Press Releases


PRESS RELEASES & JOURNALS   |   POSTERS




Maura García: How do we honour our ancestors?


We are thrilled to welcome Kansas-based choreographer and dancer Maura García (non-enrolled Cherokee/Mattamuskeet) to the festival with her latest work They Are Still Talking, a 4-part homage to our connections to our ancestors through air, gesture, intergenerational trauma, and laughter.
They Are Still Talking emerges from the idea that our bodies are formed from our ancestors’ good and flesh. When we are speaking and moving, they are also reactivated and brought to life. We are never alone. So how do we honour them? Are we puppets reliving past lives? Where does what is uniquely ours begin? And does that matter?
Previously developed during an artist residency at Lawrence Arts Center, García collaborates with Odawa puppeteer Lindy Kinoshameg, musicians Mark Gabriel Little, Adrian Dion Harjo, and Amado Espinoza, and costume designer Mona Cliff to conjure an innovative multimedia dance performance. “My previous work dealt with planting and the season. This new piece is a little more human focused, but still contains the element of cyclical movement.”
García believes the opportunity will allow her to really delve into the subject matter and aesthetics. “It is a fertile ground for creation and presentation of contemporary Indigenous works, and I believe it will allow for this piece to grow significantly.”

“I hope the audience will talk more with their elders after seeing the performance. Find out more. Research their own families and nations. Reflect more about the connection we have to our ancestors, not just from 300 years ago, but the longer legacy of non-traumatized ancestors from 530 years, 1000 years, 3000 years ago…I hope it will inspire them to reflect on the circular time that is the creation and what their role may be.”

Catch Maura García Dance’s They Are Still Talking - Thursday, November 15th!

More about Maura García
What piece are you looking forward to seeing at W31?
Very hard question! I am looking forward to it all! I am particularly excited about other dance pieces, including Gashkigwaaso by Waawaate Fobister and In The Abyss by Aria Evans.
Who is your Indigenous role model? How do they inspire you?
They have both passed on: Benny Smith and Mitty James.
The former was my mentor who taught me how to pray in my language and so many other traditional ways. The latter showed me what it means to be strong, gracious, and loving Giduwagi woman despite hardships.
Where do you find your inspiration for your creative work?
The moon, the sun birds, people walking around, children doing weird child-like things, the movement of everyday actions or work, ceremony, water.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Wait for the grant officer or theatre rep to reject you – don’t reject yourself!
Do you have any advice for young Indigenous creators just coming onto the scene?
Be kind. Be firm. Take care of your body. Keep your ceremonies. Visit your people. Do not give up and remember the art world is very small.
What are you craving right now?
Dramaturgy. Comraderies. Lively and accessible Indigenous performing arts community.
What is coming up next for you?
This!
Learn more about Maura García Dance here.




 

Fri, Nov 9 | 7pm
Sat, Nov 10 | 3pm & 7pm
Sun, Nov 11 | 3pm


Rethink: I Am aVeteran is a performance and storytelling project centered on the lives of women veterans, their families, and friends. This project, which is designed and led by women artists, focuses on veterans who are women, sharing their first person experiences and delving into topics such as the challenges of toxic masculinity, abuse, military glass ceilings, family life, sexuality, camaraderie, and empowerment while serving their country with honor.

Project-based artist in residence Danielle Wyckoff will be working in the John Talleur Printmaking Studio. Join her to learn about responsive methods of screenprinting and to help produce the scenic design of Rethink: I Am A Veteran, an original theatrical production, along with a corresponding installation for the main lobby. All are invited to enroll in her workshop, Free-form Screenprinting Workshop.

* The views and opinions expressed in this performance are reflections of the individual participants, and not meant to represent the entire female veteran experience.

A Glimpse at the Creation Process
This project, which is designed and led by women artists, focuses on veterans who are women, sharing their first-person experience, which was sparked by two questions: who are women, and who are veterans? Rethink: I Am a Veteran will provide possible answers to these questions and will do so through the words of the people who live those answers every day: local female veterans. Stories were collected in one-on-one interviews and a story circle, following a technique used by Community-Based Performance Artist Jan Cohen-Cruz. Selected stories were then transcribed and interpreted through an artistic lens by the performers building Rethink: I Am a Veteran. Maura Garcia joins the cast as a guest choreographer and performer. 

