PASD, Los Angeles, CA (2012); Space4Art, San Diego, CA (2011); University Art Gallery, San Diego, CA (2011); Potiker Theatre, San Diego, CA (2009); Sushi, San Diego, CA (2008); Calit2, San Diego, CA (2007); and The LAB, Jerusalem, Israel (2006). Bruno is a recipient of the WORD Grant, Los Angeles (2016); CHIME (Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange) in Southern California Grant (2015); Annenberg Community Beach House Choreographer in Residence Grant (2015); Prix Marcel Duchamp, associate choreographer for Julien Prévieux (2014); Kendall Laurel Liu Dance Award, San Diego, CA (2008); and Stewart Prize in Choreography, San Diego, CA (2005). Bruno has collaborated on the works of many artists including Flora Wiegmann, taisha paggett and WXPT, Pablo Bronstein, Julien Prévieux, Yael Davids, Yolande Snaith, Monica Bill Barnes, Allyson Green, and Jean Isaacs.
Erin Christovale is an LA based film programmer and curator, interested in film justice, cyborg feminism, and the ways speculative fiction aligns itself with social justice. She co-curates Black Radical Imagination, a touring program of visual shorts that includes new media, video art, and experimental narrative. Her most recent exhibition, a/wake in the water: Meditations on Disaster was featured at the Brooklyn Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in 2014.
Alfonso Cervera is a recent graduate from the University of California, Riverside where he received his MFA in Experimental Choreography. Cervera has received awards such as the Lambda Award, Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship Award, the MFA Fellowship Award, Dance Magazine award for best choreography in a collaborative work with Irvin Gonzalez, Hyoin Jun, and Maggie Sniffen. Cervera’s interest and research as a choreographer draw from his experiences as a folklòrico dancer and the entanglement that it has made in his practice of contemporary movement. Cervera has had various opportunities to showcase collaborative and independent work at Field Studies in New York; La Peña n Berkeley; BRAVA Ballet Arts in Riverside; Lux Boreal’s 4 x 4 in Tijuana, Mexico; The Bootleg Theater; REDCAT Center for Contemporary Arts; Brockus Project Studio; Festival; homeLA; and Pieter Performance Space. Cervera is in current collaboration with his collective Primera Generacion Dance Collective, WHAT Dance Theatre, WXPT, and with Hyoin Jun.
Loren Fenton is a Los Angeles-based performer who participates in the creation of contemporary theater, film, dance, and visual art. She enjoys making work that pushes the boundaries of form and illuminates untold stories / unseen lives. Recent work: Endless Love/Reusable Parts (art – Hammer Museum); A Beautiful Game (dance); Immaculate Heart (film); and Maria Kizito (theater). Upcoming projects: The Price of Salt (theater). Loren received her B.A. from Harvard University, and her M.F.A. in Acting from CalArts. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA.
Maria Garcia Maea is an LA-based performer, sound artist & object maker. She has performed in works by Rafa Esparza, Julie Tolentino, Ron Athey, Taisha Paggett and curator Lucky Dragons. As a performer Maria uses movement, objects, sound and ritual magic to create energetic containers to fill and empty. Performance acts as a visual representation of her concentrated efforts at self-realization and unity. Environments are created in her performances as space to navigate double consciousness– vulnerably existing in the unknown and empowered in deep ancestral knowing. As a first generation artist of mixed-identity she uses her practice to display how the layers of her upbringing and culture live within her work. This practice is an attempt to fuse disparate parts of personal identity to create more honest spaces for work and self to live in. Through this work she intends to open possibilities and exchange experience.
Kloii “Hummingbird” Hollis’ enthusiasm, ferocity, and sensual style pervade both her dance and poetry. Her mission is to inspire personal and communal freedom and understanding. “Dance assists in removing the layers and finding the core of my authentic self. For me, dance is a sensual art where I can feel and release. While my body is moving I am in control, and there is no control, and I am free. Without apology.”
