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Pioneers Go East Collective announces "CROSSROADS" Spring Series 2022 (FREE)

Pioneers Go East Collective announces "CROSSROADS" Spring Series 2022 (FREE)


Pioneers Go East Collective


Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South (between Thompson and Sullivan Streets)
Manhattan, NY


Thursday, May 26, 2022 - 8:00pm daily through May 28, 2022



Pioneers Go East Collective




New York, NY (April 7, 2022) – CROSSROADS is a dance, film, and cross-disciplinary performance series curated and presented by Pioneers Go East Collective. The spring 2022 series will feature works by 10 artists with diverse aesthetic and conceptual approaches to performance and storytelling. CROSSROADS will take place Thursday–Saturday, May 26–28, at 8pm, at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South (between Thompson and Sullivan Streets), in Manhattan. Performances are free. Advance registration required at http://pioneersgoeast.eventbrite.com.

Pioneers Go East Collective launched CROSSROADS in 2017 in partnership with Judson Memorial Church. The series centers the voices of queer, BIPOC, and feminist artists. The format provides artists with both an opportunity to present work in a low-pressure setting that encourages experimentation, and space to share their creative practices with other artists and audiences. The series is multigenerational, focusing on community to foster a network of support, exchange, and dialogue. In addition to the performances, CROSSROADS offers workshops by participating artists and Pioneers Go East Collective’s collaborators.

The spring CROSSROADS features Angel Acuña, Yoshiko Chuma, Symara Johnson, Anabella Lenzu, Amanda Loulaki,Molly&Nola, Doron Perk, Paz Tanjuaquio, Dane Terry, and Pioneers Go East Collective.

The spring series was curated by Daniel Diaz, Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte, and Philip Treviño. 


CROSSROADS Spring 2022 Schedule


Thursday, May 26, 8pm 

Dancer and designer Angel Acuña’s video EPIFANIO - DV no.0001 introduces one of the artist’s entities, EPIFANIO, the disruptive party dancer with inelegant mannerisms; subtly appearing visually on the transfixed body, persisting in strenuous conflict with Acuña’s lack of submission to finally then complete its undivided energetic interference between itself and the dancer.

Doron Perk’s Grandfather Visit is a solo dance exploring themes of grief and heritage inspired by Perk’s many visits with his grandfather, a Holocaust survivor. After his grandfather’s death, Perk felt the need to bring his inspiring story to light as a way to deal with personal loss as well as the collective trauma of the third generation to genocide. Using the framing narrative of a visit, Perk dances out embodied memories, using the movements to evoke forgotten sensations. This work is the result of a two-year process brought to life thanks to a fellowship at LABA – Laboratory for Jewish Culture with the theme of Chosen.

Paz Tanjuaquio will present Dead Stars Still Shine, a new work created in collaboration with visual artist/composer Todd B. Richmond, digital artist Onome Ekeh, and incorporating poetry by Luis H. Francia. Inspired by “Dead Stars,” a short story written in 1925 by Paz Benitez-Marquez, one of the first female literary figures of English literature in the Philippines, the work centers on the idea that lights from dead stars still shine and create a vibrant luminous atmosphere light years away. For Tanjuaquio, these stars can be seen as a metaphor for both lives lost and a loss of culture that still resonates in our communities and within our bodies.

On Eternity, written and performed by pianist Dane Terry, is a surreal series of autobiographical stories about Terry’s time spent working as a cocktail pianist on a cruise ship in the late 2000s. Visuals are by Bizzy Barefoot.


Friday, May 27, 8pm 

Yoshiko Chuma will present Hey women!, a quartet that is part of her ongoing performance series Head in the Sand. Chuma is joined by dancers Emily Pope and Sarah Skaggs and multi-instrumentalist Ginger Dolden. 

Symara Johnson will present The Kitchen Sink Ranger at the Midnight Rodeo. The piece pulls from current research that Johnson is conducting in relation to her most recent work in development, Symara and Her Lasso. It is a practice of ideas that have surfaced from intensive periods of working on what is intended to be a multi-hour durational piece. A condensed score will be presented as a trial-and-error process for Johnson to learn from.

MOLLY&NOLA will present STEER, a work that tumbles into an unforeseen territory where livestock auctioneering, cloning, and a brief dalliance with the Pentecostal Church collide. STEER was developed with support from New Dance Alliance’s 2021 LiftOff Residency. 

Pioneers Go East Collective’s new film, My Name’Sound, investigates our role as artists and how our everyday struggles affect our creative paths. James Baldwin’s Artist Manifesto on the artist’s responsibility and the same-sex intimacy of Giovanni’s Room will launch a passionate exploration of the history, empowerment, and visibility of the LGBTQ experience in pursuit of artistic freedom. Creative team: Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte (creative director/filmmaker); Philip Treviño (creative designer); Mark Tambella (installation designer); Mert Erdem (director of photography); Bryan Baira (sound designer); performances by Daniel Diaz (writer); Agosto Machado (writer); Joey Kipp (dance-maker); and Richard Morales (writer).


Saturday, May 28, 8pm 

Yoshiko Chuma will present Hey women!, a new quartet that is part of her ongoing performance series Head in The Sand. Chuma is joined by dancers Emily Pope and Sarah Skaggs and multi-instrumentalist Ginger Dolden. 

Anabella Lenzu’s A bone to pick with you exposes the inner dialogue of an artist in the examination of the creative process. Lenzu shows the struggles, the desires, and the internal contradictions that make visible the vulnerability of the performer. The work reflects Lenzu’s experience as a Latina artist living in New York and comes from a deep examination of her motivations as a woman, mother, and immigrant.

Describing her new work time traceAmanda Loulaki writes: “There is something that is never able to be described, just to be sensed and that is the place where we sometimes could meet.” The piece is an exploration of present and past collapsing into one surface. “Traces of actions and faint memories wondering for their place in time. The focus shifts, the essence morphs, and pause gives meaning to time and sense to presence.”

Pioneers Go East Collective’s new film, My Name’Sound, investigates our role as artists and how our everyday struggles affect our creative paths. James Baldwin’s Artist Manifesto on the artist’s responsibility and the same-sex intimacy and sensuality of Giovanni’s Room will launch a passionate exploration of the history, empowerment, and visibility of the LGBTQ experience in pursuit of artistic freedom. (See May 27 for artist credits.) 

NEXT! Workshops with Doron Perk (May 26, 6–7pm) and Parijat Desai (May 27, 6–7pm) will be held at Judson Memorial Church. Workshops are free and all are welcome. Advance registration required at https://pioneersgoeast.org/upcoming.



About the Artists 

Angel Acuña is a dance artist from San Diego, now living in Philadelphia. As a first generation Mexican American, they have gathered social/communal/spiritual/embodied equipment that supplements the alchemic desires of uncovering more with what is here and not here. They currently are the marketing director and one of the designers of NYC’s dance collective FAILSPACE. Acuña is one of four founding members of group project, a Philadelphia film collective. Recently Acuña joined CHILD, a company of artists making shows using an experimental framework directed by Lisa Fagan.


Yoshiko Chuma, a conceptual artist, and choreographer/artistic director of the School of Hard Knocks, has been a firebrand in the postmodern dance scene in New York City since the 1980s. She has consistently been producing thought-provoking work that is neither dance nor theater nor film nor any other predetermined category. Chuma has traveled to more than 40 countries and worked with over 2000 artists, thinkers, and collaborators of every genre since establishing her company in New York City in 1980.


Symara Johnson, a Portland, OR native currently residing in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, has immersed herself in interdisciplinary and choreographic studies globally. She is a recipient of the Dai Ailian Foundation Scholarship based in Trinidad and Tobago. Johnson is a graduate of the Beijing Dance Academy and SUNY Purchase’s Conservatory of Dance program. She currently is a CPR 2022 artist in residence. Johnson has presented work throughout NYC and Germany. She has danced works most notably by and for Kevin Wynn, Ogemdi Ude, Rena Butler, Jasmine Hearn, Hannah Garner, Nattie Trogdon+Hollis Bartlett, Slowdanger, Marion Spencer, Joanna Kotze, Netta Yerushalmy, and Christoph Winkler.


Originally from Argentina, Anabella Lenzu is a dancer, choreographer, writer, and teacher with over 30 years of experience working in Argentina, Chile, Italy, and the U.S. Lenzu directs her own company, Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama, which since 2006 has presented 390 performances, created 14 choreographic works, and performed at 100 venues, presenting thought-provoking and historically conscious dance-theater. As a choreographer, she has been commissioned all over the world for opera, television, theater productions, and by many dance companies. She has produced and directed several award-winning short dance films and screened her work in over 80 festivals both nationally and internationally, including England, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, Poland, Italy, Greece, Serbia, India, Indonesia, Cyprus, Portugal, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil.


Amanda Loulaki is a dance performance artist, programmer, curator, and educator born and raised on the island of Crete, Greece. She spent her childhood years looking at the sea daily and wandering in the ruins of the Minoan Knossos Palace, dreaming of different ways of being. In 1990 she received a BA in education from the University of Crete, Department of Pedagogy, and in 2007 she received her MFA in dance from Hollins University. In 1994 Loulaki was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and moved to New York. The source material in her work is often biographical while presenting the body as a container of history, and the space as a container of the body. Loulaki’s work has been presented at Danspace Project, La MaMa, Dixon Place, Gibney, PS 122, The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, 11th Biennale of Artists of Europe and the Mediterranean, Buchar East.West International Dance Festival, and the Choreographic Center Archauz, Denmark. For the past 28 years Loulaki has found fulfillment in teaching in schools grades pre-K-8, in New York City and internationally. Since 1998, she has been the programming director at Movement Research and programmed the Improvisation Festival NY from 1999 to 2003.


