NW New Works 2019: Meet the Artists
NW New Works 2019
Jump to an Artist:
KT Kusmaul/ Body Home Fat Dance
Sasha Petrenko/The New Urban Naturalists
Naomi Macalalad Bragin
Jenny May Peterson
About the Artists
KT Kusmaul is the founder of Body Home Fat Dance. Through movement classes and perfor-mance, her work aims to increase connection and representation for the under-represented population of fat-bodied dancers—exploring in particular the unique expres-sive possibilities of fatness. For Kusmaul, art has always been inextricable from community building; her past work includes radical gender-based performance in Portland’s queer community and developing fat movement explorations through Performance Works Northwest’s Alembic Artist Residency.
Mother Tongue is a two-headed art making machine engineered by multi-dimensional artists Angelina Baldoz and Katherine Cohen. mothertonguearts.com
Sasha Petrenko/The New Urban Naturalists: Forest-time: Transmission from a Future Forest
Forest-Time: Transmission from a Future Forest is a new eco-feminist sci-fi performance about sticky entanglements across ecologies, economies, and time-scales.
Sasha Petrenko is an artist, no-mad, and Artistic Director of The New Urban Naturalists. Her work utilizes sculpture, experimental writing, and live cinema perfor-mance to draw parallels between ecology and human relationships. Petrenko’s projects have been fea-tured widely at national and inter-national venues. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.
claire barrera is an artist, orga-nizer, educator, and parent based in Portland, Oregon. They have had the pleasure of performing for keyon gaskin, Linda Austin, Danielle Ross, and more. This year they are the recipient of a Regional Arts and Culture Council project grant, and will be putting forth the anthology When Language Runs Dry with Meredith Butler.
Arson Nicki is a drag artist currently based in Seattle, WA. Their performance work has been showcased at Seattle Art Museum, Annex Theatre, Bumbershoot, Studio Current, and various night-life venues up and down the West Coast. Nicki’s work references pop culture and contemporary fashion to question gender roles, presents drag in unexpected settings and contexts, and advocates for plat-forms for their communities and their stories.
Dakota Camacho: -|- Tåno’ Dxʷdəwʔabš -|-:-|- MALI’E -|-
A ceremonial activation of person-al family history to explore indigi-neity in the diaspora, re-possess-ing cultural heritage, and crafting meaningful spiritual relationships to indigenous land.
Dakota Camacho is a multi-disci-plinary artist-researcher working in spaces of indigenous life ways, performance, musical composi-tion, community engagement, and education. Born and raised in Coast Salish Territory, they ground their creativity in ancestral life ways, weaving knowing from both their bloodlines and the diverse lineages that inform their indige-nizing journey. The work aims to proliferate inafa’maolek — unifying human consciousness with the natural world — through ritual activation, performance art, instal-lation, contemporary indigenous movement, and cultural responsi-bility. dakotacamacho.com
Imana Gunawan: vestiges, to those who couldn’t hold on
How do we rebuild after a crisis? vestiges examines futurism rooted in ancestral knowledge and fueled by the desire to reimagine whole-ness for our communities.
Imana Gunawan is a Texas-born Indonesian multimedia journalist, dance artist, creative director, and member of Au Collective. Whatever the medium, she tells stories to create a more just and equitable world for communities often pushed aside. She recent-ly creative-directed her first evening-length cabaret moon-shine. As manager and senior analyst, most days she leads breaking news coverage of Asia for Dataminr. Imana’s works have been published on NBC News, The Jordan Times, and Humanosphere. imanagunawan.com
Naomi Macalalad Bragin: Little Brown Language
Little Brown Language imagines women’s collective voice in devo-tional and mystical practice, inter-weaving song and dance to study acts of linguistic translation/con-version through Philippine history. We deploy hip-hop aesthetics—techniques of remixing, looping, and rupture—to creatively recycle language-memory-indigeneity as part of the labor of embody-ing contemporary anti-colonial identity.
Naomi Macalad Bragin is a streetdancer, performance artist, and assistant professor at UW Bothell School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences. Bragin’s book-in-progress, Black Power of Hip-Hop Dance, is an ethnographic-historical study of hip-hop’s political aesthetics. As director of Oakland-based DREAM, Bragin was a NYC Hip-Hop Theater Future Aesthetics Artist, finalist for the Bay Area’s Isadora Duncan Best Choreography Award, and supported by Creative Work Fund among others. Their writing has won awards from Congress on Research in Dance and American Society for Theatre Research.
Jenny May Peterson is a former competitive gymnast, licensed massage therapist, amateur furni-ture maker, and visual and dance artist who has called Seattle home for 12 years. Her multidisci-plinary background has given her many tools with which to create compelling visual language while also trying to be an aware and conscientious citizen of the world. Jenny has been dancing with the Pat Graney Company since 2008 and has a small massage practice in Fremont.
The Garden of Expectations examines the consumption of vulnerability as entertainment: all through the eyes of flowers, who compete for love and approval. The Garden of Expectations was created in close creative collaboration with all performers.
Under the direction of Leah Crosby and Danielle Doell, LanDforms’ often funny, some-times tragic, always unusual per-formances explore the absurdities of human relationships, nostalgia, and the intersections of power, control, and love. As LanDforms, they examine how their disparate histories build their present and future expressive bodies.
Leanna Keith: Finding the InBetween
Alongside mixed-race movement artists from the Seattle area, composer Leanna Keith presents Finding The InBetween, an explo-ration of the mixed-race experi-ence in America.
A freelance flutist, improviser, and composer in the Seattle area, Leanna Keith delights in creating sound experiences that make audiences laugh, cry, and say: “I didn’t know the flute could do that!” She is dedicated to playing music by composers who are still living, and advocates for the usage of music as social activism. leannakeithflute.com
what mountains end is an odd per-formance event that uses looming cataclysm to explore queer surviv-al strategies, mortifying inconsis-tencies, the edges of bodies, and volcanoes.
Theater and performance wildcat, HATLO, makes work that is queer, insubordinate, phantasmagorical, and deeply collaborative. They are a process co-conspirator: writing, directing, performing, and wrestling the dramaturgical. their bi-coastal dreams are based in the NW, where they have collaborated with more than a dozen artists and companies on new experimental work, including as part of the 2016 Stranger Genius nominated team behind Thatswhatshesaid.