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New York Live Arts & Emily Johnson/Catalyst to Present SHORE Installation of Dance, Volunteerism and More, 4/19-26

New York Live Arts & Emily Johnson/Catalyst to Present SHORE Installation of Dance, Volunteerism and More, 4/19-26

Emily Johnson/Catalyst brings its expansive installation SHORE to Lenapehoking (New York City). SHORE is the third part of a trilogy exploring the complex terrain of identity, memory, ancestry, land, and community. Building on these themes, SHORE brings ideas and questions that emerged in the first two works -- the Bessie Award-winning The Thank-you Bar (2011) and the richly layered Niicugni (2013) -- out into the world. Throughout the trilogy, Johnson has asked: How can performance uniquely connect us to our land, our lives, and each other? SHORE's gatherings and events will take place at various locations April 19-26, with performances at New York Live Arts April 23-25.

SHORE celebrates the places where we meet and merge -- land and water, performer and audience, art and community, past, present, and future. It is created in four equal parts: SHORE: Community Action (volunteerism) -- a series of community work sessions in the Rockaways and on Governors Island involving the caretaking of land and water and dune restoration; SHORE: Story, a curated reading featuring local authors; SHORE: Performance, a work that combines dance, live music, and storytelling; conceived and choreographed by Emily Johnson, directed by Ain Gordon, and performed by Johnson with dancer/collaborators Aretha Aoki, Krista Langberg, and Julia Bither, vocalist/composer Nona Marie Invie (of Dark Dark Dark), the SHORE Choir, and a large cast of local dancers; and SHORE: Feast, a culminating potluck celebration in which participants share stories and the recipes of the dishes they bring to share.

Partners for SHORE include The Lenape Center, New York Live Arts, Gibney Dance, Creative Capital, The Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, The Billion Oyster Project, Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, North Brooklyn Boat Club, Iliamna Fish Co. Traditional Wild Red Salmon, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, and Jack Tchen and Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University.

SHORE in Lenapehoking is part of a five-city tour that began in Minneapolis in June 2014 in partnership with the University of Minnesota/Northrop. Following the New York engagement in April, SHORE will be presented in Homer, Alaska, in partnership with Bunnell St. Arts Center (June 2015); in San Francisco, in partnership with ODC (August 2015); and in Seattle, in collaboration with On the Boards (October 2015). The project takes new shape in each city in collaboration with the presenter and many community partners.

SHORE's Schedule of Gatherings and Events in Lenapehoking (New York City):


Sunday, April 19, 11am-3pm

Meet at Firehouse 59

5803 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Rockaway, NY


Registration requested

A series of community work sessions in the Rockaways culminates in a celebration and caretaking of the land and water. Join Catalyst for a dune restoration planting project on the shoreline. This day of Community Action includes working together, listening to stories, sharing food, and getting to know the shore and each other a little better.

In partnership with Emily Johnson/Catalyst, Gibney Dance, The Lenape Center, and the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance

SHORE: STORY (curated reading)

Sunday April 19, 6pm

Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, Community Room

82 Rutgers Slip, New York, NY


Registration requested

Local writers, their perspectives, stories, and poems have a prominent place within SHORE in this curated reading featuring original work relating to home, place, and land. The infinite associations, connections, and disconnections people have with, to, and from these sites are conjured in the moment of the reading and create a shifting, localized context for our stories, memories, and own definitions of home.

In partnership with Emily Johnson/Catalyst, The Lenape Center, and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council

SHORE: PERFORMANCE presented by New York Live Arts

Thursday-Saturday, April 23-25, 7:30pm

New York Live Arts

219 West 19th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, New York, NY

Tickets start at $30 / select $15 seats available

Purchase tickets

SHORE: Performance begins outside and makes its way into the theater. Combining dance, live music, and storytelling, the work "dwell[s] in the liminal space between memoir and dream, intimate and mythical, dance and installation, continually working away at the boundaries between performers and audience" (SHORE essayist Eleanor Savage). SHORE is conceived and choreographed by Emily Johnson and directed by Ain Gordon. The work is performed by Johnson with dancer/collaborators Aretha Aoki, Krista Langberg, and Julia Bither, vocalist/composer Nona Marie Invie (of Dark Dark Dark), the SHORE Choir, and a large cast of local dancers. Music is composed by James Everest and Nona Marie Invie with musician Fletcher Barnhill. Lighting design is by Heidi Eckwall and costumes are by Angie Vo.

