Transform Fest: Artists
Poor People’s TV Room
Okwui Okpokwasili is a Brooklyn-based writer, performer, and choreographer whose partnership with collaborator Peter Born has led to several cross-disciplinary performance projects. Their first New York production, Pent-Up: A Revenge Dance, premiered at Performance Space 122 and received a 2010 New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for Outstanding Production; an immersive installation version was featured in the 2008 Prelude Festival. Their second collaboration, Bronx Gothic, won a 2014 New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for Outstanding Production and toured nationally and internationally. Site-specific performance installations include Bronx Gothic: The Oval at the 2014 River to River Festival, When I Return Who Will Receive Me? at the 2016 River to River Festival, and Poor People’s TV Room Solo at Lincoln Center in the David Rubinstein Atrium in June 2014. Their current evening-length work Poor People’s TV Room was co-commissioned by New York Live Arts, the Walker Art Center, and the American Dance Institute (The Lumberyard). It was featured at the American Dance Institute in 2016, the 2017 Walker Art Center’s Out There Festival, and the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at RPI, and will have its New York premiere at New York Live Arts in April 2017.
As a performer, Okpokwasili frequently collaborates with award-winning director Ralph Lemon, including How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?; Come Home Charley Patton (for which she also won a New York Performance Bessie Award); a duet performed at the Museum of Modern Art as part of On Line: Drawing through the Twentieth Century; and, most recently, Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room. She has worked with Nora Chipaumire, Julie Taymor, Young Jean Lee, Annie Dorsen, Richard Foreman, and Richard Maxwell.
Okpokwasili’s residencies and awards include the French American Cultural Exchange, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Choreographic Fellowship, Baryshnikov Arts Center artist in residence, New York Live Arts Studio Series, Under Construction at the Park Avenue Armory, New York Foundation for the Arts’ Fellowship in Choreography, Danspace Project, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life Program, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ Dance grant, BRIClab, Wesleyan ICPP artist residency, artist in residence at the Harkness Dance Center at the 92Y, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s President’s Award for the Performing Arts, Columbia University, and the Rauschenberg Residency. Okpokwasili was the 2015–17 Randjelovic/Stryker New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist (RCA). Her work has been supported by Creative Capital, the MAP Fund, and NEFA.
Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky
Composer, author, musician, and 2014 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky is revered in the hip-hop world as a master turntablist. His DJ MIXER iPad app has had more than twelve million downloads. In 2012–13 Miller became the first artist in residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He has produced and composed work for Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore, and scores of artists and award-winning films. His work as a media artist has appeared in the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale for Architecture, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Kunsthalle Vienna, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and many other museums and galleries. His 2008 book Sound Unbound, an anthology of writings on electronic music and digital media, is a best-selling title for MIT Press. He has been featured everywhere from Elle to CNN to SyFy.
Miller’s deep interest in reggae and dub has resulted in a series of compilations, remixes, and collections of material from the vaults of the legendary Jamaican label Trojan Records. Other releases include Optometry (2002), a project featuring some of the best players in the downtown New York jazz scene, and Dubtometry (2003), featuring Lee “Scratch” Perry and Mad Professor. Another of Miller’s collaborations, Drums of Death, features Dave Lombardo of Slayer and Chuck D of Public Enemy, among others. He produced material on Yoko Ono’s recent 2017 album Yes, I’m a Witch.
DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation was commissioned in 2004 by the Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Weiner Festwochen, and the Festival d’Automne a Paris. It was the artist’s first large-scale multimedia performance piece, and has been performed more than fifty times in venues around the world, from the Sydney Festival to the Herod Atticus Amphitheater. The DVD version of Rebirth of a Nation was released by Anchor Bay Films/Starz Media in 2008.
DJ Spooky’s multimedia performance piece Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica was commissioned by BAM for the 2009 Next Wave Festival, the Hopkins Center/Dartmouth College, UCSB Arts and Lectures, Melbourne International Arts Festival, and the Festival dei 2 Mondi in Spoleto, Italy.
