First Nations Dialogues Presents A Series Of Indigenous-led Performances, Discussions, Workshops, And Ceremony Across New York City

First Nations Dialogues Lenapehoking/New York is an initiative that provides unprecedented exposure and a focus on Indigenous performing arts and artists based in Canada, the U.S., and Australia in partnership with multiple contemporary live performance platforms across New York City, January 5-12, 2019. First Nations Dialogues also kick-starts the development of the groundbreaking Global First Nations Performance Network (GFNPN), a pilot initiative focused on cultural change through the commissiong, touring, and presenting of Indigenous performance and building demand and capacity for the same within the presenting sector.

First Nations Dialgues is led by the transnational consortium of Emily Johnson (USA), Vallejo Gantner (USA), BlakDance (Australia), Angela Flynn/Kukuni Arts (Australia), Jacob Boehme (Australia), Ilbijerri Theatre Company (Australia), and Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance (Canada).

In New York, First Nations Dialogues is presented in partnership with The Lenape Center, Amerinda, American Indian Community House, Abrons Arts Center, American Realness, Danspace Project, La MaMa, Performance Space New York, Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective, Under the Radar, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), and the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA).

First Nations Dialogues and Global First Nations Performance Network build on four years of convenings and conversations within formal and informal networks in the Indigenous and non-Indigenous performance sectors. It also builds on 40 years of vibrant dialogue among Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and First Nations North American contemporary theater and dance leaders.

Opening the First Nations Dialogues is Tëmikèkw, an honoring and welcome gathering hosted by First Nations Dialogues with The Lenape Center at Danspace Project.

Highlights include KIN, a multi-day program curated by Emily Johnson and presented by Performance Space New York in partnership with BlakDance and American Realness, that centers radical forms of care, consent, reciprocity, and love. For KIN, Johnson has invited five First Nations Australian artists-Joshua Pether, S.J Norman, Mariaa Randall, Genevieve Grieves, Paola Balla, and local NYC-based elder Muriel Miguel from the Kuna and Rappahannock Nations-to share performance works and related conversations, engaging practices of kinship and power. These artists and their Indigenous knowledge systems work through generosity and acknowledgment of present and past to transmute injustice and grief. They offer a commitment to and ask for participation toward a shared, healing future.

La MaMa and American Realness will present the U.S. premiere of Canadian artist Daina Ashbee's Serpentine. The First Nations Dialogues also includes an informal reading of plays by artists Ed Bourgeois, Carolyn Dunn, Rachael Maza, and others. Abrons Arts Center will host a special edition of Kinstillatory Mappings in Light and Dark Matter, a ceremonial fire outdoors in Abrons' amphitheater, centering Indigenous protocol and knowledge, with food, stories, song, dance.

First Nations Dialogues will also include the Global First Nations Performance Network workshops and discussions. These are work sessions for presenters in the GFNPN and First Nations artists focused on creating a new pillar of much-needed infrastructure and resources for Indigenous artists and developing education systems and protocols for presenting organizations.

This transnational network is designed to create new opportunities for production and dissemination of Indigenous performance internationally, to overcome the historic under-representation of such work in the U.S. and the dearth of support for international artistic exchange between Indigenous communities globally. While currently limited to three countries, the GFNPN anticipates the inititaive will grow to include other geographies after a three-year pilot program. The Global First Nations Performance Network is an unprecedented initiative that seeks understanding and collaboration between Indigenous artists and their ally organizations around the world.

The GFNPN's pilot program membership is currently 12 organizations across three countries: Abrons Arts Center (NYC), Fusebox Festival (Austin, TX), Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles, PICA (Portland, OR), Push Festival (Vancouver), Indigenous Theatre Department of the National Arts Center of Canada (Ottawa), BANFF Center for Arts & Creativity, Darwin Festival, Horizon Festival (Sunshine Coast), Country Arts SA (South Australia), Merrigong Theatre (Wollongong), and ArtsHouse (Melbourne).

First Nations Dialogues Lenapehoking/New York 2019 Program

[OPENING EVENT / GATHERING]

Tëmikèkw, An honoring and welcome gathering hosted by First Nations Dialogues with The Lenape Center

January 5, 12:30-4pm

Danspace Project, 131 East 10th Street, New York, NY 10003

Free with RSVP

danspaceproject.org

First Nations Dialogues commences in Lenapehoking, the Lenape homeland; through protocol and ceremony, welcoming global First Nations leaders, artists, and allies. The afternoon honors leaders and grandmothers of Indigenous theater: Muriel Miguel, Gloria Miguel, and Deborah Ratelle of Spiderwoman Theater and Diane Fraher (Osage/Cherokee) of Amerinda. The SilverCloud Singers will be led by Kevin Tarrant of the Hopi and HoChunk Nations; with performances by Laura Ortman of the Apache Nation and fancy shawl dancer, Anatasia McAllister of the Colville Confederated Tribes and Hopi Nation.