Meena Murugesan is a choreographer, performer, video artist, and arts educator. Meena creates experimental non-linear narratives with moving images at the intersection of live performance, video art, and activism. Meena’s movement practice is deeply rooted in bharata natyam, improvisation, somatic bodywork, and house dance. Meena designs multiple channel video installations for live performance, and is currently collaborating with choreographers Marjani Forte-Saunders, Sita Frederick, d. Sabela grimes, and others. Meena is a member of Post Natyam Collective, taisha paggett’s WXPT, and also choreographs solo dances (karuppu, weusedtoseethis, split/focus etc). As an arts educator with over fifteen years of experience, Meena facilitates ethical filmmaking and movement processes with racialized youth, and criminalized communities as collaborative acts that hope to break down stereotypes, stigma, and systems of oppression.
taisha paggett is a Los Angeles-based queer Black artist whose individual and collaborative work for the stage, gallery and public space takes up questions of embodiment, agency, and the phenomenology of race and gender. paggett’s work seeks to de-center and reframe dance conventions and the ways in which bodies and spaces become normalized in both dance practices and the actions of daily life, by colliding them with social, political, cultural, and emotional metaphors and meanings. paggett’s work is especially concerned with interrogating fixed notions and representations of Black and queer bodies through the construction of idiosyncratic structures and scores in which those subjects become agents. paggett’s work has been presented at Commonwealth & Council (Los Angeles), Danspace at St Mark’s Church (New York), Defibrillator Gallery (Chicago), Public Fiction (Los Angeles), LACE (Los Angeles), the Whitney Museum (NYC), the Doris McCarthy Gallery (Toronto), and The Studio Museum in Harlem, amongst other sites. Most recently as a dancer, paggett has worked with Every House Has a Door, David Roussève/REALITY, Yael Davids, Victoria Marks, Kelly Nipper, Meg Wolfe and with Ashley Hunt through their ongoing collaborative project, “On movement, thought and politics,” amongst others. Project support has come through the generosity of programs including Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange (CHIME), University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), Headlands Center for the Arts, National Performance Network, Show Box LA, and the Multi-Arts Production Fund (MAP) in conjunction with LACE, amongst others. paggett is a proud member of the full-time faculty of UC Riverside’s Department of Dance, holds an MFA from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance and was a co-instigator of the LA-based dance journal project and discursive platform, itch.
Sebastian Peters-Lazaro is an interdisciplinary performance artist from Northern California. In 2008 he co-founded Four Larks in Melbourne, Australia, focusing on site responsive, immersive performance with a strong movement identity. Sebastian currently acts as Choreographer, Designer, and Production Manager. Orpheus, developed at the Getty Villa, marked his return to Los Angeles. In 2015 The Temptation of St Antony garnered Ovation and Stage Raw award nominations for Sebastian in design, direction, and choreography and was restaged in 2016. Sebastian is also a founding member of Schema 47, an experimental research studio that brings together artists, designers, and research scientists from JPL and Caltech in an anit disciplinary model of investigation, aiming to strengthen and expand the notion of collaboration between art and science. Sebastian has lead workshops as an artist in residence at Cal State Northridge, Melbourne University, and Lemoyne College.
Kristianne Salcines is a dance artist, educator, and choreographer, originally from the Philippines, with degrees in Cognitive Science and Dance from UC San Diego. Her interests include expansiveness and resilience, clarity and disorientation, time and space, reflexes and impulses, trust and love, and using dance as a mode of expressing socio-political forces. She is the recipient of the Stewart Prize Award in Choreography.
Turè Turè is a Black, Queer, gender-non-conforming performance artist and social justice advocate. Dance has nourished Ture’s wellness since childhood. Hence, their decision to lean into the deep learning gained through regular participation in transformative dance with WXPT. Transformative Healing Justice circles have both oriented and affirmed the healing presence of dance in Ture’s life. They center dance as a means of intentional and radical self-care.
