Williams | Johnson

June 6 - 8



Choreographer and director: Arneshia Williams

Arneshia Williams blends a visceral mixture of modern and social dance vocabularies in this multimedia dance work. Layering classical genres in a diverse soundtrack, Williams shares her ever-shifting ruminations on themes of identity, time, and joy.

A native of Stillwater, Oklahoma, Arneshia Williams is a contemporary dance artist. Her work was shown at Red EyeTheater, the Exchange Choreography Festival, and the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance. She received fellowships and scholarships from the University of Colorado Boulder, American Dance Festival, and Jacob’s Pillow.

MATRYOSHKA: A Live Visual Album

Creator and performer: Anna Johnson
With Bella Yaga: Alana Horton, Joni Griffith, and Peter Morrow
And members of Mila Vocal Ensemble: Aleksandra Veriga, Laura Lentz Lanstad, and Sarah Callahan

In this live visual album, a woman enters a nonlinear dimension where she may experience herself as a microcosm of the universe. Anna Johnson brings together electric folk band Bella Yaga and guests from Mila Vocal Ensemble to tell a story of ancestral contact, necessary death and self-love in energy’s spiral flow through space-time. Drawing from a Slavic folk tale and the Wizard of Oz, the work collages original and traditional music, video projection, object theatre and dance to create ancient and psychedelic textures. A set of nesting dolls, or matryoshka as they are called in Russia, offers a visual metaphor for the layers of self, memory and universe that open throughout this ritual of transformation.

Anna Johnson is an interdisciplinary performance artist with a focus on music, moving image, and installation. She creates time-based art to process and transform energy and to heal on individual and collective scales. Anna leads the band Bella Yaga and sings with Mila Vocal Ensemble, a women’s group grounded in the vocal traditions of Eastern Europe and Russia.