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National Sawdust presents "The Future Is…" Creative Forum

National Sawdust presents "The Future Is…" Creative Forum


National Sawdust


National Sawdust
80 N 6th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249


Tuesday, June 14, 2022 - 10:00am
Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - 10:00am

National Sawdust

Tuesday, June 14 and Wednesday, June 15
National Sawdust's "The Future Is…" Creative Forum
Featuring Adji Cissoko, Molly Joyce, Laurel Lawson, Jihye Lee, Aditi Mangaldas, 
Marisa Michelson, Brianna Jenee’ Mims, Miriam Parker, Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Alice Sheppard, 
Val-Inc aka Val Jeanty, Emily Wells, and Kara Wilkes
with Additional Contributions from Nona Hendryx, eddy kwon and Lynne Procope
Multiple Events running 10:00am to 6:00pm
Tickets: All Free with RSVP


The Future Is… Creative Forum is designed for - but not limited to - direct audience engagement with accomplished composers, choreographers, dancers, and musicians via innovative multimedia presentations, interdisciplinary work and multidisciplinary collaboration. The Creative Forum is a generative space for creators and audience participants to explore tools, skill sets, play, practices, and ritual work. Through interactive masterclasses, panel discussions, featured speakers, grounding sessions and digital presentations, participants in both the local and virtual world are invited to explore the forum’s two key themes: improving listening practices and achieving pleasurable futures.

Dates for individual sessions, along with the participating artists’ event descriptions or bio, follow below.

Tuesday, June 14 at 10:00 am
Workshop with Constellation Chor’s Marisa Michelson: Core Sounding
“A model and practice for connecting body to body, body to spirit, and bringing our Wholeness into group vocal improvisation“ Michelson is a 2021 Toulmin Fellow with National Sawdust and Center for Ballet and the Arts.

Tuesday, June 14 at Noon
Discussion with dancer and choreographer Aditi Mangaldas: Listening to the Aging Body
“Ask a mature dancer what she learnt from listening to her body. How does a performer and creator, who is very much aware that time is of the essence, deal with what the pandemic has thrown up for her practice and to cope with the silence of an empty dance studio and the stillness of her ankle bells?” Mangaldas is 2021 Toulmin Creator with National Sawdust and Center for Ballet and the Arts.

Tuesday, June 14 at Noon 
2022 Toulmin Fellow Work-In-Progress Presentations with
Choreographer Tiffany Rea-Fisher

Tiffany Rea-Fisher is a National Dance Project Award winner, 2021 Toulmin Creator, 2022 Toulmin Fellow, a John Brown Spirit award recipient and was awarded a citation from the City of New York for her cultural contributions. As a choreographer, Tiffany has had the pleasure of creating numerous pieces for her company as well as being commissioned by Dance Theater of Harlem, Dallas Black Dance Theater, NYC Department of Transportation, Utah Repertory Theater, The National Gallery of Art in D.C., and having her work performed for the Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg. Her works have been seen on many stages including the Joyce, the Apollo, Joe’s Pub, Aaron Davis Hall, and New York Live Arts. Tiffany was the first Dance Curator at the interdisciplinary arts organization The Tank where she now sits on their Board of Trustees. She also curates the Bryant Park Dance Summer Series providing free art access to thousands while exposing upcoming and established artists to a wider audience.

Tuesday, June 14 at 2:40 pm
Interactive Presentation with composer Molly Joyce: What Is Care for You?

“This work engages critical values from disability culture in an interdisciplinary artistic project that fosters access as aesthetic and is grounded in the disabled experience.” Joyce is a 2021 Toulmin Fellow with National Sawdust and Center for Ballet and the Arts.

Tuesday, June 14 at 4:00 pm 
2022 Toulmin Fellow Work-In-Progress Presentations with
Composer Emily Wells

Forging a bridge between pop and chamber music, composer, producer, and video artist Emily Wells builds songs from deliberate strata of vocals, synths, drums, piano, string and wind instruments. Wells’s latest release, the ten-song album Regards to the End, explores the AIDS crisis, climate change, and her lived experience watching the world burn.