In August 2009 DJ Spooky visited the Republic of Nauru in the Micronesian South Pacific to do research and gather material for The Nauru Elegies: A Portrait in Sound and Hypsographic Architecture, a collaboration with artist and architect Annie Kwon, first presented at Experimenta in Melbourne, Australia, in February 2010. In January 2010 Miller was commissioned by German radio to write the composition “Terra Nullius.”
In 2011 Miller released a graphic design project exploring the impact of climate change on Antarctica through the prism of digital media and contemporary music compositions entitled The Book of Ice (Thames and Hudson/Mark Batty). The Book of Ice includes an introduction by best-selling author and quantum physicist Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe. The Book of Ice is also a multimedia installation and a music composition for string quartet, and was included in the 2011 Gwangju Biennial.
Miller is currently a contributing editor to C-Theory and the executive editor of Origin Magazine, which focuses on the intersection of art, yoga, and new ideas. He continues his globe-trotting series of live events, playing at festivals from France to Japan to Mexico City; performing solo, with chamber groups, and with orchestras; and giving talks at prominent universities and conferences. He was featured at The Economist’s Year in 2012 conference, and in Syfy’s Let’s Imagine Greater Igniter web series.
Del Sol String Quartet
Hailed by Gramophone as “masters of all musical things they survey” and two-time winner of the top Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, the Del Sol String Quartet shares living music with an ever-growing community of adventurous listeners. Fascinated by the feedback loop between social change, technology, and artistic innovation, the San Francisco–based ensemble is a leading force in twenty-first-century chamber music, whether introducing Ben Johnston’s microtonal Americana at the Library of Congress, exploring Andean soundscapes with Gabriela Lena Frank and traditional musicians, deconstructing Ruth Crawford’s radical experimental processes with East Bay schoolchildren, or rocking Mason Bates’s techno grooves in his San Francisco club dance party.
Del Sol was founded in 1992 at Banff Centre for the Arts and is recognized as a “vigorous champion of living composers,” focusing on music that reflects the cultural diversity of our community, championing works by both world-renowned and emerging composers, and collaborating across disciplines. Del Sol has commissioned and premiered more than one hundred works by a diverse range of composers, including Terry Riley, Mason Bates, Frederic Rzewski, Ben Johnston, Gabriela Lena Frank, Chinary Ung, Ken Ueno, Mohammed Fairouz, Tania León, Peter Sculthorpe, Reza Vali, and Per Nørgård. The quartet has performed in prominent concert series nationwide, including the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, Symphony Space, Cabrillo Festival, Other Minds Festival, and Santa Fe Opera, and internationally in Switzerland, France, China, South Korea, Canada, and Mexico. The quartet conducts an active educational program in the San Francisco Bay Area, in addition to regular residencies at universities and music schools across the country.
The New York Times praised Del Sol’s eighth and most recent recording, Scrapyard Exotica: “See if your foot can stay still once you put on this funky disc of rhythmically infectious… music played by the adventurous Del Sol String Quartet.”
Stacey Printz/Printz Dance Project
Stacey Printz, artistic director of Printz Dance Project (PDP), has performed in San Francisco for sixteen years, and toured across the nation and internationally in Russia, Lithuania, Ireland, the Virgin Islands, and Mexico. She was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award (Izzie) for her 2011 work Hover Space, and her most recent work, GLASSlands, premiered at Z Space Theatre. In addition to choreographing regional musical theater productions, Printz’s choreography credits in theater/multigenre performing arts pieces include As You Like It at Cal Shakes, Aaron Davidman’s Wrestling Jerusalem, Sarah Shourd’s The Box, DC’s Woolly Mammoth Theater production of The Arsonists, and YBCA Director of Program and Pedagogy Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s internationally recognized works Scourge, The Break/s, the Bessie-nominated Red, Black & Green: a blues, and /peh-LO-tah/, which recently toured to the Kennedy Center and BAM. Printz has taught her hybrid contemporary-jazz technique across the United States (New York, Los Angeles, Memphis, Arizona, Colorado) and internationally (Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria, Ireland, Russia, and beyond ). In the Bay Area, she teaches for ACT’s MFA program, and at Alonzo King’s LINES Dance Center, where she has been on faculty for fifteen years. Printz graduated cum laude from UC Irvine with degrees in sociology and dance.