In partnership with Emily Johnson/Catalyst, New York Live Arts, and The Lenape Center


Friday, April 24, 11am-4:30pm (meet at 10:45am)

Meet at 10 South Street/ Battery Maritime Building


Registration requested

Help restore the harbor through the reintroduction of oysters, an indigenous species of Lenapehoking. Oysters and oyster reefs improve water quality and are one of the most biologically productive, diverse, and dynamic environments on the planet. Be part of the New York Harbor School's Billion Oyster Project and help the effort to reintroduce one billion oysters into the bay by 2030.

In partnership with Emily Johnson/Catalyst, Gibney Dance, The Lenape Center, and The New York Harbor School's Billion Oyster Project

SHORE: FEAST (potluck celebration)

Sunday, April 26, 2pm-6pm

North Brooklyn Boat Club

49 Ash Street at McGuinness Blvd, Brooklyn, NY

Under the Pulaski Bridge, on Newtown Creek (outdoor event, please dress for the weather)


Registration requested

Join Catalyst for a celebratory potluck feast. Bring something to share that has a special meaning or story behind it and the recipe. "We want to hear those stories, we want to taste those dishes, we want to share those recipes." The collected recipes and stories will be compiled in the SHORE zine, vol. 5 and mailed to all participants. Feast includes community visioning, music by Ben Weaver, curated activities, and will be fun for all ages!

In partnership with Emily Johnson/Catalyst, The Lenape Center, The North Brooklyn Boat Club, and Iliamna Fish Co.

About SHORE's Community Partners:

The Lenape Center is a non-profit organization based in the ancestral Lenape island of Manhattan whose mission is to promote Lenape language and the creation, development, distribution and exhibition of Lenape arts and culture; thus building a pathway for Indigenous people between inherited cultural traditions and the dynamic innovations of contemporary global society. Lenape, or "The Real People," are the original peoples of Lenapehoking; today's New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and part of Connecticut. Lenape Center Ltd. believes that Lenape creativity and wisdom will continue to play a significant part in creating a better world for generations to come.

New York Live Arts is an internationally recognized destination for innovative movement-based artistry offering audiences access to art and artists notable for their conceptual rigor, formal experimentation and active engagement with the social, political and cultural currents of our times. Live Arts commissions, produces and presents performances in its home in the heart of Chelsea. It serves as home base for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, provides an extensive range of participatory programs for adults and young people, and supports the continuing professional development of artists.

Gibney Dance, founded in 1991, is a trailblazing organization whose mission is to bring the possibility of movement where it otherwise would not exist.

Creative Capital supports innovative and adventurous artists across the country through funding, counsel and career development services. Our pioneering approach -- inspired by venture-capital principles -- helps artists working in all creative disciplines realize their visions and build sustainable practices.

Rockaway Waterfront Alliance is dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding, respect, and connection between our communities and the Rockaway waterfront. To ensure the long-term vitality and economic health of the Rockaway waterfront, RWA works to empower residents of the underserved communities of the Rockaway Peninsula to play a role in the determination of their neighborhoods, by providing enriching educational and community programming that instills both individual and civic respect for nature, and contributes to advancing the physical, economic, and social sustainability in the Rockaway Peninsula and Greater New York City.

The Billion Oyster Project (BOP) is a long-term initiative to restore the ecology of New York Harbor by engaging New York City students in hands-on marine science and stewardship. Founded by the New York Harbor School and NY Harbor Foundation in 2014, the project aims to restore one billion live oysters to New York Harbor over the next 20 years, and in the process, engage and educate all New Yorkers about the ecology and economy of their local marine environment.