All are welcome to join in this afternoon of exchange, performance offerings, and feast.

First Nations Dialogues acknowledges with great gratitude the naming of this gathering, Tëmikèkw.

[PERFORMANCE/PITCHES]

Under the Radar / UTR Coming Attractions

January 5, time TBA

The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003

publictheater.org

Artists Emily Johnson and S.J Norman will offer performed pitches on their new works in partnership with Under the Radar and First Nations Dialogues.

[KIN PERFORMANCE]

Joshua Pether

Jupiter Orbiting | U.S. Premiere

Curated by Emily Johnson

Produced by Performance Space New York in partnership with First Nations Dialogues, BlakDance, Global First Nations Performance Network, and American Realness

January 5 at 7pm, January 6 at 3pm

Performance Space New York, 150 First Avenue, New York, NY 10009

$15 / Free for First Nations people

performancespacenewyork.org

The work of Joshua Pether, who is of Kalkadoon heritage but lives on Noongar country in Western Australia, is influenced by his two cultural histories, indigeneity and disability. His latest movement-based work, Jupiter Orbiting, involves an immersive science-fiction narrative that invites the viewer into a powerful encounter with dissociation and trauma.

[KIN CONVERSATIONS]

Paola Balla, Genevieve Grieves, Emily Johnson

KIN Conversations

Curated by Emily Johnson

Produced by Performance Space New York in partnership with First Nations Dialogues, BlakDance, Global First Nations Performance Network, and American Realness

January 6 at 5pm, January 8 and 10 at 4pm

Performance Space New York, 150 First Avenue, New York, NY 10009

Free with RSVP

performancespacenewyork.org

KIN Conversation 1: Center of Center of Center

KIN Conversation 2: Uqamaltaciq, the weight of something

KIN Conversation 3: Qailluqtarr, to act, change, or deal with things in various ways-some of which are hard to explain

Guided by First Nations artists and scholars-Paola Balla, a Wemba-Wemba and Gunditjimara woman based in Melbourne; Genevieve Grieves, a Worimi woman from Southeast Australia based in Melbourne; and Emily Johnson, a Yup'ik woman from Alaska based in New York City-this series of conversations threads through KIN and, like KIN, it weaves through trauma, violence, and history with a generous resolve for the present and future-a commitment to generosity, positive motion, and the kind of deep love that moves forward like the undercurrent of the East River, the Birrarung, the Mnisose. Audiences are encouraged to attend all three conversations if possible, as they are accumulative.

[KIN WORKSHOP]

Spiderwoman Theater: Muriel Miguel

Pulling Threads Fabric Workshop

Curated by Emily Johnson

Produced by Performance Space New York in partnership with First Nations Dialogues, BlakDance, Global First Nations Performance Network, and American Realness

January 7, 3-9pm

Performance Space New York, 150 First Avenue, New York, NY 10009

Free with RSVP

performancespacenewyork.org

Led by Muriel Miguel, one of the founders of the legendary Indigenous women's theater company Spiderwoman Theater, the Pulling Threads Fabric Workshop invites participants to share stories and listen, to stitch together that which has been ripped apart, and, through storytelling and quilting, to engage with personal and community stories of violence, healing, and ultimately, renewal. The workshop is open to female-identified people only.

[PLAY READING SERIES]

Reflections of Native Voices

January 8 at 6pm, January 9 at 5pm

Curated by Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna, Rappahanock)

Presented by La MaMa Experimental Theater Club through La MaMa's Indigenous Initiative, Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective; with First Nations Dialogues and Global First Nations Performance Network

Great Jones Studios, 47 Great Jones Street, New York, NY 10012

Free / Donations Appreciated

lamama.org

An informal reading of plays by First Nations artists including legendary Spiderwoman Theater's Muriel Miguel and Gloria Miguel of the Kuna and Rappahannock Nations; poet, playwright, and scholar Carolyn Dunn, who is of Cherokee, Muscogee Creek, Seminole, Cajun, French Creole, and Tunica-Biloxi descent; Ed Bourgeois, who is French and Mohawk, managing director of PA'I Foundation, a Honolulu-based h?lau hula and co-creator of Raven's Radio Hour and Alaska Native Playwrights Project; Kuna/Rappahannock/Hopi/HoChunk artist, actor, singer, and songwriter Henu Josephine Tarrant; Australian actor, narrator, and director Rachael Maza, artistic director of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, Yidinji from North Queensland and Meriam from the Torres Strait Island of Mer; and Choctaw/Creek/Delaware playwright Nicholson Billey.