 







ANNOUNCEMENT: January 3, 2017

The Maura Garcia Dance Development Residency is now underway! From January to April, Maura Garcia will be reworking and developing Aniwisgo'i and They Are Still Talking. Activities include critique sessions, working with other choreographers as part of NACHMO! (National Choreographer's Month), open rehearsals in outdoor spaces and workshopping choreography with people at the Kansas City Indian Center. Activities are listed on the EVENTS page as "Development  Residency Events" and include free-to-the-public activities in Lawrence, KS, Topeka, KS, Kansas City, MO, Chapel Hill, NC and Durham, NC.
 ####

ARTIST STATEMENT:  December 1, 2017

I was asked to dance before The Sarah Play, one of five plays created as part of The In[HEIR]itance Project: “Five plays. Three years. One book. Each performance is inspired by a patriarch or matriarch from the first book of the Bible and created collaboratively with local communities through text study, workshops, and online art projects.” In particular The Sarah Play “is an exploration of sacred text in conversation with real stories of yesterday and today. This is a play about women in love, hate, rivalry, faith, and Kansas City.” The starring relationship is between two women, Sarah and Hagar.

What is my take on this story from another tradition? I am drawn to themes of how women treat one another and how we "should" behave contrasted with how we ultimately behave in the face of loss, jealously and inequity. Throughout most of their story, it seems that Sarah and Hagar are at odds with one another and/or mistreating one another. However there are a few precious moments of agreement and respect. The well-being of their household and children is inherently linked to the women's ability to recognize the humanity of the other. Though the stories are short in written form, I imagine the days and weeks in between the strife when the two women were able to cooperate with one another for the greater good of their family. In response to this potential, I have chosen to present a small segment from a dance exploring collective harvest. In Cherokee country, before the influx of Amer-opean culture, the crops and fields were the realm of women. Women oversaw all aspects of planting and harvest. My performance is an acknowledgement of the unrealized and realized potential of Sarah and Hagar, and all women, to work together.

It is also an acknowledgement of the presence of Indigenous peoples in Kansas. While I love the generosity of spirit that allowed for people of different faith traditions to share their holy people and  and texts to create a wonderful play, I also note that Indigenous people are completely left out of the narrative.

 ####
 
PRESS RELEASE: Dance/USA Announces 2017 DILT Mentees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2017

Contact: Johanna Tschebull
202.833.1717

Washington, DC –  Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, is pleased to announce the selection of eight emerging leaders for the 2017 Dance/USA Institute for Leadership Training (DILT), a national dance mentorship program. The 2017 program has a specific focus on supporting individuals of African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab, and Native American descent and individuals with disabilities or working in physically integrated dance. The 2017 DILT mentees work within a broad range of genres and communities across the country.  


“Now in its seventh year, we are thrilled to celebrate a new cohort of mentees in our Institute for Leadership Training,” said Dance/USA Executive Director Amy Fitterer. “These individuals are the future of the dance field and we look forward to supporting them on their journey.”

DILT was piloted in 2011 at the recommendation of the Dance/USA Emerging Leader Task Force to facilitate one-on-one relationships for networking and leadership development for dance professionals. The program was designed to enhance and refine the skills of emerging leaders within the dance field so that they may guide dance organizations through the future’s challenges and shifting landscapes. With the guidance of an established, qualified mentor, mentees hone their management skills, as well as recognize and learn from personal strengths and weaknesses.

Dance/USA is grateful to the American Express Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their lead support of the 2017 Institute for Leadership Training. 

About Dance/USA
We believe that dance is essential to a healthy society, demonstrating the infinite possibilities for human expression and potential, and facilitating communication within and across cultures. We are committed to honoring, nurturing and advancing dance through the lens of diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity in all aspects of our programming, services and organization.

Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. Established in 1982, Dance/USA sustains and advances professional dance by addressing the needs, concerns, and interests of artists, administrators, and organizations. By providing national leadership and services, Dance/USA enhances the infrastructure for dance creation and distribution, education, and dissemination of information. Learn more about Dance/USA by visiting our website, www.danceusa.org. 

####