A Journey Beyond
Mark de Clive-Lowe
Japanese New Zealander Mark de Clive-Lowe was raised primarily in New Zealand, where he learned piano from a young age, developing a passion for jazz through his father’s record collection. In high school he fell in love with Native Tongues hip-hop and early UK jungle. During a formative decade at the epicenter of London’s underground music scene, de Clive-Lowe helped evolve broken beat alongside some of the UK’s most forward-thinking trailblazers, establishing himself as a new voice in progressive electronic music. Since 2008 de Clive-Lowe has called Los Angeles home, and his acclaimed club night CHURCH has taken his signature mash-up of technology and beat-infused jazz from coast to coast and around the globe.
De Clive-Lowe has performed with Kamasi Washington, Nia Andrews, Eric Harland, Harvey Mason, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Dwight Trible, and Jean Grae; remixed Shirley Horn, Hiatus Kaiyote, Mantombi Matotiyana, and Jerry Goldsmith; and recorded as producer and collaborator with artists all over the planet. He has contributed to more than three hundred releases. He has featured at the festivals Montreal Jazz, North Sea Jazz, Uberjazz, Tokyo Crossover Jazz Festival, and Montreux Jazz Atlanta, and is an established performer from South Africa to Japan and across the United States and Europe.
jessica Care moore’s Black WOMEN Rock!: A Tribute to Betty Davis
jessica Care moore
jessica Care moore is the CEO of Moore Black Press, executive producer of Black WOMEN Rock!, and founder of the literacy-driven Jess Care Moore Foundation. An internationally renowned poet, playwright, performance artist, and producer, she is a distinguished 2016 Kresge Arts Fellow, a 2017 Knight Arts Foundation winner, and the 2013 Alain Locke Award Recipient from the Detroit Institute of Arts. moore is the author of The Words Don’t Fit in My Mouth, The Alphabet Verses the Ghetto, God Is Not an American, Sunlight through Bullet Holes, and her forthcoming collection We Want Our Bodies Back. Her poetry has been heard on stages at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the London Institute of Contemporary Arts. She has performed all over the world and believes poems belong everywhere and to everyone. She recently won a Knight Arts Grant for her large-scale Afro-futuristic ballet Salt City, a techno-chorepoem. She is a highly respected poet among hip-hop artists, and recorded with Nas on his 1999 Nastradamus album. Her recent recordings include the track “Eternal Reflection” on Jeezy’s Church in These Streets, and “Poetry Suite” on Karriem Riggins’s Head Nod Suite project. She is signed to Talib Kweli’s Javotti Media Label, which put out her first album, Black Tea—The Legend of Jessi James, featuring Jose James, Roy Ayers, Talib Kweli, Wordsworth, One Belo, and Ursula Rucker.
A native of Detroit, Steffanie Christi’an began performing at local events as a young child, and secured her first professional gig at age nine at boxing legend Tommy Hearns’s birthday party. She collaborated with legends like Big Proof from D12 and J Dilla’s original producing partner, Amp Fiddler. Christi’an moved to New York at age eighteen and signed to Famous Music Publishing. She is the former frontwoman of the rock band FluxPhonic, and has opened for Tom Morello, Thousand Foot Krutch, and Erykah Badu. Her debut album, Way Too Much, was released in 2014. And in 2015, she toured with Talib Kweli and the Sisters, Songwriters and Sirens tour created by the Black Rock Coalition, a New York–based artists’ collective and nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the creative freedom and works of black musicians. In 2016 Christi’an toured with Taylor Mac and worked on her second album, It’s Complicated. Her recent tribute concert to rock icon Tina Turner, “Nice and Rough: A Night with Steffanie and Tina,” was sold out.