[KIN PERFORMANCE]

S.J Norman

Cicatrix 1 (that which is taken/that which remains) | World Premiere

Curated by Emily Johnson

Produced by Performance Space New York in partnership with First Nations Dialogues, BlakDance, Global First Nations Performance Network, and American Realness

January 8 at 7:30pm

Performance Space New York, 150 First Avenue, New York, NY 10009

$15 / Free for First Nations people

performancespacenewyork.org

S.J Norman is a non-binary Koori artist and writer. Cicatrix 1 (that which is taken/that which remains), specially made for KIN, is a chain of actions woven from the syncretic tissues of buried rites for mourning and remembrance. In particular, Cicatrix 1 considers the collision of Indigenous, queer, and trans bodies with state power, specifically the abuse and obliteration of those bodies by the carceral state. A durational ritual unfolding over approximately four hours, Cicatrix 1 begins with the lighting of a medicinal fire and concludes with an outdoor midnight procession.

[GATHERING]

A special edition of Kinstillatory Mappings in Light and Dark Matter

Presented by Abrons Arts Center in partnership with First Nations Dialogues and Global First Nations Performance Network

January 9, 7-10pm

Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002

Free / No reservation required

abronsartscenter.org

A ceremonial fire outdoors in the amphitheater at Abrons Art Center centering Indigenous protocol and knowledge. Sit by the fire and welcome the evening with neighbors, stories, songs, and food (bring some to share). The fire for First Nations Dialogues includes stories and songs shared by Allison Akootchook Warden, an Iñupiaq new genre artist, dåkot-ta alcantara-camacho, whose work spans ritual activation, performance art, installation, contemporary Indigenous movement, and cultural responsibility, and Thomas E.S. Kelly, a Bundjalung-Yugambeh/Wiradjuri/Ni-Vanuatu multidisciplinary artist and choreographer. Food generously prepared by Quentin Glabus, Frog Lake Cree First Nations from Alberta, Canada and member of I-Collective.

[PERFORMANCE]

Daina Ashbee

Serpentine | U.S. Premiere

Presented by La MaMa and American Realness in partnership with First Nations Dialogues and Global First Nations Performance Network

January 9 at 10pm, January 10 at 10pm, January 11 at 1pm

La MaMa, Downstairs Theater, 66 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003

$25 (general) / $20 (students and seniors)

lamama.org / americanrealness.com

Serpentine vibrates the essence of Daina Ashbee's dark and feminine choreographic practice. Exploring the occupation of space, time, and attention, the cathartic work is based on repetition and instance. With simple imagery, slow and sensual movement, and a disturbing and powerful electric organ composition by Jean-Françoise Blouin, Serpentine creates a haunting juxtaposition that escalates in its violence. Serpentine is performed by Areli Moran.

[KIN PERFORMANCE]

Mariaa Randall

Footwork/Technique | U.S. Premiere

Curated by Emily Johnson

Produced by Performance Space New York in partnership with First Nations Dialogues, BlakDance, Global First Nations Performance Network, and American Realness

January 10 at 2pm, 6pm, and 8pm

Performance Space New York, 150 First Avenue, New York, NY 10009

$15 / Free for First Nations peoples

performancespacenewyork.org

Mariaa Randall belongs to the Bundjalung and Yaegl people of the Far North Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Footwork/Technique is a movement piece of contemporary Aboriginal footwork and dance legacies. It is presented as an art in motion, as a form of land acknowledgment, as a reference to time, and as a comment on attempted colonization.

First Nations Dialogues Funding Acknowledgment:

First Nations Dialogues 2019 has received funding support from Barraga Bay Fund, BlakDance, Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Queenland, Creative Victoria, Native Arts and Culture Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Amerinda, and MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

For more information about First Nations Dialogues and Global First Nations Performance Network, visit: http://www.catalystdance.com/first-nations-dialogues/.

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