Show Box L.A. / we live in space
Announces the 2017-18 Residency Program For Choreographers
Recommended For An Art Works Grant From The National Endowment For The Arts
We are pleased to announce the six artists for our 2017-18 Residency Program For Choreographers : Jahanna Blunt, Stacy Dawson Stearns, Jessica Emmanuel, Sebastian Hernandez, Maria Maea, and Wilfried Souly.
The residency program has been recommended for an Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and is one of 78 projects nationwide to be awarded by the NEA for Arts Projects in the field of Dance. We are honored to receive this support, particularly at this time when the future of the NEA is so uncertain.
Residencies will take place at we live in space, where the artists will be provided with free studio space and a stipend. Over the course of the year, there may be open rehearsals, informal showings, classes, artist talks, or other events where the artists will share their creative process and varied approaches to choreography and dance-based performance work.
Art Works grants focus on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts.
“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”
ABOUT THE RESIDENCY PROGRAM ARTISTS
Jahanna Blunt, a native of Los Angeles, California, began her dance career as a seven-year-old with Abalaye African Drum and Dance Ensemble. She majored in acting, while continuing to dance throughout her time at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and in college at UCLA’s School of Theater Film and Television. Jahanna has taught African Dance courses for the Los Angeles Unified School District and for the University of La Verne, as well as workshops and studio classes. She has choreographed for the University of Southern California’s theater department, for the Lower Depth Theater Ensemble, and for the renowned JazzAntiqua Music and Dance Ensemble. Jahanna’s performance credits include Global Soul Night at the Hollywood Bowl, the BET Awards at the Kodak Theater, and various concerts at the Ford Amphitheater. Most recently, she has collaborated with her close friends to create Le Ballet Dembaya, a West African drum and dance company, and one of her proudest accomplishments to date. She feels blessed to be able to pursue her passion as a career and looks forward to a bright future. www.facebook.com/leballetdembaya
Stacy Dawson Stearns is a Bessie Award winning (2000) interdisciplinary performer and director, known for her original works as well as her collaborative work with Big Dance Theater, David Neumann, Hal Hartley, Ken Nintzel, and Blacklips Performance Cult. Over the past 23 years, she has performed in 9 countries and in numerous domestic festivals and venues including Jacob’s Pillow, American Dance Festival, Spoleto USA, Walker Art Center, The Whitney, The Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Classic Stage Company, HERE, Town Hall, City Center, Lincoln Center, Dance Theater Workshop, PS 122, MassMoCA, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, The Performing Garage, Mother, and REDCAT. Grants/Residencies include: Three-legged Race in Minneapolis, MassMOCA, and CHIME (Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange). Commercially, Stacy has choreographed for pop icons Debbie Harry, Ann Magnusen, and the House of Jackie. Film credits include: No Such Thing, Wigstock: the Movie!, and academy award-winner filmmaker Jonathan Demme’s recent performance film of Big Dance Theater’s Another Telepathic Thing. Stacy has been an instructor at California Institute of the Arts since 2003 (MFA and BFA performance programs), and has taught at New York University, Marymount Manhattan College, and The George Washington University. Outside of higher education performance training programs, Stacy has taught at the Big Sur Theater Lab, Pilates and Arts, Pieter Performance Space, and Caballero School of Dance. She holds a BFA in acting from NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing at Tisch School of the Arts and and MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College. Stacy’s writings on performance have been published in Native Strategies, Itch Dance Journal, The 53rd State Press Occasional, and the book version of Another Telepathic Thing (pub. The 53rd State Press).
Most recent artistic activity includes: I am the Nude at We Live In Space, (February 2017), The Witch, a collaboration with Jennie Liu/Grand Lady Dance House for Your Motion Says: an Arthur Russel Festival at Pieter PASD (July 2106) B.A.S.E.: a durational rule game with choreographer Laurel Jenkins, performed at the Getty in (August 2016); a rehearsal residency for LOVE GASOLINE! as part of In Real Time: Studio at the Hammer Museum (Jan 3-6, 2017).