Zakiya Harris is a shapeshifter—an Afro-eclectic mix of soul, dance, and theater. Her music has been compared to the works of Janelle Monáe, Erykah Badu, and MIA. Along with her dynamic band, Elephantine, she blends soul, electronica, hip-hop, and Afro-beat. Sh8peshifter has shared stages with Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Digable Planets, Gil Scott-Heron, and Tatiana Ali. She’s been featured at Art Basel, Life Is Living, the New Parish, Brick and Mortar, Cafe du Nord, and the Legendary CBGB’s Gallery. She is also a change maker, working at the intersections of entrepreneurship, education, and creative transformation. She is a cofounder of nationally recognized projects Impact Hub Oakland, Grind for the Green, Hack the Hood, and Earthseed Consulting, and a fellow of Green for All and Bold Food.
Brooklyn born and bred Tamar-kali is a second-generation musician with roots in the coastal Sea Islands of South Carolina. Her debut LP Black Bottom challenged the alt-rock norm. The pieces she composes and arranges for her string sextet and voice project Psychochamber Ensemble marry the classical music of her Catholic upbringing with post-punk sensibilities. The start of 2017 marked her debut as a film score composer. Her “expressive and varied score swells around dramatic widescreen views of the Mississippi delta” (Variety) in Dee Rees’s Mudbound, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her music was also featured in Rees’s film Pariah (2011, Focus Features), in HBO’s Bessie (2015), starring Queen Latifah, and in the documentary AfroPunk, which introduced a generation to her unique story and talent. She has performed with a diverse list of artists, from Paramore to Vernon Reid, Roger Waters, Vijay Iyer, Meshell Ndegeocello, and the Roots.
The singer, songwriter, and producer JOI debuted in 1994 with the critically acclaimed The Pendulum Vibe (Limp/EMI, produced by Dallas Austin), whose lead single “Sunshine and the Rain” remains a staple at her live experiences. Within a few years, JOI became one of the first black models in a major Calvin Klein ad campaign (CK One), married then-husband Big Gipp of Goodie Mob, and had a daughter, Keypsiia Blue Daydreamer. She released the album Amoeba Cleansing Syndrome in 1997, backed by indie rock collective Fishbone and produced by Dallas Austin. During the 2000s JOI released Star Kitty’s Revenge on Universal, which featured the signature tune “Jefferson St. Joe,” an ode to her father, Joe Gilliam, the NFL’s first black starting quarterback.The last decade has found JOI immersed in her teaching program Artisan Polishing. She has also been engaged in productions by Max Martin (Ariana Grande, Tori Kelly), Polow Da Don (Monica, Chris Brown), and others. Her #20YearsOfJOI show, celebrated the twentieth anniversary of The Pendulum Vibe.
Ideeyah (pronounced “idea”) is a Detroit born and bred songstress, songwriter, performer, and vessel of healing who began her career at the young age of six. Defining her style as “electronic soul,” influenced by house, soul, and funk, she appreciates a plethora of genres, from Alice Coltrane to Zap Mama. Ideeyah has performed alongside jessica Care moore, Monica Blaire, JOI, Erykah Badu, Norma Jean Bell, Divinity Roxx, Christopher Williams, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Dwele, Theo Parrish, Waajeed, Zo!, Carmen Rodgers, the Foreign Exchange, and Amp Fiddler. She is headmistress of the mic for Collective Peace, and has been part of the women-only musical showcase Black WOMEN Rock! since 2010. Ideeyah released the full-length album BRAVE in June 2017.
Known as “the rock ballerina,” singer-songwriter Kimberly Nichole entered the national scene on season 8 of The Voice, and garnered praise from the likes of Pharrell Williams, Christina Aguilera, Lionel Richie, Mark Ronson, and Reba McEntire for her performances, stage presence, and vocal power. She ended up on the iTunes Top 20 and the Billboard 100 charts. After growing up in Seattle, Nichole moved to New York to launch her career. National and international performances soon followed, and she has shared the stage with such artists as Slash (Guns ’n’ Roses), Living Colour, Alice Smith, Janelle Monae, Nona Hendryx (Labelle), Aloe Blacc, Bilal, Joe Walsh (The Eagles), and Jon Bon Jovi. Her performance style has captured the attention and support of Quincy Jones, songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson, and fashion savant André Leon Talley; Talley was so taken with Nichole’s talent and fashion-forwardness that he featured her in Vogue. Her original music has been featured on MTV, VH1, BET, LOGO, Lifetime, and Showtime. Tony Award–winning director George C. Wolfe personally selected her to be the featured rock performer in his film You Are Not You, starring Hilary Swank.
