Emily Johnson / Catalyst (USA)
There is this idea of place holding everything—things that happened before, people that used to be here, everything that is happening right now, and everything that will happen. The past and future in the present, and if we pay close enough attention, we can see it all at once. Layers upon layers. Worlds within worlds. Niicugni is the word that directs us to pay attention, to listen. Niicugni is the dance of everyone who has danced here, including our ancestors, whose bones in the ground beneath us support our bones as we dance here now.
“A stunning example of an emerging contemporary American aesthetic”
Emily Johnson will participate in SPAN on January 16 at 12pm at the COIL HUB.
Commissioned by PS122, co-presented with Baryshnikov Arts Center
Jan 9 – 12 7:30pm
Please note there will be no late seating.
Baryshnikov Arts Center
Howard Gilman Performance Space: 450 W. 37th St., Manhattan
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Emily Johnson is an artist and writer who makes body-based work. Originally from Alaska, she is currently based in Minneapolis. Her dances function as installations, engaging audiences within and through a space and environment – interacting with a place’s architecture, history, and role in community. She works to blur distinctions between performance and daily life and to create work that reveals and respects multiple perspectives.
Emily received a 2012 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance for her work, The Thank-you Bar at New York Live Arts. She is a 2012 Headlands Artist in Residence and Alpert/MacDowell Colony recipient, a 2011 Native Arts and Cultures Fellow, a 2012, 2010 and 2009 MAP Fund Grant recipient, and a 2009 McKnight Fellow. Niicugni, the second in a trilogy that began with The Thank-you Bar, tours through 2013 to the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography/Florida State University, Coil Festival/Baryshnikov Arts Center, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Northrop Auditorium/Women of Substance Series, Bunnell St. Gallery in Alaska, RedFern Arts Center/Keene College with Vermont Performance Lab, ASU/Gammage, and TigerTail.
Emily is of Yup’ik descent and is a shareholder in the Calista Native Corporation. Her family is from Bethel and Akiak, Alaska and she was raised on the Kenai Peninsula.
Baryshnikov Arts Center is the realization of a long-held vision by artistic director Mikhail Baryshnikov, who sought to build an arts center in New York City that would serve as a gathering place for artists from all disciplines. BAC’s opening in 2005 heralded the launch of this mission, establishing a thriving creative space for artists from around the world. Located in the Hudson Yards neighborhood of Manhattan, BAC comprises a total of 20,000 square feet, including the 238-seat Jerome Robbins Theater, which opened in 2010; the Howard Gilman Performance Space, a black box performance space seating 136 people; four column-free studios; and office space. BAC serves approximately 500 artists and more than 22,000 audience members annually through presentations and artist residencies.
Baryshnikov Arts Center is located in Chelsea, Manhattan and is accessible by the A, C, E, 1, 2 and 3 subways. This historic region on the west side of Manhattan is home to the High Line, the Chelsea Historic District, the Fashion Institute of Technology and is an international shopping and art gallery destination. Baryshnikov Arts Center sits two blocks from the Hudson River, close to 9th avenue where audiences can pick from a plethora of bars and restaurants scattered between 37th and 42th streets. BAC is also six blocks southwest of Times Square, a tourist hotspot and shopping destination.
Concept, choreography, writing, and direction Emily Johnson
Created in collaboration and performed by Emily Johnson, Aretha Aoki, James Everest, Heidi Eckwall, Bethany Lacktorin
Music composition and sound design James Everest and Bethany Lacktorin
Lighting design Heidi Eckwall
Costumes Angie Vo
Creative and administrative assistant Max Wirsing
Stage design Emily Johnson and James Everest
Fish-skin lanterns created by volunteers in Minneapolis, Vermont, Alaska, and California
Lead commissioning and developmental support provided by the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography with additional anchor developmental and commissioning support provided by Vermont Performance Lab and PS122. Niicugni is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by PS122 in partnership with the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Tigertail, Northrop Concerts and Lectures at the University of Minnesota, and NPN. Major contributors of NPN are the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, MetLife Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). More information: npnweb.org. Made possible with support from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, The MAP Fund, and the National Dance Project. Major support for NDP is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the Community Connections Fund of the MeTLife Foundation. Operating support was funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. A production residency was supported by NDP with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation at Mass MoCA. Niicugni is underwritten by the American Composers Forum’s Live Music for Dance Minnesota program in partnership with the American Music Center, with funds provided by the McKnight Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is funded by the National Native Artist Exchange, a program of the NEFA, made possible with funding from the Ford Foundation, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and Anonymous donors. Additional presentation support provided by Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance and Jerome Robbins Foundation. Residency support provided by Vermont Performance Lab, with support from the Dance To Go Fund from the McKnight Foundation, The Arts Collaboration Lab, with support from PS122 & Columbia University, Arizona State University, and the Headlands Center for the Arts.