Festival Fall 2019: ComeUnion

December 4 – December 8, 2019

Thank you for joining us for Movement Research Fall 2019 Festival, co-curated by Marielys Burgos Meléndez, Jaime Ortega, and iele paloumpis.

The Fall 2019 Festival ComeUnion was curated around the intersection of somatic practices, social justice and trauma-informed pedagogies. This five-day festival offered a variety of formats to celebrate and investigate how somatic practices inform and enhance how we commune, heal, and address social justice issues.

About Movement Research's Festivals:

Movement Research Festivals, curated by a team of artists, explore contemporary dance forms through performances, classes, workshops, and discursive events. MR Festivals allow for a varied investigation and exploration into current artistic concerns and reflect Movement Research’s mission of valuing artists, their creative process, and their vital role within society. The Fall Festival centers around performances at our long-time festival home, Danspace Project.

GETTING INTO IT: sex, grief, alone & together under the cover of early morning’s dim light with Julie Tolentino

Wednesday, December 4

The space for this workshop included warming, rolling, touch, and meditation. GETTING INTO IT harbored deep, distant “insides” and explored opacity under two environs: a reflective facade and an earthy surface.

The Body Remembers: Breathwork for Radical Presence with Jennifer Patterson

Thursday, December 5

Jennifer shared about her work as a trauma-informed/ experienced healing arts practitioner, offering some tips for creating and holding spaces that are supportive.

¿Cómo desnudarse?... many layers to unveil beyond clothing with Antonio Ramos

Friday, December 6

Centered in consent, this workshop explored diverse dynamics that enable healing, playfulness and the unveiling of physical and emotional layers.

Designing accessible movement practices with Michelle Mantione

Friday, December 6

This workshop explored movement within the frameworks of Disability Justice, and Pedagogy of the Oppressed, applying the concepts of interdependence, and intersectionality into movement together.

LIMINAL BODIES: Internal Practices for Unwinding Empire with Zavé Martohardjono

Sunday, December 8

LIMINAL BODIES combined improvisation and healing modalities to prompt consideration of bodies' relationships to power and empire. Participants developed listening systems to identify assimilated and conditioned bodily habits, explored how colonization shapes relationships to their bodies, and attuned to natural technologies and ancestral knowledge. [View photos below]

View images and video excerpts below

Thursday, December 5 / 8:00 PM

Featured works by artists Jerron Herman, Camilo Godoy, and stevie may.

Friday, December 6 / 8:00 PM

KK de La Vida, Dustin Maxwell, and Grace Osborn explored and embodied healing as both a personal and collective action, proposing a space in togetherness to witness or participate in the healing endeavor.

Saturday, December 7 / 8:00 PM

Featured works by Christopher Unpezverde Núñez, and Merián Soto. Conversation after the performance with the artists was moderated by Marielys Burgos Meléndez.

The art of healing: Screening and discussion on embodied practices for self and social healing

Wednesday, December 4

devynn emory, Nicole Soto-Rodríguez, and Despina Sophia Stamos utilized video to document and track interdisciplinary research on embodiment and healing. Their work called into consideration the accessibility of embodiment and healing practices, and the lengths to which video work can pinpoint the personal while also scaling to convey what is widely social and political. [View photos below]

Social Wounds in the BodyMind: Somatic & Trauma-Informed practices for Collective Healing

Sunday, December 8

Moderated by Ni’Ja Whitson, with panelists: Cheryl Clark, Martha Eddy, Kayvon Pourazar, and Sangeeta Vallabhan. The panel explored how social injustices impacts people’s lives and communities; who has access to healing and somatic practices; and how somatics practitioners working with offering trauma-informed approach communities. [View photos below]

Listen to the panel discussion HERE

OPEN STUDIO WITH: Patch The Sky With 5 Colored Stones (aka Landing Sites) with Daria Faïn

Saturday, December 7

Daria Faïn shared some of the movement principals she developed for a new work and also read some parts of an upcoming book. She also spoke about the shift between working for 10 years as the co-director of the large and diverse group of The Commons Choir to working within an intimate group of longtime friends/peers to tend a need for care and introspection.

Freedom of Movement: a Laboratory about Immigration and Movement (in 2 parts) with jill sigman/thinkdance and New Sanctuary Coalition

Saturday, December 7

Freedom of Movement combined discussion, movement improvisation, audience interaction, and an immigration court accompaniment training with the New Sanctuary Coalition.

PART 1: Discussion and Movement

Dialogical performance lab, included discussion with immigrant activists and movement.

PART 2: Accompaniment Training with New Sanctuary Coalition

This training prepared participants to volunteer to accompany asylum seekers in deportation proceedings to immigration court and ICE check-ins.

ComeUnion: Caring Gathering & Exchange

Sunday, December 8

This was a platform for bodyworkers, herbalists, somatic practitioners and people seeking healing services to congregate. The shared space was open for the interchange of goods, services, remedies, and practices through alternative economies.

