Everybody Cool Lives Here

Te Kuititanga

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Pelenakeke Brown, Rodney Bell, Katrina George and Owen McCarthy are working together to create a new multi-disciplinary work; Te Kuititanga (The Narrowing).

Everybody Cool Lives Here are supporting this Pasifika artist-led collaboration. NYC based artist Pelenakeke Brown has been selected by the Artists of Color Council at Movement Research - NYC's leading exploratory dance laboratory, to curate a series of dance works. She has selected Rodney Bell, a leader in NZ integrated dance to present a work around her theme, body sovereignty.

"Body sovereignty is being in charge of how we live in relationship with our body and in charge of how our body is in relationship with the world. I have curated queer and disabled bodies as I wanted to honor each different artist, sovereign body and the inherent indigeneity of each of them. The use of the word sovereignty is deliberate as it has many legal and historical connotations and is often used in reference to fanua (land) independence. It is fitting then that each of the artists, all from the Pacific will be using their voice and personal practice to explore their personal body sovereignty. This curatorial work traverses' borders, is across time zones and the moana (sea) to investigate the mana (power) and relationship between all the different sovereign bodies of the curated artists involved."

Rodney (Ngati Maniapoto), is an Isadora Duncan award winning artist who has extensively practiced in NZ and overseas. Following his contract with USA's leading integrated dance company AXIS (2007-2012) he didn't have the resource to return home, ending up living on the streets and overstaying. Rodney's feeling that he is unable to enter into the USA is an integral component to the work, calling to attention the current immigration crisis occurring in the US but also across the world.  In March the team will converge in Te Kūiti, Rodney's whenua (land), to generate a new work honoring his sovereignty as well as the sovereign body of Te Kuiti itself.

Performer Katrina George and Designer Owen McCarthy will collaborate with Rodney, offering their perspectives and skills as Samoan artists. Te Kuititanga, or the narrowing, will be developed through prompts from Pelenakeke, conversations between the artists and through contact improvisation between Katrina and Rodney.

Together they will create a dance / video-based work that Katrina will then perform in New York come April 2019.

We see this piece as the beginning of a longer-form collaboration between all the artists and Everybody Cool Lives Here. We wish to support a multi-disciplinary and international dialogue between us all and our distinct practices.



    1 DAY AGO

    Over the weekend we were welcomed onto Rodney's Pā in Te Kūiti and received the privilege of staying in Te Tokanganui-a-Noho wharenui. Built in 1873, it was a gift to Ngāti Maniapoto from Te Kooti in gratitude for been given sanctuary in the King Country while the government attempted to prosecute him. The house has been relocated three times, the last time to make way for the railway which sits directly outside the pa, shaking it daily as the carriages whizz by, and separating it from the township. The whare tipuna has been closed for the last year as volunteers have tirelessly restored the carvings and paintwork back to its original state, before the broad brushstrokes of museum red set in. The Pā also has a King's house which the in two weeks will host the Māori King Tūheitia Paki.


    2 DAYS AGO

    We recently heard that we were successful in a Quick Response application, meaning the NZ Arts Council have contributed NZD $7250 towards the project, we still need to make this Boosted to ensure we can fully deliver the project, so please keep sharing with your networks, and thanks to those who have already backed us.



    Ko Tainui te Waka, Ko Ngati Maniapoto te Iwi, Ko Rodney Bell Taku Ingoa.
Rodney Bell is of Māori descent from Ngāti Maniapoto tribe of Aotearoa and is a renowned dancer and performer, working professionally since 1994. A founding member of Touch Compass, he relocated to California in 2007 to join AXIS Dance Company, based in Oakland, where he remained principal dancer until 2012. After returning to Aotearoa he created MEREMERE with Movement of the Human & Malia Johnson. The work has toured Te Ika a Maui (North Island) and already received numerous awards. Rodney has actively worked not only as an artist but also as an advocator and provocateur towards stronger voices for people with different requirements and backgrounds with a particular interest in arts access. Rodney enjoys creating multidisciplinary work, exploring contemporary issues to do with, travelling, identity, perception, experiences, time and our connections to place, people and cultural and political bodies we all inhabit.



    Pelenakeke (Keke) is a multi-disciplinary artist currently based in New York City with her practice including drawing, writing & performance. As a New Zealand born, afakasi Samoan, queer, disabled woman she is interested in the in-between spaces we each inhabit. She has worked with prestigious institutions the Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and was a founding member of New Zealand’s first mixed-ability dance company Touch Compass. She has exhibited her work across New York City & in San Francisco. Her work is published in James Franco Review, Hawaii Review, the Apogee Journal, & the Movement Research Performance Journal, with Apogee and MRPJ, special indigenous issues. In 2018 she helped form the Alien Support Service Collective, a group of immigrant women artists, living and working in NYC. Currently, she is the Assistant Director of Culture Push, a NYC based non-profit arts organization which supports socially engaged artists with their Fellowship for Utopian Practice Program.



    A church, performing arts space, and social justice centre. Beginning in the 1950s, the church supported a radical arts ministry making space available to artists for art exhibitions, rehearsals, and performances. The church also assured that this space was to be a place where artists could have the freedom to experiment in their work without fear of censorship. Presenting artists have included Robert Rauschenberg, Jim Dine, Tom Wesselmann & Yoko Ono. The Judson Dance Theater, which began in 1962, provided a venue for dancers and choreographers including Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, & Yvonne Rainer to create and show their work. Movement Research offers a high visibility, low-tech forum on Monday nights throughout the fall and spring seasons. Judson Church is located opposite Washington Square Park, in Greenwich Village, NYC.



    Katrina George (22) is an emerging New Zealand born Samoan performer, who’s ready to take on the world with her unique perspective and amazing ability to lead. A recent acting graduate from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, she was cast straight into the lead of ‘Under The Mountain’ at Auckland Theatre Company. Katrina is now a company member of Red Leap Theatre, having toured ‘Kororāreka The Ballad Of Maggie Flynn’ nationally over the last two years, and is currently appointed as their International Workshop Tutor travelling between Hong Kong and Singapore. Katrina began to explore her choreographic voice at high school, shaping large-scale dance shows. More recently she led the creation of her own contemporary piece RIB (2017) and is workshopping a collaborative piece between Touch Compass Dance Trust and Everybody Cool Lives Here.



    Movement Research (NYC) is one of the world's leading laboratories for the investigation of dance and movement-based forms. Valuing the individual artist, their creative process and their vital role within society, Movement Research is dedicated to the creation and implementation of free and low-cost programs that nurture and instigate discourse and experimentation. Movement Research strives to reflect the cultural, political and economic diversity of its moving community, including artists and audiences alike. 



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