Devika Wickremesinghe is a New York dancer turned Los Angeles expressive. Alone and with others, most recently Milka Djordjevich and Alexx Shilling. She has had the pleasure of working with Laurel Jenkins, Sarah Leddy and is a member of taisha paggett’s WXPT. Alongside collaborator Samantha Allen, Devika makes short film and live dances as part of the Institut IDGAF.
Suné Woods is an artist living in Los Angeles. Her work takes the form of video installations, photographs, and collage. Woods practice examines absences and vulnerabilities within cultural and social histories. She also uses microsomal sites such as family to understand larger sociological phenomenon, imperialist mechanisms, & formations of knowledge. She is interested in how language is emoted, guarded, and translated through the absence/presence of a physical body. She has participated in residencies at Headlands Center of the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, and Light Work. Woods is a recipient of the Visions from the New California initiative, The John Gutmann Fellowship Award, and The Baum Award for an Emerging American Photographer. Woods has served as Visiting Faculty in the CalArts Photography & Media Program, Vermont College of Fine Arts Visual Art Program, and has mentored fellows and organized lectures with at land’s edge, a platform for visual research and catalyst for decolonial thought and action in Los Angeles.
For the past decade, DJ Lynnée Denise has worked as an artist who incorporates self-directed project based research into interactive workshops, music events and public lectures that offer participants the opportunity to develop an intimate relationship with under-explored topics related to the cultural history of marginalized communities. She creates multi dimensional and multi sensory experiences that require audiences to apply critical thinking to how the arts can hold viable solutions to social inequality. She coined the term “DJ Scholarship” to explain DJ culture as a mix-mode research practice, both performative and subversive in its ability to shape and define social experiences, shifting the public perception of the role of a DJ from being a purveyor of party music to an archivist, cultural worker and information specialist who assesses, collects, organizes, preserves, and provides access to music determined to have long-term value. This shift in perspective manifests most clearly in the presentation of her work at universities, cultural conferences and performance venues where she create spaces for public dialogue to occur using music as an entry point to bridge the gap between socially acceptable forms of knowledge and nontraditional ones. Her work is informed and inspired by underground cultural movements, the 1980s, migration studies, theories of escape, and electronic music of the African Diaspora. With support from the Jerome Foundation Travel Grant, The Astrae Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Idea Capital, Residency BiljmAIR (Netherlands) and The Rauschenberg Artists as Activists Grant, she has been able to resource her performative research on a local, national and global level. She’s the product of the Historically Black Fisk University, with a MA from the historically radical San Francisco State University Ethnic Studies department, and works as an adjunct professor in the Pan African Studies Department at California State University Los Angeles.
Nic Kay is an transdisciplinary artist whose work straddles performance, video, installation, collage and printmaking. Obsessed with the act and process of moving, the change of place, position, and the clarity/ meaning gleaned from said activity, NIC’s current projects explore movement as a place of reclamation of the body, history and identity. Born and raised in The Bronx, New York – Residing in in Chicago. In 2014, they were awarded the Chances Dances – Marc Aguhar Memorial Grant. They have shown work, spoken on panels and hosted workshops at numerous venues throughout the US and Internationally. lil BLK will be performed next in Berlin (October) + Vietnam (November).
Anna Martine Whitehead is an artist, writer, and performer producing work interrogating identity, space-time, and loss. With an MFA in Social Practice from California College of the Arts, they have shown work in California, New York, Sweden, and throughout the Midwest and the southern states. Martine has also made significant contributions to the work of Keith Hennessy, Jefferson Pinder, taisha paggett, and Julien Previeux. They write a recurring column for Art Practical addressing black creative practice in the modern world, and will be releasing a chapbook through Thread Makes Blanket Press in early 2016. Anna Martine is a recent recipient of Chances Dances’ Critical Fierceness grant. More at annamartine.com.