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Pioneers Go East Collective presents LUCKY STAR (0.3) (World Premiere) at Judson Memorial Church

Pioneers Go East Collective presents LUCKY STAR (0.3) (World Premiere) at Judson Memorial Church


Pioneers Go East Collective


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


Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 8:00pm weekly through July 30, 2021



Pioneers Go East Collective

Pioneers Go East Collective will present the world premiere of LUCKY STAR (0.3), a dance-theater performance and video installation, July 13–30, at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South (between Thompson and Sullivan Streets) in Manhattan. Performances are Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 8pm. The performance installation is free to attend, donations welcome (one hundred percent of the proceeds will directly support the artists). Capacity regulations and other safety protocols will be in place. For more information and to make a reservation, visit: http://pioneersgoeast.eventbrite.com.

LUCKY STAR (0.3) is a queer dance performance, part underground club inspired by the famed Club 57, part video art installation. Looking back at the landscape of downtown DIY art-making starting from Stonewall until the 1990s, locating it at such venues as Judson Church, La MaMa, and the Pyramid Club, the collective explores the intersectionality of queer artists and their creative legacy. Borrowing “superstardom fabulousness” from the past to celebrate queer bodies, creative endurance, and the pursuit of artistic fame, LUCKY Star (0.3) is both self-reflective and irreverent, with performers cast as alternate-universe superstar versions of themselves. “LUCKY STAR was born by a desire to make art in a new time,” said the collective. “We juxtapose DIY with the commercialization in art-making. We pay homage to creators and legends whose trailblazing work has solidified ways for us to survive as artists reimagining our approach to sharing our work in the age of social media and instant gratification. We term the project a meta-creative journey inviting viewers to engage in an emergent process of collective liberation.” In five episodes, performers Shaina and Bryan Baira, Bree Breeden, Daniel Diaz, Beth Graczyk, Joey Kipp, and downtown icon and Stonewall witness Agosto Machado bring their unique combination of cosmic-queer storytelling to the live space.

Pioneers Go East Collective’s performances and video-art projects have been praised as shape-shifting and radical queer experiences. Of the film Lucky Star: superstar, the second work in the series, Dot Armstrong of Culturebot wrote, “Lucky Star is like a time capsule. The film holds past, future, and present in an intimate, luscious spacetime loop. Fact and fiction, inseparable, blur and tease. Cut to disco ball, still swinging. Slow down and watch the air sparkle.” 

The creative team includes Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte (writer and creative director), Philip Treviño (co-writer and production designer), Ori Flomin(ensemble choreographer), Jon Burklund (filmmaker), Kathleen Kelley (filmmaker and video designer), Mark Tambella (set designer and fabricator), and Marielle Iljazoski and Ryan William Downey (sound designers). 

LUCKY STAR is a devised series developed in 2020/21 with residencies at La MaMa, The Exponential Festival, and Judson Memorial Church.



About the Artists

Shaina and Bryan Baira (choreographers, performers, and filmmakers) are life partners and co-directors of BAIRA / MVMNT PHLOSPHY, a dance-theater company committed to understanding the human experience and sharing its perspective through the movement arts. Born in Texas and Michigan respectively, the two found each other eight years ago in NYC and have since been sharing their work and engaging communities throughout the US. Their work is known for its bravery, vulnerability, and intricately athletic movement language. The couple is currently based out of Detroit, where they are artists-in-residence at the Music Hall and Wayne State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

Bree Breeden (performer and choreographer) is from Cheraw, SC. Currently, she is a dancer and the managing director for Proteo Media + Performance, production manager for Sidra Bell Dance New York, and dances with VON HOWARD PROJECT and Michiyaya DANCE. She choreographs and performs her own work which has been presented at Embodied Spaces Festival, Montclair State University, Danceworks, ACDFA, and the Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts dance talk series. Breeden has been awarded the Choreographic Excellence Award (2015) and Outstanding Performer Award (2016) from MSU.

Jon Burklund (filmmaker) is a New York-based video artist specializing in documentation and documentary video for performing artists and arts organizations. Since 2015, he has documented over 400 performances and events for organizations including Arena Stage, American Repertory Theater, The Public Theater, La MaMa, New York Theater Workshop, 59E59 Theaters, Bushwick Starr, Parsons Dance, A.R.T/New York, and All for One Theater. Burklund is resident videographer at The Exponential Festival, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and Ma-Yi Theatre Company, and is the digital content producer at Musical Theatre Factory. Burklund’s work has long focused on creating sustained partnerships with some of NYC’s boldest artists, especially those working toward social justice and representation. With this intention, he has developed video content in v=]c 67 collaboration with Diana Oh ({my lingerie play}), Pioneers Go East Collective (Gemini Stars), Jomama Jones (BLACK LIGHT), Dan Fishback (Cheese on Bread), Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (Dael Orlandersmith’s Until the Flood). He is in production for his full-length documentary film featuring dance artists Mina Nishimura and Kota Yamazaki.

Daniel Diaz (writer and performer) is a New York City-based performance artist. Diaz creates works from a queer male perspective to inform audiences and bring clarity on social-political injustices through storytelling, burlesque, choreography, and video projects. Diaz joined Pioneers Go East Collective in 2013. With a focus on modern and interpretive dance, Diaz has performed at various New York City venues including La MaMa, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, PS1 MoMA, Brooklyn Museum, The Coney Island Circus Sideshow, Joe’s Pub, Dixon Place, Performance Mix/New Dance Alliance.

Ryan William Downey (sound designer) is an actor, playwright, and musician who serves as associate artistic director of The Brick Theater and co-director of Title:Point, an experimental theater company that has been producing and presenting work in New York City for more than a decade. His most recent play, Sleeping Car Porters, was a New York Times Critic’s Pick, and Biter (Every Time I Turn Around), which he co-wrote, was one of Helen Shaw’s 10 Best Plays of 2015. He has also written Periscope (featuring Richard Foreman and Mary Harron), Persistent Dream Body, The Assassination of Julius Caesar, and co-written Post:Death, Never Odd or Even, Everything of Any Value, and SPACEtruck. He has performed at the Whitney Museum of American Art, La MaMa, The Incubator Arts Project, Dixon Place, The Brick, Invisible Dog, AS220, the Gowanus River (in Jeff Stark’s The Dreary Coast), and many more venues in NYC and beyond. 

Ori Flomin (ensemble choreographer) has been dancing, living, surviving, and thriving in New York City since 1989. He holds an MFA in dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His choreography has been presented in NYC and internationally. He has taught dance, yoga, and Shiatsu massage at prestigious festivals and schools across Europe, Asia, and Australia and colleges around NYC, as well as at PARTS, ImPulsTanz, London Contemporary School, Sasha Waltz, Circuit Est, SUNY Purchase, NYU, Movement Research, and Gibney, among others. Flomin has performed in the works of acclaimed choreographers Stephen Petronio, Maria Hassabi, Neil Greenberg, and Molissa Fenley, to name a few.  

Beth Graczyk (performer/cameo on video) is a Brooklyn-based artist and scientist. She recently began teaching movement practices to artists with developmental and cognitive disabilities through Interact Theater in Minneapolis and was commissioned to make a new dance work with its LGBTQIA artists in 2019. She has contributed to 10 science publications in the field of cancer research. She co-directed the performance company Salt Horse in Seattle with Corrie Befort and Angelina Baldoz from 2008 to 2016. In NYC, her solo works have been presented by Gibney, La MaMa, JACK, Movement Research, and Oye Group. 

Marielle Iljazoski is a composer, sound designer, and audio engineer originating from Brooklyn, New York. She is currently the resident sound designer at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club.

Kathleen Kelley (filmmaker and video designer) is an associate professor of dance and technology at Montclair State University. She was a 2019 Gibney Work Up resident artist, Chez Bushwick Artist-in- Residence in 2018, and a 2015–2016 LEIMAY Fellow. Her choreographic work has been shown at venues such as Theaterlab, Gowanus Loft, Triskelion Arts, Center for Performance Research, Chez Bushwick, Movement Research. Kelley directs Proteo Media + Performance, an intermedia company that produces creative experiences that use live performers, film, projections, installations and other forms of visual/digital data to explore the rich intersections between technology and the body. 

Joey Kipp (performer and choreographer) was born in Brazil and raised in Mountain View, CA. Kipp has a BA in biology and dance from Marymount Manhattan College. An award-winning dancer, Kipp has been featured at Gibney Dance for the Moment Walls Down, Gotham Roller Girls Award Ceremony, Roulette, Judson Memorial Church, and Performance Space NY. Kipp was recently an artist-in-residence at the Rauschenberg Residency with Heather Kravas and Vic Haven.

Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte (writer, creative director, and filmmaker) is a NYSCA Individual Artist recipient (2019), recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant in Performance (2019, 2020), and a finalist for the Jerome Foundation's 2019–20 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship. He is an immigrant gay artist and a NYC-based writer, director, and video-maker dedicated to performance and installations that reflect queer perspectives and vulnerability. He founded Pioneers Go East Collective in 2010, a company-in-residence at La MaMa and Judson Church. Lo Forte’s projects have been presented in NYC at La MaMa, Dixon Place, Galapagos, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, The Exponential Festival, JACK, The Incubator Arts Project/Ontological Hysterical, Chez Bushwick, HERE, Governors Island/LMCC, and Art on Air–Clock Tower Gallery. He has collaborated with The Foundry, Great Jones Repertory, Parijat Desai, and Ellen Stewart. He designed at the Venice Biennale and has toured in Europe. Awards include LMCC grants (2011–19); New Vic Artist Associate (2015); Process Space Residency—LMCC (2014), and an Opera America Director Award (2010). He has an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Agosto Machado (writer and performer) is an artist, activist, and witness best known for his work with Ellen Stewart’s La MaMa ETC, and his association with Jack Smith, Mario Montez, Jackie Curtis, Holly Woodlawn, Candy Darling, Marsha P. Johnson, Ronald and Harvey Tavel, Ethyl Eichelberger, and Peter Hujar. Machado has appeared in over 30 Off-Off-Broadway plays by Ken Bernard, Jackie Curtis, Al Carmines, Harvey Fierstein, H. M. Koutoukas, Megan Terry, and Jeff Weiss, and John Vaccaro’s Playhouse of the Ridiculous.