Tuesday, June 14 at 5:30 pm 
2022 Toulmin Fellow Work-In-Progress Presentations with
Dancer Adji Cissoko

Adji Cissoko was born and grew up in Munich, Germany where she trained at the Ballet Academy Munich and graduated with a diploma in dance. Cissoko attended the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in New York City on full scholarship, before joining the National Ballet of Canada in 2010. In 2012, she was awarded the Patron Award of Merit by the Patrons’ Council Committee of The National Ballet of Canada. Cissoko joined LINES Ballet in 2014. Cissoko has taught around the world as part of the company’s outreach program. In 2020, she became certified in health/life coaching as well as in ABT’s National Training Curriculum, and in 2021, Cissoko created a piece on BalletX called AZIZ.

Wednesday, June 15 at 10:00 am
2022 Toulmin Fellow Work-In-Progress Presentations with
Artist and Educator Kara Wilkes

Kara Wilkes is an interdisciplinary choreographer, educator, dancer, visual artist, and filmmaker. Her expertise in classical and contemporary ballet is extensive and supported by her twenty-year professional dance career. She has performed works by Alonzo King, Alvin Ailey, Twyla Tharp, Nacho Duato, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Dwight Rhoden, George Balanchine, Darrell Grand Moultrie and others. In 2019, she earned her MFA in Dance from Hollins University where she began her choreographic research surrounding inherited trauma, addiction, and healing. Her creative work also focuses heavily on the Digital Age’s impacts on society and our planet. Most recently, she choreographed works for Traverse City Dance Project, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, Santa Clara University, and Texas Christian University.

Wednesday, June 15 at 11:00 am
Round Table Conversation with Miriam Parker: What Have We Learned?

“Miriam Parker, a 2021 Toulmin Fellow with National Sawdust and Center for Ballet and the Arts, leads our 2022 Toulmin Fellows - including dancer Adji Cissoko, composer Emily Wells, composer Jihye Lee, artist and educator Kara Wilkes, choreographer Tiffany Rea-Fisher and composer/performer Val Jeanty - along with our audience of artists and creators in discussing the lessons we’ve learned throughout the last two years.”

Wednesday, June 15 at 12:20 pm
2022 Toulmin Fellow Work-In-Progress Presentations with 
Composer Jihye Lee

Jihye Lee is a jazz composer and bandleader based in New York, highly regarded for her personal and adventurous storytelling approach to large-ensemble jazz. Her recent album Daring Mind on the Motéma label is getting raved attention from all over the world, covered in The New York Times, JazzTimes, DownBeat, Telerama, Le Monde, Jazz Thing, JazzWise, Musica Jazz, Süddeutsche Zeitung and GRAMMY.com including The Guardian’s best 10 albums in 2021. Lee has received the 2020 ASCAP Foundation/Symphonic Jazz Orchestra Commissioning Prize and the BMI Foundation’s Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize and Manny Albam Commission in 2018. She has written music for Jazz Education Network, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis as well as Carnegie Hall’s NYO Jazz. Lee graduated from Berklee College of Music and earned a master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music under the guidance of Jim McNeely.

Wednesday, June 15 at 2:45 pm
Interactive Exercise with Alice Sheppard and Laurel Lawson: Kinetic Light

“Listening to performance is a matter of equity. Dance is not solely a visual art form. At an informal showing of Kinetic Light’s DESCENT, nonvisual audience members challenged the company artists as the material they were listening to did not capture the gasps, the laugh, the emotion and the power of the work. Instead, they had been offered and accepted a description, a displaced encounter, with the art.” Sheppard is a 2021 Toulmin Creator with National Sawdust and Center for Ballet and the Arts.

Wednesday, June 15 at 4:15 pm
Workshop with Brianna Mims: Worldbuilding Playtest

“How do we create the conditions to make our most pleasurable futures possible?” Mims is a 2021 Toulmin Fellow with National Sawdust and Center for Ballet and the Arts.


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On a wooden ramp with a curved 45 degree incline, Laurel Lawson wheels uphill to come nose-to-nose with Alice Sheppard. Kneeling, Alice grabs Laurel’s frame and stops her. Photo: Jacob’s Pillow/Hayim Heron 

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