we are: anna, Kimiko, s., Symara, Tara, Taylor, Ogemdi and marion

Anna, Kimiko, s., Symara, Tara, Taylor, Ogemdi and marion, photo by Jessie Young

We are anna, Kimiko, s., Symara, Tara, taylor, Ogemdi and marion. We collectively make work that pushes the limits of time, space and understanding through movement, sound, light and voice using both improvised and choreographic structures. Through this collective structure, marion facilitates how we come together-

marion is a dance artist living on the land of the Munsee Lenape and Canarsie peoples, known today as Brooklyn. She dances and make dances to receive and offer source points for transformation—cellularly, individually, sociopolitically and societally. Collaging movement, sound and light, her practice calls upon intuition, imagination and our very real world to shape a collective environment for her collaborators and audiences to live in, dream in, journey through and be altered by. Her work has recently been presented by The Chocolate Factory Theater (creative residency), Danspace Project (DraftWork), Gibney (Work Up), Brooklyn Studios for Dance, Center for Performance Research (Fall Movement), Movement Research at Judson Church, the Domestic Performance Agency and Dance HOLO, among others. She has held residencies at The Chocolate Factory Theater, Mana Contemporary, Gibney (Solo for Solo) and Amherst College, among others. She has shared her work and teaching practice nationally to Seattle WA, Amherst MA, and her former home of New Orleans LA. As a collaborator, she has recently had the pleasure of working with BAND|portier, Laura Peterson, Larissa Velez-Jackson, Michelle Boulé, Athena Kokoronis, Tyler Rai, Whitney Browne, Shandoah Goldman and Melissa Riker.

to love the rise/pt 2

to love the rise/pt 2 is an ongoing multimedia dance project including performers Ogemdi Ude, Symara Johnson, Kimiko Tanabe, Tara Sheena, s. lumbert, slowdanger, and marion. Taking lessons from liminality, abolition, and Donna Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto,” the collective offers visions of a world built from the detritus of our current one—collectively moving and grooving, sensing and sounding, finding and losing order to arrive together in a transformed state of sensing, imagination, and action. Marion Spencer is a 2020–21 NDA LiftOff Resident Artist.

Symara Johnson, a Portland Oregon native, currently residing in Brooklyn, has immersed herself in interdisciplinary and choreographic studies globally. Her work varies due to the different influences she’s embraced throughout her life. She is a recipient of the Dai Ailian Foundation Scholarship based in Trinidad and Tobago. The scholarship led her to Beijing, China where she spent two years gaining an associate in modern choreography at the renowned Beijing Dance Academy. Symara is a graduate of SUNY Purchase’s Conservatory of Dance program. She has served as a resident artist at Bearnstow and  is a Gibney 6.2 Work Up Artist recipient. She has had film work commissioned by Berlin based choreographer, Christoph Winkler. Johnson has presented work at the Bates Dance Festival, Smush Gallery, The Craft, BAAD, CreateArtXGallim, WIM Salon, Mount Vernon Community Theatre, ACMA, The Forum Art Space, Moving Art Exchange, Chez Bushwhick, The Beijing Dance Academy Theatre and venues throughout NYC and Germany.  She has danced works most notably by & for Kevin Wynn, Alexandra Beller, Rena Butler, Jasmine Hearn, Hannah Garner, Nattie Trogdon+Hollis Bartlett, Slowdanger, Marion Spencer, Joanna Kotze, Netta Yerushalmy and more.

s. lumbert is a transgender dance artist based in Lanapehoking/ Brooklyn. s. is committed to a continual practice of working to renavigate how to be in zis body and in the world as a trans person who experiences chronic illness. s. is currently working with the Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Company. 

Kimiko Tanabe is from the great state of Colorado and currently resides Brooklyn as a freelance performer and dancer. She trained as a competitive gymnast before slowly making her way to the contemporary dance world. Kimiko holds a degree in English – Creative Writing and Dance from Colorado College. Aries by day, Scorpio by night, she is a lover of literature and finds herself making important life decisions under the eyes and influences of fiction. Drawing inspiration from the novel as form, she understands the body as a vessel to tell stories.

Ogemdi Ude is a Nigerian-American interdisciplinary artist, educator, and doula based in Brooklyn, New York. Her performances focus on Black femme legacies and futures, grief, and memory. She aims to incite critical engagement with embodied Black history as a means to imagine Black futurity. Her work has been presented at Recess Art, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Danspace Project, Gibney, Center for Performance Research, and Streb Lab for Action Mechanics. She serves as Head of Movement for Theater at Professional Performing Arts School and is a 2021 Laundromat Project Artist-in-Residence. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English from Princeton University. 

Tara Sheena is a dancer, independent manager, and arts writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She has spent the last decade performing in projects with some of her favorite artists and people, including Nadia Tykulsker, Catherine Galasso, Ivy Baldwin. Gillian Walsh, Leyya Mona Tawil,  Ursula Eagly, Lindsey Dietz Marchant, Faye Driscoll, storm budwig, Laurel Snyder, kirsten schnittker, and Marion Spencer.  She was featured in the May 2020 issue of Dance Magazine and is the recent recipient of two alumni awards from her alma mater, the University of Michigan: the Emerging Artist Award and the Paul F. Boylan Award. This Fall, she will pursue her MBA at the University of Texas at Austin. 

anna thompson and taylor knight, are co-founders of performance entity, slowdanger. They fuse sound and movement through improvised contemporary and postmodern dance frameworks, using found material, vocalization, and ontological examination to engage in collaborative work. Performers manifest as a non-binary entity that is one body amassed of multiple bodies in space. slowdanger has been featured in/by Dance Magazine’s ‘25 to Watch’, The MoMA, The Kennedy Center, The Andy Warhol Museum, Usine C, Dance Place, Place Des Arts and more. In 2019 they were Creatives in Residence at the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University and Performers in Residence at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Currently anna and taylor are Adjunct Professors of Modern Dance at Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts.