Karen Stokes: Artistic Director, Karen Stokes Dance (formerly Travesty Dance Group), Head of the Dance Division, University of Houston

“It’s been said that the university ranks as one of the chief supporters of the arts in the United States. With the migration of more and more working choreographers into university environments, it’s clear that artists are able to continue to create both inside and outside of these institutions. While the halls of academia offer some distinct advantages, most particularly to oft-itinerant and nearly always-struggling dance artists, other challenges and demands can sap their time and energy in their new environment. For this special Dance/USA report, I spoke with six choreographers navigating the academic terrain about both the rewards and sacrifices they face in giving up some independence for the Ivy Tower.”

Read the full report to learn more about UH’s Karen Stokes and her artistic life in academia here Safe House: Dancing in the Ivory Tower, Part 1, by Nancy Wozny.

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Stalina Emmanuelle Villarreal
2017-18 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Graduate Student Scholarship Recipient
Creative Writing Program

Stalina lives as a rhyming-slogan creative activist. She is a Generation 1.5 poet (mexicana and Chicana), a translator, a sonic-improv collaborator, and an instructor of English. She is a PhD student in the Creative Writing Program at University of Houston. Her MFA in Writing is from California College of the Arts. She coauthored an article with a historian in the book ¡Chicana Movidas!: Mapping Technologies of Resistance in the Movimiento Era (University of Texas, forthcoming). Her poetry can be found in the Rio Grande Review and the Texas Review. She has published translations of poetry, including Enigmas, by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Señal: a project of Libros Antena Books, BOMB, and Ugly Duckling Presse, 2015), but she mostly translates regiomontana poet Minerva Reynosa (Mandorla, 2012); their most recent publication is a chapbook called Photograms of My Conceptual Heart, Absolutely Blind (Cardboard House Press, 2016).

Get to know our fellows and students: Mateo Tannatt

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Mateo Tannatt
2017-18 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Post-Graduate Fellow
School of Art

Mateo holds a MFA from UCLA and BFA from Cooper Union. He mainly practices in sculpture which is inclusive of but not limited to video, writing, performance, painting, photography, music, and drawing. Mateo’s sculptural work makes use language as a tool of narrative and of absurd abstraction, shifting in scale, and exchanging mediums in an attempt find a means a performative production. Mateo’s works are often presented as thematic exhibitions which are aggregates of materials and research and are often expanded upon over time. Like varied scenes and characters found in a film or literature, Mateo seeks to present his works within a context of a new proposal for imagined reality.

Get to know our fellows and students: Nontani Weatherly

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Nontani Weatherly
2017-18 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Graduate Student Scholarship Recipient
School of Theatre and Dance

Nontani received her BA in Theatre Studies from Central Washington University, where she served as dramaturg for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Mountaintop. Her work earned her recognition as a Student Diversity Award nominee, and several Excellence in Dramaturgy Awards from the Central Theatre Ensemble. She’s a 2015 Kennedy Center Theatre Journalism & Advocacy Fellow. Later that same year, she studied at Juilliard as an Artist as Citizen Fellow with the New York-based nonprofit organization Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP), and joined ASTEP’s Leaders Network. Nontani most recently served as dramaturg for University of Houston’s production of Topdog/Underdog

Get to know our fellows and students: Dana Kroos

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Dana Kroos
2017-18 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Post-Graduate Fellow
Creative Writing Program

Dana is a creative writer and visual artist. She holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from New Mexico State University, a PhD in Fiction Writing and Literature from the University of Houston, and an MFA in ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her short stories and poems have appeared in Glimmer Train,The Florida Review, Penumbra, The Superstition Review, Minnesota Monthly, and other literary publications. Dana is interested in interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. Her visual work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Get to know our fellows and students: Qindeel Butt

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Qindeel Butt
2017-18 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Graduate Student Scholarship Recipient
School of Art

Qindeel is a graduate student pursuing an MFA in Painting at the University of Houston School of Art. Many of her works are composed through photographic means and then painted in oils from these sources. Her work is both biographical and universal as she explores human emotions and the peculiarities that entail a modern human existence. Recently, her painting titled Under Flowers was shown at Fort Works Art as part of their 40 Under 40 exhibition showcasing young, emerging talent. Qindeel also received her BFA in Painting from the University of Houston.