Divinity Roxx has made the leap from sidewoman to Beyoncé, to frontwoman of her own genre-bursting musical journey, playing bass guitar while fronting her own band. Her career as a bass player skyrocketed after attending a bass camp led by Grammy Award–winning Victor Wooten, who subsequently invited her to tour with him. After five years with Wooten, she auditioned for Beyoncé and was selected as a band member and assistant musical director. Divinity has appeared on the Grammys, Saturday Night Live, Good Morning America, The Arsenio Hall Show, 106 & Park, The Queen Latifah Show with rapper B.o.B., and countless other TV shows, with personal highlights including a special performance at the White House for President Barack Obama. She has acted as musical director for K-pop sensation 2NE1, and joined them on their first worldwide New Evolution Tour in 2012. She has backed legends Patti Labelle, Kelly Rowland, Erykah Badu, and Gladys Knight on BET’s Black Girls Rock television show. Her 2015 release ImPossible received critical acclaim for its mash-up of hip-hop, rock, and funk, featuring an appearance by Victor Wooten. A fan recently wrote to Divinity after a performance: “Amazing show. The surge of life and light that comes from Divinity had me three feet off the ground.”
Bassist, singer, and songwriter Nik West sports a colorful mohawk shaped like a bass clef. Explosive stage presence isn’t enough to describe the way she moves: she is a real-life Gumby on stage, singing, dancing, and slapping the hell out of her bass guitar. Her credits include work for Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), Prince, Glee, and more. Noted music journalist Alex Henderson (Billboard) says: “Nik West is one 21st century artist who isn’t lacking in the chops department. She is a young electric bassist who clearly knows her way around her instrument and plays like she has been inspired by the funky likes of Larry Graham, Louis Johnson (of Brothers Johnson fame) and Marcus Miller.” She is also a highly expressive singer, whose cover of “Back in Black” by AC/DC became a new favorite of Steven Tyler and Lenny Kravitz. West has shared stages with John Mayer, Sugarland, Macy Gray, Bootsy Collins, George Clinton/Parliament Funkadelic, and Orianthi. In June 2016 she joined Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, and Slash as a cover girl for American Musical Magazine. She has appeared on the covers of virtually every bass magazine and has been featured in Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, Rolling Stone, Afropunk, and more. Says Bootsy Collins: “Nik West is definitely bringing back the funk groovement and I love everything about what she stands for!”
In the spirit of two-fisted political singer songwriters such as Nina Simone and Joni Mitchell, Nona Hendryx tackles social issues, love, and politics with a smoky vocal tessitura somewhere between funk and the end of the stratosphere. Hendryx’s legendary career spans six decades of sound and style evolution. Fans know her as a founding member of the R&B girl group, Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles, which morphed in the 1970s into the glam-rock and funk group, Labelle, with the release of their #1 record, “Lady Marmalade.” Nona Hendryx emerged as the chief songwriter of the group’s socially conscious and illuminating message songs. With the end of Labelle, Hendryx embarked upon her own impressive solo career as an alt-rock, new-wave goddess, spanning eight studio albums and engaging with an impressive lineup of collaborators including Prince, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, Bono, and Cameo. Fast-forwarding into the 21st Century without losing a note (or gaining a pound) Nona Hendryx remains the Queen of Transformation, writing music for theater, film, and producing and collaborating with a new generation of artists. 2018 is an especially busy year with Hendryx becoming the inaugural recipient of the year-long Vanguard Residency series at Joe’s Pub, a commission to create new multimedia work inspired by Carrie Mae Weems’ Kitchen Table and Ulysses Dove’s Urban Folk Dance, and creating a SiriusXM radio show, The Nexus discussing Hendryx’s three passions: music, art, and technology.
