"KUVV" is a multidisciplinary, collaborative project organized by choreographer and performance artist Hayley Cutler, exploring the relationship between home, familial lineage, and the body. Cutler writes about the project, “To live in a body is to carry with you not only your immediate past but the actions—some chosen, many not—of your ancestors. [...] It is important that viewers of the culminating work understand that it is a shared physical expression of survival, strength, and persistence.” "KUVV" aims to be a platform for personal storytelling told through the body, considering what our bodies remember from generations passed.
The project kicks off with "Any body Home?", a talk by ethnomusicologist Tomie Hahn next Thursday September 3. Tomie will explore the sense of home as an embodied flow of time and space and asks that participants bring a pen and pencil to explore our homes, right where we are. Weekly artist talks will follow.
"KUVV" culminates in an evening-length, live-streamed, performance on Saturday, September 26th comprising work by six participating artists, who were selected through an open call this past spring. Emily Ames, Antonius and Theresa-Xuan Bui, Jamie Garcia, Akela Jaffi, Juliana Ponguta, and Vyette Tiya have worked independently and in conversation with each other throughout the summer to create intimate responses reflective of the prompt: How does your familial lineage live in your physical body today, and how does that contribute to your sense of home as it relates to your identity?
About the Artist-Organizer
Hayley Cutler is a choreographer, performer, and dance educator based in Washington, DC. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of darlingdance, a feminist dance theater company celebrating its 10th anniversary season. As a maker and performer, Hayley pushes the boundaries of intimacy and comfort and encourages her audience to expand their notions of what dance making is. Her work aims to portray what total autonomy looks like for female bodies in public spaces. Her work has been performed in traditional theater spaces, art galleries, on basketball courts, at city bus stops, in studio apartments, and in her local CVS store. Hayley is a 202Creates Resident Artist alumna and a three-time recipient of a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship. Her next project is a large scale site-specific work that will be presented by the Kennedy Center in Spring 2021.
About the Artists
Emily Ames is a dancer, choreographer, and collaborator who tries to add sequins and a touch of irreverence wherever she can. She graduated in 2018 from the University of Maryland with degrees in dance and history. When not at her 9-5 at Studio Theatre, Emily dances for Heart Stück Bernie and Britta Joy Peterson. Emily’s choreography has been presented at the NextNOW Fest, the American College Dance Association, UMD’s Second Season series, and supported by Dance Metro DC. Past artistic highlights include: destroying abandoned classrooms with Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s blessing, throwing a post-apocalyptic party courtesy of Monstah Black, and touring Sinaloa, Mexico with PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER.
Theresa-Xuan and Antonius Bui are Queer Vietnamese-American artists and siblings. They are the children of Paul and Van Bui, two Vietnamese refugees who sacrificed everything to provide a future for their four kids and extended family. Born and raised in the Bronx, Antonius and Theresa eventually moved to Houston before each pursuing a BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Their polydisciplinary practices are rooted in the Vietnamese diaspora and they demand to be as non-binary as their identities.
Juliana Pongutá Forero is a Colombian-born performer, choreographer and educator. Her practice explores the relationship between imagination, creativity, and instinct. She is passionate about creating and exploring experiences that nurture curiosity and reflection. Performance and teaching spaces are for her an opportunity to connect with others, ask questions, and embody ideas that sometimes cannot be expressed in words. Juliana’s performance work has been presented in Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, and the United States. She co-founded “La Montón” Dance Collective” (Argentina) and collaborates with Jonathan Gonzalez (Colombia). She has worked with the Contemporary Dance Company of the National University of Arts of Argentina (Argentina), Andanzas (Peru), Compañia de Danza H3 (Colombia), and Orange Grove Dance and S.J. & Dancers (USA). She is also a Dance Exchange partnering artist since 2017. In addition, her teaching and performance engagements have taken her to Cuba, New Zealand and Brazil.
Jamie Garcia illustrates controversial, societal narratives and extremely personal sentiments as a Filipino American womxn. Her style of movement can be described as pedestrian, heavily composed of impulsive and reactionary gestures. In her interactive and immersive performance art, she approaches the peculiar, embraces the uncomfortable, acknowledges the unseen, and challenges the conventional. Jamie produces passion projects through a movement collective she founded, The Wabi-Sabi Society.
Akela Jaffi is a writer and dancer currently residing in DC. Her movement work has been largely centered around ritual, using dance as a way to pay homage to the passings of life. She has been training, choreographing, and creating for the stage for 15 years, and is still learning new things about dance at every turn. While movement provides a connection to the ego, the extrovert and the performer within, writing has served as a connection to spirit and bloodline. She believes in art as a healing medium, and hopes to create work that permits deep conversation with the self, both for the audience and the creator.
Vyette Tiya is a DC-based dancer and collaborator. Through movement research, improvisation as practice, and melding different forms, Vyette seeks to tap into the subtleties and extremities of sharing our authentic selves. Vyette is invested in community-engaged dance and social commentary, utilizing performance as means for shared knowledge and personal connection. A graduate of American University, Vyette studied international relations and dance, where she honed her skills in contemporary and jazz, blended with her background in African dance, freestyle, and urban choreography. Vyette has performed on stages and in site-specific works, including at the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, Dance Place, the Kennedy Center, Georgetown Waterfront, and Katzen Arts Center.
This and other WPA projects are made possible by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Bloomberg Philanthropies; The Corcoran Women's Committee; The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; Hickok Cole Architects; White&Case; and many other generous foundations, corporations, and individuals.
Photo by Mariah Miranda c/o darlingdance
Final Performance: Saturday September 26, from 7:30–9:00 pm ET