Get to know our fellows and students: Javier Sánchez Martínez

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Javier Sánchez Martínez
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Curatorial Fellow
Blaffer Art Museum

Javier is a writer and curator based in Houston, TX. Since April 2015, he has been the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Curatorial Fellow at Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston. In 2014, he graduated from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (2005) and in Philosophy (2009) from the University of Granada in Spain. Javier has curated exhibitions and related public programs in Spain and the US, and his writings have been published in numerous exhibition catalogs and art publications. Most recently, he worked on solo exhibitions by Chicano artist Gabriel Martinez and Spanish sculptor Sergio Prego, currently on view at Blaffer Art Museum.

Get to know our fellows and students: Alton DuLaney

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Alton DuLaney
2017-18 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Graduate Student Scholarship Recipient
School of Art

Alton is a graduate student pursuing an MFA in Interdisciplinary Practices at the University of Houston School of Art. Known as one of the country’s most famous gift wrappers, Alton has been featured in numerous media platforms including HGTV, The Rachael Ray Show, People Magazine, and Family Circle. As an artist, his exploration includes symbols of winning, competition, conviction, victory, luxury, and vanity, as well as the artist’s ability to label something otherwise ordinary, as ART. Alton received his BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas.

Get to know our fellows and students: Justin Lucero

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Justin Lucero
2017-18 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Post-Graduate Fellow
School of Theatre & Dance

Justin trained in London at the University of Essex’s East 15 Acting School earning an MFA in Theatre Directing with Distinction. He has worked extensively with the University of Texas at El Paso as an Artist-in-Residence and Guest Director. He is the recipient of a Fair Directing Assistantship with Oregon Shakespeare Festival, an SDCF Directing Observership at South Coast Repertory (LA), and a Directing Fellowship with Asolo Repertory Theatre (Florida). He is also co-founding Artistic Director of Las Cruces-based Scaffolding Theatre Company. Learn more about Justin here!

A new series: Get to know our fellows and students

Since 2005, the Mitchell Center has offered scholarships for graduate students in the Schools of Art, Music, Theatre & Dance, and the Creative Writing Program, as well as a Curatorial Fellowship in the Blaffer Art Museum. We also have a new program hosting post graduate teaching residencies in our member departments. Enjoy profiles of these dynamic members of the UH community in our new series of “Get to know our fellows and students.”

Glasstire’s Top Five: September 14, 2017

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The 2017 Mitchell Artist Lecture featuring The Yes Men made it into Glasstire’s Top Five, the week of September 14, 2017 – #2 on the list!

2017 Mitchell Artist Lecture will feature The Yes Men

The Yes Men

Thank you Glasstire for the shout-out!

Join us on September 19, 2017 at 7pm for a special opportunity to see activists, artists, and pranksters The Yes Men! This is a free event, but reservations are required.

The 43rd Season of Houston Shakespeare Festival

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Join Houston Shakespeare Festival for free productions of the “master storyteller” William Shakespeare’s intoxicating comedy “Twelfth Night,” and historical tragedy “Richard III” at Miller Outdoor Theatre! Produced by University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance, the two plays will rotate from July 29-August 6. Bring your friends, family, and a picnic blanket!

eL Seed on his works

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“What I’ve realized is that setting up the piece is good, I enjoy painting, but all my pieces at some time will be left here, and the only thing that stays inside is this kind of human experience, meeting people.” – eL Seed

Houston’s Most Extreme Arts Festival Offers Strange And Extraordinary Performances

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“CounterCurrent has always been true to its title, presenting art and projects that do not run easy with the current, but instead provoke and perhaps even challenge people’s perceptions.” – CultureMap

CounterCurrent Returns With Groundbreaking Arts Programming

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“With audio and visual installations, dance performances, theatrical productions, and performance lectures by artists from across the world, CounterCurrent has truly set itself apart from the city’s arts festivals.” – Free Press Houston 

 

 

UH School of Theatre & Dance presents NATHAN THE WISE

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Join the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm for a free performance of Nathan the Wise.

