Works-in-Progress 2019

May 30 - June 2


The 2019 Works-in-Progress cohort includes choreographers, actors, musicians, playwrights, visual artists, and theater makers who will share collaborative original works that explore themes including pop nostalgia and the early days of the internet, the ephemeral body and queer futurity, isolation and togetherness on a frozen horizon, shapeshifting and Indigenous futurism, and how white supremacy manifests in the body.

The Cloud Suit
Collaborators/makers: Julia Gavin Bither and Claire King

You deserve to be looked at like you are a cloud/
a wet, shapeless mass/
you are indistinct, ephemeral/
subject to change

Using dance, film, projection, translucent screens, contour tracings, and three dimensional object making, Julia Bither and Claire King trace the image of a future. Here, bodies are not held at their perimeters, expression controls perception, and seeing is a position of wondrous un-knowing.

Julia Gavin Bither (choreographer/performer) and Claire King (installation/video artist) are an artist team with a practice centered in collaboration. Julia Gavin Bither works as an independent dancer with artists such as HIJACK, Laurie Van Wieren and Anna Marie Shogren. Claire King’s video installation work has appeared at Yeah Maybe, Liquorice Beach, Soap Factory’s 3x5 Residency and Third Space. Claire and Julia have been creating movement-based work together for five years, often presenting their work as visual art installations and experimental films.

La luz, la sombrisa, y la galaxia
Musicians/Animators: Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra a.k.a. Lady Xøk and Xilam Balam

A starry-eyed, immersive whitebox experience blends colorscape, sound, puppetry and animation. Lady Xøk brings the story of a warrior Lenca Queen to life through music, invoking bodies and ancestors through mask and light, and floating stories of flying jaguars through space-time.

Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra a.k.a. Lady Xøk (b. Tomah, WI, enrolled Maya-Lenca) is an interdisciplinary contemporary artist, musician, writer, curator, and culture bearer working in a decolonial social practice at the intersection of arts, culture, community, and equity. She writes and performs bilingual music under the pseudonym Lady Xøk and is currently recording an EP made possible, in part, by funds provided by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) through a grant from The McKnight Foundation. Lady Xøk’s music stems from folk roots in Latin American Nueva Canción and American Blues, layered with distortion, minor tones, storytelling and experimental performance.

Megan Burns as Wyn
Ricardo Beaird as One
Rosey Lowe as DJ
Meredith Casey as Choreographer

You’ve got mail! We wish to cordially invite human guests to our interactive Y2K Party. Dress to be stressed and ring in the new millennia with the hottest party games, 90s jams, and foreboding trends. Get ready for the (possible) end of days, but don’t think about it too much—it’s a party!!!!11! : )

Megan Burns (she/her/hers) is an actor and theater maker living in Minneapolis. Most recent credits include: A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie, Little Women at The Jungle, and BAD NEWS! i was there... at the Guthrie. She has been seen onstage with Theater Latte Da, Mixed Blood Theater, Red Eye Theater, Walking Shadow Theater, Sandbox Theater, Illusion Theater and Dangerous Productions. Megan Burns is a playwright who has produced her work in the Minnesota Fringe Festival, as well as the Rough Cuts series with Nautilus Theater. You can see her this summer in Stinkers at The Jungle Theater.

Ricardo Beaird (he/him/his or they/them) is a theatre-maker and cheese curd enthusiast from Nashville, TN. You might have seen them perform with Ten Thousand Things Theatre, Park Square Theater, Pangea World Theatre, or even in previous Red Eye productions. Last year, Ricardo became a “for-real-for-real” playwright with a workshop presentation of their play SPOOK presented by The Umbrella Collective, and with a staged reading of his play FATHER DARLING presented by Ambiance Theater. Ricardo is too hype to be collaborating in this Works-In-Progress program with his Artner-In-Crime, Megan Burns.

Part 1: I’m Uncomfortable With What I’m Feeling
by Casey Llewellyn and Morgan Thorson

In an ongoing effort to act against white supremacy, playwright Casey Llewellyn and choreographer/dancer Morgan Thorson move out of the comfort zones of their own disciplines to explore the internal and relational dynamics of their own whiteness as makers and movers. Through sensation-based approaches to choreography, they deepen their awareness of the harmful impacts of whiteness and attempt to enact new ways of being and making.

Casey Llewellyn is a playwright whose work interrogates identity, collectivity and form. She is a 2018-19 Jerome Fellow at The Playwrights’ Center. Works include: O, Earth (commissioned and produced by The Foundry Theatre, 2016), I Am Bleeding All Over the Place: A Living History Tour (conceived by Brooke O'Harra, co-written with her, La Mama, 2016), The Body which is the Town, Come in. Be with me. Don't touch me., Obsession Piece, and The Quiet Way. Casey is a member of the advisory board of The Racial Imaginary Institute.

Since 2000, Morgan Thorson has generated a body of work that questions the conventions of western concert dance through interdisciplinary collaboration. Engaged in critical dialogue with the form, and inspired by a subject, physical process or point of view, her work honors the body as complex means of expression as it relates to the site and community in which it is situated. For Morgan, dancing provides communication and connection to people, silence, rage, space, beauty and itinerant imagination.

To and From:
Choreographers: Annika Hansen, Nakita Kirchner, Anusha Ramaswami, Nicole Stumpf, and Abigail Whitmore

Five collaborators meet on a single plane to explore their desires for kinship, both proximal and distal. Drawing inspiration from floorplans, cantaloupes in February, laughter, and harsh climates, they ask: How do we understand closeness as a continuum?

Nakita Kirchner is a Lebanese performer and collaborator in diaspora. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in dance, as well as minors in Arabic and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. She currently apprentices with Ananya Dance Theater and holds the title of the University Theater and Dance Peer as she completes her third year at the University of Minnesota.

Annika Hansen is a dancer, maker, and collaborator in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2017 with a BFA in Dance and currently performs and creates around the Twin Cities. She strives to excavate and embody her experiences as a starting point for the creative process. With her partner and collaborator, Abigail Whitmore, she creates work to inhabit both theaters and public spaces.

Anusha Ramaswami is a creator, dancer and musician based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is classically trained in Bharatanatyam, a form originating in Southern India. She currently works as a music therapist and writes and performs as part of a singer-songwriter duo, The Stella Loons.

Nicole Stumpf is a Twin Cities-based dancer with interest in contemporary dance practices and research-based approaches. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in dance and marketing in 2016 and continues to dedicate herself to project-based work as well as performing with Mathew Janczewski’s ARENA Dances.

Abigail Whitmore is a choreographer, Pilates instructor, and mover based in Minneapolis. She and her collaborator/partner, Annika Hansen, most recently produced Dance Workout Tours at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in partnership with the Walker Art Center (happening again in summer 2019). They’ve also produced performances at the Casket Arts Building, Glam Doll Donuts, and the University of Minnesota Rec Center Pool. Abigail also choreographed for Rhythmically Speaking in 2017, performed for SLO Dance Company, and taught for the Cowles Center’s Pivotal Moment series.

photo cr: Val Oliveiro