After careful consideration of the news regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), Gibney has decided to cancel this event. This is a difficult decision to make, but during this time we need to prioritize the health and safety of our community and our staff. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Work Up is a residency, professional development program, and performance opportunity that supports early-career artists.
Emphasizing the articulation of ideas in both movement and language, Work Up 6.3 features work by Emma Rose Brown, Gabriella Carmichael, and Clement Mensah & Michel Kouakou: CO.to.GHA dance project.
Emma Rose Brown
Simul-cast is a highly specific improvisational structure that languages physicality and tracks the multiple natures of perception. Performers act as sports commentators, describing what is happening in real-time in the body of another performer, preceding the power of the viewer to name what they see. Listening back to this audio, performers relive, remember, and reenact their immediate past. Moving from frantic speaking to silence, this work is simultaneously performance, game, and documentation. We offer an alternative way of taking in the world in real-time.
learning to see in the dark
learning to see in the dark is a solo study in undoing pain. It is inspired by the forest, the spaces between the stars, forgotten trauma, sadness, a fear of heights, the lessons we learn from lying, self-care practices, and the places we call home. Intertwined with personal and collective memories, voice, and poetry, this work confronts and theatricalizes landscapes of queer womanhood. This work honors femme power and the moments that make us feel brave.
CLEMENT MENSAH & MICHEL KOUAKOU: Co.To.GHA DANCE PROJECT
In AKANE, two contemporary African choreographers share a cultural journey. Mensah (from Ghana) and Kouakou (from the Ivory Coast) first met in New York in 2009 and realized they have much in common besides migrating from Africa to live and dance in the United States. Coming from the Akan people of West Africa, they share ethnic heritage. Together, these artists investigate historic connections through movement, collaboration, and the lens of their respective cultures. How does the experience of an African living in one’s homeland differ from the experience of an African in diaspora?
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Emma Rose Brown is a Queens-based performer, multidisciplinary artist, and oral historian working in the field of dance. She assists in the preservation and production of the Dance Oral History Project at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. She was a 2018-2019 Fresh Tracks artist at New York Live Arts and a SU CASA artist-in-residence in Middle Village, Queens through Queens Council on the Arts. She has shown work at New York Live Arts, The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought, Rochester Folk Arts Guild, Abode Farm, and Ponderosa Movement and Discover. Emma has improvised, and performed in the work of Julia Gladstone, Diana Crum, Jen Polins, Keely Garfield, Lisa Parra, Tyler Rai, Wally Cardona, and Jennifer Lacey, Joanna Kotze, K.J. Holmes, Inkyung Lee, and Emily Johnson.
Gabriella Carmichael is a dancer, a performer, a maker, a lover of words, and a proud dyke determined to reveal herself with a compassionate and provocative voice. She is engrossed by issues of power, absolution, difference, and healing, with her work often trafficking through territories of homophobia and queerness, isolation, and relationships. Her work has been performed at venues such as Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Triskelion Arts Center, Center for Performance Research, Brooklyn Ballet, Mark Morris, Dixon Place, School of Contemporary Dance and Thought (Northampton, MA) and Smith College (Northampton, MA). She was a 2018 artist at Brooklyn Arts Exchange through NEEDING IT/The Helix Queer Performance Network, the 2017 recipient of the Benny Simon Family Scholarship through Gibney, and has collaborated extensively with Annie Heath/Heath in Progress She is a yoga teacher throughout the city and she enthusiastically loves this work. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and 5-College Dance Consortium where she studied dance and cultural anthropology. She uses her movement practice as a tool for greater empowerment, stronger community creation, and finding space where we can feel like we belong.
Michel Kouakou (CO.to.GHA) is a choreographer and dancer from the Ivory Coast. He is the founder and Director of Daara Dance. Michel received his MFA in Dance from Hollins University. He is the recipient of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance (2012), a Jerome Foundation Fellowship for research in dance (2012), winner of a New York Foundation of the Arts Artist Fellowship (2008), and winner of the U.S. Japan Fellowship (2008) to conduct six months of research in Tokyo and Kyoto. In 2008 he was nominated for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative and in 2010 and was a finalist in The A.W.A.R.D. Show in New York City and Los Angeles. Mr. Kouakou moved to New York in 2004 and subsequently to Los Angeles, where he is served as a lecturer at UCLA since 2010. He maintains an active touring and teaching schedule across the globe and continues to pursue his long-term goal of building an “artistic bridge” between his origins in the Ivory Coast and the US. Michel Kouakou’s company has moved to Minnesota due to a new job position at the University of Minnesota where he was teaching as an assistant professor in dance at the Barbara Darker Center for Dance. Michel becomes a member and co-founder of the in Ivorian Diaspora Dance Association based in Both Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and Paris, France. Michel is also a co-founder of COtoGHA and a member of Reggie Wilson’s Fist and Heel Performance Group based in New York. Living in New York, Michel is also Working as a Teaching Artist for the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Bronx Arts Ensemble in New York.
Clement Mensah (CO.to.GHA) is a performer, choreographer, and educator. He is a third culture kid who was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa. After living and going to school in the Netherlands, the U.S. and the U.K., where he did a postgraduate degree at Trinity Laban conservatory. A member of Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance group since 2012 and former member of Battery Dance, Mr. Mensah is humbled to have performed, taught and traveled with various dance companies to at least forty-nine countries. As founder of Off the Radar Creative Project and co-founder/creator of Co.to.Gha he aims to use the gift of creativity to bridge different cultures and bring generations together through self-expression and educate the next generations. Mr. Mensah is grateful for the interspecies learning opportunity and humbled to be part of The Equus Project.
Photos (left-right): Emma Rose Brown by Emma Rose Brown; Gabriella Carmichael by Travis Emery Hackett; Photo of Michel Kouakou by Clement Mensah.
Gibney 280 Broadway is accessible via elevator from the main entrance at 53A Chambers Street.
We welcome the opportunity to make this event more accessible. Please refrain from wearing scented products, so that people with chemical sensitivities can join us. Please request ASL interpreting, audio description, or open captioning 30 days before the event or submit other requests by completing our Access Requests and Inquiries Form or calling 646.837.6809 (Voice only).