Casa de Spirits
Roger Guenveur Smith
Roger Guenveur Smith adapted his Obie Award–winning solo performance of A Huey P. Newton Story into a Peabody Award–winning telefilm directed by Spike Lee. His history-infused work for the international stage also includes Frederick Douglass Now; Juan and John, inspired by the remarkable friendship of baseball greats Juan Marichal and John Roseboro after their notorious fight on the field; the transatlantic love story Iceland; Two Fires, a meditation on Philadelphia’s 1793 yellow fever epidemic and 1985 MOVE bombing; In Honor of Jean-Michel Basquiat; Who Killed Bob Marley?; Rodney King; Christopher Columbus 1992 (commissioned and performed at the US Olympic Games); The Watts Towers Project; and, with Mark Broyard, the “not-too-dark-comedy” Inside the Creole Mafia, which won LA Weekly Production of the Year awards for both its premiere and its post-Katrina revival. His original pieces have been performed throughout the world, garnering accolades and awards; Smith performs in any venue, in any neighborhood, on any occasion to share his stories with the community. For example, as A Huey P. Newton Story was preparing for filming by Spike Lee, he was regularly performing it at the Harlem Public Library.
Guenveur Smith directed the award-winning Radio Mambo: Culture Clash Invades Miami, the West Coast premiere of Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, and, most recently, Steven Berkoff’s Agamemnon. His next collaborations include Five Hundred Lives per Mile, with composer Marc Anthony Thompson, commissioned by the Old Globe Theatre to focus on the human costs of the Panama Canal construction; and, with Richard Montoya, a study of Venice, California, commissioned by the Center Theater Group.
Guenveur Smith’s extensive screen credits span from Steven Soderbergh’s HBO series K Street to Queen Sugar from Ava DuVernay to Spike Lee’s classic Do the Right Thing, for which he created the stuttering hero Smiley. The decades-long partnership between Lee and Guenveur Smith was showcased at last year’s Cannes Film Festival with the premiere of the performance film Rodney King and a short film highlighting their work together. Guenveur Smith studied at Yale University and Occidental College. He currently directs his Performing History workshop at California Institute for the Arts, where he created his latest work, The Hendrix Project, to be featured in the Under the Radar Festival in New York.
Founded in 1996, Campo Santo is an award-winning multicultural group committed to developing new performance and to nurturing people of color–centered new audiences. They cultivate playwrights, fiction writers, musicians, dancers in an intimate, interactive, community-based setting to create new theatrical experiences that reflect and reinvent our society. Campo santo is Spanish for “sacred ground,” and like their name, they are taking the sacred form of storytelling and using it as a tool to bond community through socially relevant pieces. With their Campo Santo familia of more than thirty active collaborators, they have created more than sixty-five world premieres. They maintain long-term relationships with internationally known writers and some of the Bay Area’s best artists, including the playwrights Luis Alfaro, Philip Gotanda, Jessica Hagedorn, Naomi Iizuka, Richard Montoya, Ntozake Shange, Octavio Solis, and Erin Cressida Wilson. They have created first plays with Jimmy Baca, Jorge Cortiñas, Junot Diaz, Dave Eggers, Star Finch, Chinaka Hodge, Denis Johnson, Luís Saguar, Vendela Vida, and others. Campo Santo was the longtime resident company at San Francisco’s Intersection for the Arts (1997–2013) under Deborah Cullinan, current YBCA CEO, where they developed their Open Process model. They now undertake shorter-term residencies with American Conservatory Theatre, Magic Theatre, and Laney College.
Left to Her Own Devices: 20 years of Sculpture in Motion
Capacitor’s past works have tackled futurism (future species, 1999), Earth’s relationship with outer space (Within Outer Spaces, 2000), video gaming (Avatars, 2002), the deep layers of Earth (Digging in the Dark, 2005), the forest canopy (biome, 2007), flower reproduction (The Perfect Flower, 2009), the ocean (Okeanos, 2012), creativity in the mind (Synaptic Motion, 2014), and early childhood (When We Were Small, 2016). The company performs extensively, and has delivered long runs in New York’s HERE, the American Theatre of Actors, and Central Park; San Francisco’s Herbst Pavilion, Cowell Theater, Project Artaud Theater, Exploratorium, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Battery, San Francisco Gay Pride Festival, and SOMArts Gallery; and at Burning Man. Capacitor has been commissioned to create original works for the TED 2009 Conference, the California Academy of Sciences, SFO, NASA, the Discovery Channel, the Crucible, and the Salvadorian gymnastics team.