Two Bridges Neighborhood Council serves the residential, commercial, and cultural life of Manhattan's Lower East Side through community-based programs and strategic partnerships. Their service area includes the economically, culturally, and ethnically diverse neighborhoods of Two Bridges, Chinatown, Little Italy, the East Village, and the Bowery Corridor.

North Brooklyn Boat Club is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to safe recreational boating within New York City's waterways. The North Brooklyn Boat Club consists of local kayakers, canoers, sailors, environmentalists, boatbuilders, community leaders, and activists. NBBC is proud to offer multiple opportunities in delivering environmental education to local organizations, educational institutions and school groups as well as community members with two main programs, an on-land component and an on water version to better involve citizens with a number of ecological issues facing our beloved waterways. The North Brooklyn Boat Yard is located on Newtown Creek in Greenpoint.

Iliamna Fish Company is simply, almost quaintly, dedicated to providing the world's best wild salmon. In a domestic market starved for premium wild sockeye salmon, Iliamna offers the finest available. Lake Iliamna, the terminal spawning grounds of the salmon, is the largest freshwater lake in Alaska. The red salmon are harvested out of Bristol Bay near the mouth of the Kvichak River, which is the only outlet leading from Lake Iliamna. The Vantrease family homestead is located at the northeastern-most tip of the lake near the Iliamna River. They fish completely by hand, using small 50-fathom nets. They fish out of 20-foot-long skiffs, small craft that preserve the quality of their fish, because the fish are not crushed under hundreds of tons of other fish, or roughly harvested with industrial machinery. Iliamna carefully oversees the filleting and preparing of their fish for your table and consider every fish a possible feast.

Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance is an alliance of over 800 organizations with ties to our regional waterways. They are working to transform the waters of New York and New Jersey Harbor into clean and accessible places to learn, work and play, with inviting parks, dependable jobs, and reliable, eco-friendly transportation for all.

Jack Tchen and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University recognizes that as the world becomes connected at higher speeds, international cultural connection, translation and a shared re-imagined space come increasingly into play. A/P/A Institute aims to promote discourse on Asian/Pacific America defying traditional boundaries, spanning Asia, to the Americas, through the Atlantic and Pacific worlds. A/P/A Institute works to dispel socio-cultural and political misconceptions, provide cultural and scholarly connections, lead collections building, and encourage innovative research and interdisciplinary exploration. A/P/A Institute's goal is to serve as an international nexus of interactive exchange and access for scholars, cultural producers, and communities from New York to beyond.

About Emily Johnson/Catalyst:

Emily Johnson is an artist who makes body-based work. Originally from Alaska, she is currently based in Minneapolis. Since 1998 Johnson has been creating richly layered works that blur distinctions between performance and daily life. Her dances function as installations, engaging audiences within and through a space and environment -- interacting with a place's architecture, history, and role in community.

Johnson is a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at the University of Minnesota. Her fellowship has corresponded with the development of SHORE. Her position in the IAS has been focused on the development of research strategies and writing about her integrated process of art-making and community activism. The collaborative presentations and discussions with her fellow colleagues at IAS have been instrumental in the development of a research model that honors artistic process and values the generation of good energy. Johnson's research is around and about the creation, presentation, and effects of SHORE and she is working with the honors department at the U of M to develop a volunteer and research team who will continue to work with her next year as she reports on her research thus far and brings SHORE residencies to communities in Minnesota and throughout the U.S.

Johnson is a recipient of a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award. Her work is currently supported by Creative Capital, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, MAP Fund, a Joyce Award, the McKnight Foundation, and the Doris Duke Residency to Build Demand for the Arts. Johnson is a current Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota, a 2014 Fellow at the Robert Rauschenberg Residency, a 2012 Headlands Center for the Arts and MacDowell Artist in Residence, a Native Arts and Cultures Fellow for 2011, a MANCC Choreographer Fellow (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016), a MAP Fund grant recipient (2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013) and a 2009 McKnight Fellow. She received a 2012 New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" Award for Outstanding Performance for her work The Thank-you Bar at New York Live Arts.

For more information about SHORE, visit:

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