Mark Tambella (set designer and fabricator) is a visual artist-in-residence at La MaMa. Solo exhibitions: 2016, 2014, 2010, and 2008 at John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY; 2005 at Marmara Manhattan Gallery; several solo and group exhibitions at La MaMa/La Galleria (NYC), Portrait Show/PS122 (NYC), benefit show for St Vincent’s Hospital (NYC). Published art: Bomb Magazine/Absolute Tambella. Illustrations for poems by Richard George-Murray; illustrations for Lilac Cure/poems by Richard George-Murray; and drawings for Gay Sunshine. 

Philip Treviño (production designer and writer) is a NYSCA Individual Artist recipient (2021), and a 2010 recipient of a New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for his lighting and scenic design for Pam Tanowitz’s Be In the Gray With Me. He is also the scenic designer for Camille A. Brown and Company’s Mr. Tol E. Rance, which won a 2014 Bessie for Outstanding Production. Recently, he designed lights for Jenn Freeman/Freemove Dance’s ...it's time... at the 14th Street Y, Catherine Cabeen/Hyphen’s Give Me More at Theater for the New City, Pioneers Go East Collective’s Gemini Stars/Scorpio Stars at La MaMa and CowboysCowgirls at JACK. Other credits in lighting and scenic design can be seen in works by Brian Brooks Moving Company, Pam Tanowitz Dance, and Chris Tanner/Brandon Olson’s Ravaged by Romance at La MaMa. His work has toured nationally and internationally at such notable venues as BAM, The Joyce Theater, Joyce Soho, DTW, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The Kitchen, La MaMa, New York City Center, and Jacob’s Pillow. He is a proud alumnus of San Francisco State University where he received a BA in drama and a minor in music. Treviño is technical director for the dance department at Marymount Manhattan College where he teaches stagecraft for dance. 


About Pioneers Go East Collective

Pioneers Go East Collective is a radical queer collective of performance artists, dancers, writers, and filmmakers. Based in New York City, the award-winning ensemble is a laboratory collective of multimedia and performance works in residence at historical downtown venues, including La MaMa and Judson Memorial Church. Since 2010, the collective has created high-energy and interactive performances to celebrate a multigenerational collective of queer artists. By connecting with its community’s history, the collective deepens our understanding of social justice, civil rights, and human rights. 

The collective’s interdisciplinary works have been widely presented in New York City at La MaMa, Judson Memorial Church, JACK, CPR (Center for Performance Research), BAAD! (Bronx Academy of Art and Dance), The Exponential Festival, Chez Bushwick, the LGBTQ Center, Dixon Place, A.R.T./New York, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Performance Mix/New Dance Alliance, HERE, Governors Island/Warehouse 101, Astor Alive Festival, Ars Nova, The Tank, Wild Project, Time Space Limited (Hudson, NY), EstroGenius Festival, The Ontological Hysterical/Incubator Arts Project, Goethe Institute, and Chashama. The collective has also been presented at Buddies in Bad Times/Rhubarb Festival in Toronto. Awards include grants from NYSCA’s Theater Program, NYSCA Individual Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Harkness Foundation for Dance, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, LMCC, The Puffin Foundation, Off Broadway Angels, A.R.T./New York, New Vic LabWorks Artists Associates, St. Ann’s/Puppet Lab, and Opera America L. T. Tobin Award. www.pioneersgoeast.org


About Judson Memorial Church

Starting in the 1960s, Judson Memorial Church has been a historic downtown arts and cultural hub. Supporting artists at the nexus of arts and social advocacy, it has served as a home for boundary-pushing art, providing support to different arts organizations over the decades, including Judson Dance Theatre, Judson Poets Theatre, and Bread and Puppet Theatre.

For decades Judson Memorial Church has been a home for experimental, boundary-pushing art. The institution has transformed artists and communities alike, serving a vast multigenerational community of LGBTQ and BIPOC artists each season, through a vibrant shared sense of belonging and embodied experience. Judson Memorial Church continues to be an important incubator for new work in dance, theater, and music by working with risk-taking arts and cultural organizations such as Movement Research, Poetic Productions, STUFFED Dance, and Pioneers Go East Collective.

LUCKY STAR (0.3) is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; and NET/TEN. Subsidized studio space provided by an A.R.T./New York Creative Space Grant, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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