Touring is an integral part of Capacitor’s effort to bring its innovative approach to art making to as wide an audience as possible. Nationally, Capacitor has been presented at the TED Conference 2009, the Krannert Center at University of Illinois, the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase, Louisville’s Brown Theater, the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Florida, the University of Maine, the University of Virginia, the Palms in Las Vegas, 314 Project in Chicago, and Albuquerque’s VSA North Fourth Art Center, among others. Internationally, Capacitor has performed in Malaysia, in Canada for the Fringe Festival for International Dance Artists, in Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival, and twice in San Salvador as guests of the American Embassy.
Jodi Lomask, Artistic Director
A 1996 cum laude graduate of the dance conservatory at SUNY Purchase, Jodi Lomask trained at the Royal Ballet Academy, Merce Cunningham Studio, London Contemporary Dance School, the Rotterdam Dansacademie, L’Espace Catastrophe, and Jacob’s Pillow. She has performed with Zaccho Dance Theatre, Project Bandaloop, Kneejerk, Erica Essner Performance Co-op, and Capacitor, and has taught workshops and classes in modern dance technique at universities across the United States. Her work has been covered by Nature magazine, Smithsonian magazine, Fast Company, Wired.com, RES, Shift magazine, NBC 11’s Tech NOW!, CNET Radio, TECH TV, NPR, Dance magazine, San Francisco magazine, and the New York Times, among other media outlets. She appeared in National Geographic’s Wild Chronicles with canopy tree ecologist Dr. Nalini Nadkarni.
Lomask sees the world as an amalgam of seemingly contradictory yet synergistic perspectives. The daughter of a biomedical research engineer and a visual artist, she spent her childhood going to laboratories and gallery openings, and now weaves these two worlds into her work, creating highly visual, biological images and rhythms. Taking a sculptural approach to the body, costuming, and props, her inventive choreographic solutions emerge from problems born of conceptual, physical, and spatial parameters. Lomask has created performance concepts for the World Showcase and Future World in Disney’s Epcot Center, and consults for IDEO. She has collaborated with world-renowned research scientists to create original dance works that draw attention to critical environmental issues.
Lomask has received awards from the NEA, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, the San Francisco Arts Commission, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Fund with CounterPulse, Zellerbach Family Fund, Voluntary Arts Contribution Fund, the McElwee Family Fellowship, the Dale Djerassi Fellowship, Altria Group, Toyota’s Together Green, CounterPulse AIR, Djerassi Artist Colony, Yaddo Artist Colony, CHIME Mentorship with Joanna Haigood, LEF, California Arts Council, American Composers’ Forum, and Theater Bay Area.
The Institute of Memory (TIMe)
Lars Jan is a Los Angeles–based director, writer, visual artist, and founding artistic director of Early Morning Opera. He is the son of émigrés from Afghanistan and Poland, and a TED Senior Fellow. Early Morning Opera’s original works, including Abacus, Holoscenes, and The Institute of Memory, have been presented at the Under the Radar Festival, BAM Next Wave Festival, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Sundance Film Festival, Boska Komedia / Divine Comedy Festival, REDCAT, the Hammer Museum, New York Live Arts, Ringling Museum of Art, MDC Live Arts / Art Basel Miami, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art TBA Festival, Toronto Nuit Blanche Festival, Artichoke (London), and the NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center. Jan’s photographs and video installations have been recently exhibited at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Fowler Museum at UCLA, and Istanbul Modern. Jan is the recipient of the 2017 Audemars Piguet Arts Commission. His upcoming performance based on Joan Didion’s The White Album has been commissioned by BAM and Centre Theatre Group and will premiere in 2018.