Confirmed practitioners and practices: Autosomatica, sára abdullah , Lydia Chrisman , Alice MacDonald , Dustin Maxwell , Grace Osborne , Antonio Ramos , Laura Tuthall, and KK de La Vida

[View image below]

Audio Description was provided for performances at Danspace Project.

Movement Research, 122 Community Center is an accessible space. Studios are wheelchair accessible. The second floor office is accessible by elevator. Restrooms are wheelchair accessible and are all gender. Call (212) 598-0551 (voice only), or email Julienne Rencher, [email protected], for more information.

Danspace Project’s main entrance is fully wheelchair accessible via ramp. A same-level restroom is available near Danspace Project’s main performance space in the church sanctuary.

Fall Festival Workshops were available at a sliding scale.

Below is the suggested Sliding Scale based on Annual Income:

$0-$15,000 $8 - two hour workshop $12 - three hour workshop

$15,000-$25,000 $12 - two hour workshop $16 - thee hour workshop

$25,000-$35,000 $15 - two hour workshop $22 - three hour workshop

$35,000-$50,000 $20 - two hour workshop $30 - three hour workshop

$50,000-$70,000 $25 - two hour workshop $38 - three hour workshop

$70,000+ $30 - two hour workshop $45 - three hour workshop

Other Factors to Consider (this list was sourced from co-curator iele paloumpis and compiled by organizer Damien Luxe and is not exhaustive, just some examples)

Consider paying less on the scale if you

  • Are supporting children or have other dependents
  • have significant debt
  • have medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • receive public assistance
  • have immigration-related expenses
  • are an elder with limited financial support
  • are an unpaid community organizer or artist
  • are a returning citizen who has been denied work due to incarceration history

Consider paying more on the scale if you:

  • own the home you live in
  • have investments, retirement accounts, or inherited money
  • travel recreationally
  • have access to family money and resources in times of need
  • work part time by choice
  • have a relatively high degree of earning power due to level of education (or gender and racial privilege, class background, etc.) Even if you are not currently exercising your earning power, I ask you to recognize this as a choice.

The scale is intended to be a map, inviting each of us to take inventory of our financial resources and look deeper at our levels of privilege. It is a way to challenge the classist and capitalist society we live in and work towards economic justice on a local level. While we ask you to take these factors into consideration, please don’t stress about it. Pay what feels right.

We are aware that even the lowest amounts are still too high for some people; if this is the case for you, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. You may enter $0 next the workshop you wish to sign-up for.

***The above was the pricing structure for Fall Festival 2019: ComeUnion workshops and do not necessarily apply for workshops at Movement Research.***

Venue Partners

Fall Festival | The Body Remembers: Breathwork for Radical Presence

Jennifer Patterson

December 5

4:00pm – 6:00pm

Fall Festival | Evening at Danspace

Camilo Godoy, Jerron Herman, stevie may

December 5

8:00pm – 9:15pm

Fall Festival | ¿Cómo desnudarse?... many layers to unveil beyond clothing

Antonio Ramos

December 6

12:30pm – 3:30pm

Fall Festival | Designing accessible movement practices

Michelle Mantione

December 6

4:00pm – 6:00pm

Fall Festival | Evening at Danspace

KK de La Vida, Dustin Maxwell, Grace Osborne

December 6

8:00pm – 9:15pm

Fall Festival | ComeUnion: Caring Gathering & Exchange

sára abdullah, Lydia Chrisman, Alice MacDonald, Dustin Maxwell, Grace Osborne, Antonio Ramos , Laura Tuthall, KK de La Vida

December 8

10:00am – 3:00pm

Fall Festival | LIMINAL BODIES: Internal Practices for Unwinding Empire

Zavé Martohardjono

December 8

11:00am – 2:00pm

Fall Festival | Social Wounds in the BodyMind: Somatic & Trauma-Informed practices for Collective Healing

Cheryl Clark, Martha Eddy, Kayvon Pourazar, Sangeeta Vallabhan, Ni’Ja Whitson

December 8

3:00pm – 5:00pm

From the curators:

“ComeUnion is an invitation to explore the intersectionality of somatic practices and social justice, community building and care, and trauma informed frameworks for pedagogy and performance. We have invited artists, somatic practitioners, activists, and healers whose practices are led by deep inquiries into these matters. Come join us in this exploration and celebration of the somatics of subversion, the embodiment of resistance, and the poetics of revolution.”

A year in the making:

During the Fall 2018 Movement Research Festival, iele paloumpis and Jaime Ortega together curated an evening of performance at Danspace Project. This initiated an investigation into shared interests in somatic practice and social justice, which they then continued during a Winter MELT 2019 Workshop focusing on how we navigate individual and group needs through the experience of the inner body in the context of the collective whole. In late spring of 2019, Marielys Burgos Meléndez joined Jaime and iele in this investigation, and together they have curated a space for research and appreciation of somatic and trauma-informed frameworks, and their capacity to heal the individual and our communities at large.