Hyperspace Dance is producing an exciting new collaboration between myself, Cairo-based dance artist Mohamed Yousry Shika, and filmmaker Laura X Moya. We are building an evening length dance work accompanied by original video inspired by my and Shika's respective connections to Tiananmen Square in 1989 and Tahrir Square in 2011. “Marigram” is an exploration of the tidal structure of mass protests: approaching, flooding, receding. In this current moment of #BlackLivesMatter we couldn't help but be reminded of protests past and those feelings of tentative hope, giddy possibilities, fear, tension, disappointment, and constant questioning.
The three of us met during a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) in October 2015. Once Shika and I started sharing stories about our mass protests memories, we recognized similar emotions, patterns, and most interestingly, how those memories were affecting our perception of any protest movement that followed. After further discussion, we came to realize that we needed an intelligent visual context for the piece and brought Laura into the project. She will create a film poem around set narrative pieces, choreography filmed around New York City, personal photographs from Shika and I, and newsreel footage of both events.
Shika will travel from Cairo to New York at the beginning of October 2016 and will be here for about 5 weeks. We will be doing intensive movement research and material building for "Marigram", from filming around the city to working in BRIC's performance space in an exclusive residency. We will be holding showings of work-in-progress at BRIC on October 27th and performing a more polished excerpt at Triskelion Arts on November 6th as part of their CollabFest.
Annie Wang trained at Martha Graham and the Boitsov School of Classical Ballet. She currently dances for Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, Pia Vinson, Asako Miyahira, and Nicole Stanton. She has performed work by Graham, Petipa, Duncan, Bill T. Jones, Elizabeth Boitsov, Dance Elixir, and MADart Creative. Her own choreography project, Hyperspace Dance, has shown at the 92Y, WestFest Dance Festival, Hot Wood Arts Gallery, Showroom Gowanus Gallery, Chocolate Factory Theater, Cloud City, Ailey and Graham. Hyperspace Dance highlights include an Atlantic Center of the Arts residency with Reggie Wilson, selection for Doug Varone’s CHIN program, a Marble House Project residency with painter Lex Braes for the work “Full Circle”, and producing the independent dance film “Echo”. Annie is inspired by the power of storytelling and collaborative art-making.
Mohamed Yousry "Shika", an Egyptian dancer of Nubian origin, graduated from Cairo University and worked in commercial dance before joining the Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC). In 2012, Dancing on the Edge and CCDC awarded him a grant to attend the HJS summer intensive in Amsterdam. He was invited to perform in Denmark’s 2013 Images Biennale. His passion for African dance began when he met Vincent Mantsoe and Mama Germaine Acogny and he became the first Egyptian accepted into their school in Senegal - L’Ecole Des Sables (EDS). In 2015, Shika was named a CEC Artslink Fellow and hosted in Brooklyn by Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group. In 2016, he was selected to participate in the P.A.R.T.S/EDS exchange program and was named an inaugural member of the Citizens Artists Incubator (CAI), a project funded by the EU. His project with Brooklyn artist Annie Wang was awarded a CEC Artslink Independent Project grant. Within the frame of CCDC, EDS, CEC, and other programs, Shika has had the opportunity to study and work with international artists such as Olivier Dubois, Claude Brumachon & Benjamin La Marche, Francesco Scavetta, Nora Chipaumire, Sophiatou Kossoko and Frey Faust.
Born in Bogota, Colombia, Laura X Moya is an emerging documentary filmmaker focusing on making films that cross borders of misconceptions. In 1991, she immigrated to the United States with her family at age eight. The experiences she witnessed from once living as an undocumented immigrant marked a profound sense of alienation. Moya is one of two students selected for the prestigious Tisch School of the Art’s Willard T.C. Johnson fellowship. Recipient of the Alan Documentary Award, as well as the 2014 & 2013 Lora Hays Documentary Award for her upcoming film WHAT THE LAND GAVE US. 2015 BFA in Film & TV Production at Tisch School of the Arts with a Minor in Latina/o Studies from New York University. 2015 Associate Artist-in-Residence for filmmaker Natalia Alamada at Atlantic Center for the Arts. 2016 Artist-in-Residence at Brooklyn’s Meerkat Collective.