MOLLY&NOLA have been making work together since 2017. They are based in Brooklyn and have performed their collaborative work in New Mexico, Philadelphia, and at a variety of theaters, galleries, music venues, and DIY spaces throughout New York City. They have had residencies through the Keshet Makers Space Experience (Albuquerque) and New Dance Alliance’s LiftOff Program (NYC). Born in the Great Lakes State, Molly Ross now lives in Brooklyn. She loves collaborating with Jo McKendry, Gwendolyn Knapp, Austin Selden, and Nola in NYC. She previously danced for Khecari and Hedwig Dances in Chicago. Nola Sporn Smith was born and raised in Brooklyn. She was nominated for a 2019 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer for her work with Stacy Grossfield. In addition to collaborating with Molly, she has recently worked with Nicole Mannarino, cakeface, Eryka Dellenbach, and Donna Uchizono Company.


Originally from Israel, Doron Perk studied at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance with the support of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. After graduating in 2008, he danced in the Croatian National Theater Ballet in Split, Compañía Nacional de Danza in Madrid, and the Batsheva Ensemble - The Young Company in Tel Aviv. In 2016, Perk moved to New York City as a Gaga teacher and started working as an independent artist. After dancing and teaching with Zvi Gotheiner for five years, he is now associate artistic director of ZviDance. Perk was selected as one of the Best Performers of 2016 by Dance Magazine and is a LABA fellow at the 14th Street Y.


Paz Tanjuaquio has been active in New York City since 1990 as a choreographer, performer, visual artist, and co-founding director of TOPAZ ARTS, Inc., a creative development center for contemporary performance and visual arts which she founded in 2000 with artist Todd B. Richmond. Her choreography has been presented at many NYC venues, nationally, and internationally at Le Commun, Bâtiment d’Art Contemporain in Geneva and at residencies in Cambodia, Japan, Korea and her birthplace, the Philippines. Tanjuaquio has collaborated and performed for Molissa Fenley, Nicky Paraiso, George Emilio Sanchez, Dean Moss, Carl Hancock Rux, among many other artists, and has created dance within many exhibitions. Her work has received support from City Artists Corps, Dance/NYC’s Dance Advancement Fund, Foundation for Contemporary Arts/Emergency Grant, NEA, NYFA/Build, among others. She is chair of the Steering Committee of the Bessies/NY Dance & Performance Awards, and serves on the executive committee as a member of the NYS DanceForce. She is currently adjunct faculty at The New School/College of Performing Arts, and has taught at NYU Tisch School of the Arts/ Experimental Theatre Wing and SUNY/Nassau Community College. Tanjuaquio received her MFA from NYU Tisch Dance, and her BA in visual arts from University of California, San Diego.  

Dane Terry is a multimedia story-maker, performer, and composer. He has made stories and music for all sorts of rooms and situations. He has been up to this for quite some time and intends to stay up to it. He was the writer, composer, and lead performer of the musical fiction podcast Dreamboy (Night Vale Presents, 2018). Works for stage include Jupiter’s Lifeless Moons (PSNY, 2018) and Bird In The House (La MaMa, 2015, Under the Radar Festival, 2016). Terry was the 2016 recipient of the Ethyl Eichelberger Award.


About Judson Memorial Church

Judson Arts continues the long tradition of arts ministry at Judson Memorial Church, a spiritual force in Greenwich Village for over 120 years, devoted to creative freedom, social justice, and progressive faith. From the acclaimed Judson Poets Theater and Judson Dance Theater to today’s Judson Arts Wednesdays (JAW) programming, Judson embraces the necessity of art in our lives and nurtures an uncensored environment for innovative expression. 


About Pioneers Go East Collective

New York City award-winning Pioneers Go East Collective is a laboratory collective of multimedia and performance artists. The collectivechallenges viewers by exploring pathways to communicate psychologically complex experiences. Reimagining the creative lineage that informs their work, Queer and Feminist theory, conceptual art, pop culture, institutional critique, and LGBTQ community-based activism, they create poetic fictionalizations that alternately stand in for a silenced past and act as the starting point for a viable future. In residence at two historical downtown venues - La MaMa and Judson Church - since 2014, the collective has built a sustainable creative platform of performances, films, and curated series to celebrate multigenerational radical queer artists. By connecting the community’s history, they deepen understanding of social justice, civil rights, and human rights. The collective has developed 12 original works, collaborated with over 450 art-makers, and through performance, video, curated series and festivals, they build platforms of inclusion that link audiences throughout all of New York to celebrate LGBTQ and feminist artists. Under the leadership of Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte, Daniel Diaz, and Philip Treviño, the collective merges storytelling and interview-based documentary to expose the realities of queer identity and otherness to provoke understanding and promote social justice. Inspired by Walt Whitman’s poem “O Pioneers!”—an homage to the pioneers’ search for a brighter future—the collective is comprised of artists who explore stories of collective courage and conviction. For more information, visit PioneersGoEast.org.


Follow Pioneers Go East Collective on Facebook at PioneersGoEast and follow on Twitter and Instagram: @PioneersGoEast.


"My Name'Sound" (Film still) by PIoneers Go East Collective, featuring Richard Morales and Agosto Machado; photo credit Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte

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