Jerusalem, 1192. The Third Crusade is over. An uneasy stalemate masquerading as peace exists between the Muslim forces of Saladin and the Christian Crusaders. Caught in the middle of this conflict are the Jews, particularly Nathan. He is a merchant with wisdom, wit and wealth, but is he shrewd enough to guide all sides to a new world where reason rules?

 

The #CounterCurrent 2016 Lineup is Live!

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“The University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, which excels at creating unusual performance events, has announced the lineup for its third annual festival of experimental art. CounterCurrent 16 will offer 11 provocative events April 12-17 at various venues, with festival headquarters at the MATCH, 3400 Main. All the performances are free, although some have limited seating, so require reservations.” – The Houston Chronicle

Jonah Bokaer Named 2015 USA Ford Fellow

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Jonah Bokaer has cultivated a new form of choreography with a structure that relies on visual art and design. His aim is to transform notions of how the public views and understands dance. Bokaer has been active as a choreographer since 2002. He has created over 55 works in a wide range of mediums, such as film, opera, applications, and installation, in a variety of venues, ranging from stages, to museums and galleries. He works internationally, exhibiting and touring worldwide.

Bokaer has created works within museum spaces that live between choreography, visual art, and moving images. This approach to art making has been acknowledged by museums such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, PS1 MoMA, The New Museum, The Museum of Arts & Design, MASS MoCA, Miami MOCA, MAC Marseille, IVAM Valencia, Palazzo Delle Arti Napoli, Kunsthalle St. Gallen, SCAD Museum of Art, Ludwig Museum of Budapest, MUDAM Luxembourg, along with many others.
A few of Bokaer’s frequent collaborators are Daniel Arsham (2007-Present), Anne Carson, Richard Chai, Merce Cunningham, Anthony McCall, Abbott Miller, Tino Sehgal, Robert Wilson (2007-Present), along with other leading innovators in mediums such as performance, visual art, literature, and design.

Recent awards include the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in Choreography (USA 2015), the Prix Nouveau Talent Chorégraphie (Paris 2011), the Jerome Robbins Special Prize Fellowship in Choreography from the Bogliasco Foundation (Italy, 2011), and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011)

Learn more about United States Artsits here.

In this symphony, the ‘instruments’ are UCLA students, staff and faculty

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Students, faculty and staff practice in preparation for the Nov. 21 performance of “The Symphonic Body UCLA” in Royce Hall. They were chosen to perform in the piece because they were identified by others as inspirational individuals. Watch the video by John Vande Wege below.

In Ann Carlson’s world, gesture — even the most mundane movement — is synonymous with dance. For almost a year, Carlson has been at UCLA observing and “collecting” the gestures of more than 100 students and employees at work across the campus. This is part of her process towards creating “The Symphonic Body UCLA,” a performance built entirely from these gestures.

Read more about this innovative performance project culminating Saturday, November 21, in two performances in Royce Hall, at UCLA here.

Performa 15 opens this week!

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Francesco Vezzoli and David Hallberg, Fortuna Desperata 2015, A Performa Commission; photo by Francesco Vezzoli, courtesy of L’Uomo Vogue, Conde Nast Italia.

Performa 15 opens this Sunday, November 1st, with a special performance titled Fortuna Desperata presented by Francesco Vezzoli and David Halberg at New York City historical landmark St. Bart’s Church. Looking back to the origins of ballet in the royal courts of the Renaissance, Vezzoli and Hallberg undertake an archaeology of movement in this revolutionary performance that brings the past into dialogue with the present.

Animating New York with a diverse series of ground-breaking performances taking place at cultural landmarks and locations including Times Square, The Museum of Modern Art, Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, and Pioneer Works, among many others, Performa 15 sparks new ways of looking at the city.

Join us for three exciting weeks of live art, talks and seminars, artists’ classes and experiments, and an array of invigorating events all around town and at our biennial headquarters, the Performa Hub (47 Walker Street, open everyday from noon to 8pm), designed by the winner of our first ever architectural Hub Competition, Christoph a. Kumpusch and his office Forward slash (/) ARCHITEKTUR.