Upcoming: Stacy will present her newest work, LOVE GASOLINE! at REDCAT’s 2017 NOW Festival and at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe in August with CAFT (Calarts Festival Theater program).
Jessica Emmanuel is a Los Angeles based dancer, choreographer, performance artist, educator and curator. She studied Dance & Choreography at the BOCES Cultural Arts Center in New York and is a graduate of The California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Performance & Choreography. Jessica is the founder of Human Stages and a co-founder of the theater based artist collective Poor Dog Group. Her work has been presented internationally at the Bootleg Theater, Live Arts Exchange Festival, the New Original Works Festival at REDCAT, Montserrat DTLA, Highways Performance Space, Zoukak Studios (Lebanon), The Getty Villa, Interferences Festival (Romania), Baruch Performing Arts Center, The Curtis R. Preim Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) and The Contemporary Art Museum Santa Barbara. She has choreographed/performed for Poor Dog Group, Heidi Duckler Dance Theater, choreographer Genevieve Carson, Bryan Reynolds, Paul Outlaw and Stacy Dawson Stearns. Jessica has also curated art events at various locations in downtown Los Angeles.
Sebastian Hernandez is an LA native and multi-disciplinary artist who received a B.A. in both Art Practice and Dance and Performance Studies in 2016 from the University of California Berkeley. He makes art that ranges from drawings to paintings and performance art works. Hernandez employs a feminist theoretical analysis, queer theory, browness and notions of collectivity as modes of thinking and generating works that shift and complicate Mexican and Chicano narratives in the contemporaneous social imagination. His art making is influenced by an embedded connection to his indigenous Aztec/Mexica heritage and the history of the brown body in relation to the U.S.-Mexico borderland. Sebastian’s movement based practice is informed by his long standing practice of danza Azteca, Vogue and the more recent wide range of modern dance techniques he acquired at Cal. Sebastian’s work inherently challenges traditional notions of space as he deals with his work’s interdisciplinary nature within both art and dance contexts.
Maria Maea practices mirroring
Wilfried Souly is a choreographer, dancer, drummer and Taekwondo expert, originally from Burkina Faso in West Africa, and based in Los Angeles since 2007. He is dedicated to making works that explore, expand, and explode Contemporary African Dance. He trained in African traditional and contemporary dances in the acclaimed company The Bourgeon du Burkina. Willy co-founded Compagnie Tâ (2000), and co-choreographed many dance works, with one selected as a finalist at the fifth Choreographic Encounters of Africa and Indian Ocean in Madagascar, and presented at the Great Barbican Center in London; as well as collaborations with visual artists on Genies de la Bastille, Paris. Willy has collaborated and performed with Robert Battle (USA), Gerardo Delgado (Mexico); Dole Danle, and the French Hip Hop Company E.Go, directed by Eric Mezzino and Gilles Schamber. In 2007, he joined Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project as an Associate Director, co-choreographer and performer. His own works have been presented at REDCAT New Original Works Festival (2014, 2016), the Ethna Negria Celebration at Teatro Balboa in Panama City (2015). the Barnsdall Theater/“For Our Boys”(2016), and at the third Edition of the festival Africa in America at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre. He choreographed and produced the dance film Bayiiri (Home Town) in 2011. Willy has collaborated with many local artists, including Maria Gillespie, Victoria Marks, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre Company, and Viver Brasil Dance Company. He is an Adjunct professor at the UCLA World Arts & Culture/Dance Department since 2009; and also teaches community West African Dance classes at Your Neighborhood Studio in Culver City.
Jahanna Blunt – photo by Ashley Blanchard
Stacy Dawson Stearns – photo by the artist
Jessica Emmanuel – photo by Alex Barber
Sebastian Hernandez – photo by Alex Godinez at Human Resources
Maria Maea – photo by Clare Kelly
Wilfried Souly – photo by Drew Mandinach at HomeLA