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Emily Johnson / Catalyst Brings BEING FUTURE BEING to BroadStage Next Month

Being Future Being will then have performances at New York Live Arts in New York, October 20–22.

Emily Johnson / Catalyst Brings BEING FUTURE BEING to BroadStage Next Month

Emily Johnson/Catalyst's new evening-length performance, Being Future Being, integrates movement, images, story, and sound in a kinetically rich social architecture that centers Indigenous thrivance.

Created by Doris Duke and Bessie Award-winning choreographer and writer Emily Johnson, belonging to the Yup'ik Nation, and featuring a commissioned score by Pulitzer Prize-winning Diné composer Raven Chacon. Being Future Being is commissioned by BroadStage, where it will have its world premiere at The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center September 8-10, 2022."

This is a pay-what-you-choose performance. Tickets and information are available at BroadStage.org. Being Future Being will then have performances at New York Live Arts in New York, October 20-22.

Johnson has created a distinguished body of dance works and social choreographies that gather audiences in a shared experience of movement, place, history, collective action, and the continuance of Indigenous knowledge and process.

In Being Future Being, Johnson, along with an extraordinary group of collaborators, delves into the power of creation, building a visual, aural, and ancestral landscape of Indigenous power. By (re)building new visions of the forces that brought this world into being, the multilayered performance becomes a site for transformation, ushering into focus new futures with the potential to reshape the way we relate to ourselves, our environment, and to the human and more-than-human cohabitants of our world.

Being Future Being is a constellation of activities, performances and gatherings. In addition, Being Future Being: Land/Celestial, a site specific activation on the Santa Monica College Main Campus (1900 Pico Blvd. 90405) on Thursday, September 8 at 11:15am and Saturday, September 10 at 1:00pm. Three mature trees on the campus, planted in the 1950's, are the focal point of this daytime gathering, offering an encounter that invites us into relationship with our more-than-human kin, and calls us to honor and protect the beings we live amongst.

This free experience will travel across the SMC campus completely outdoors. Participants will walk between three (3) locations to view twenty minute performances with minimal seating in chairs or on the ground. Check-in at South Quad by the Circle Fountain. RSVP encouraged; visit BroadStage.org for information.

BroadStage is a part of the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center and performs at The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage. As we actively work to create a more equitable path as a cultural institution, we respectfully recognize that the land on which BroadStage currently stands is the ancestral unceded territory of the Tongva, Gabrielino, and Kizh peoples. We honor the Indigenous caretakers of these lands and their E lders, past, present, and future.


Being Future Being is a starting point for relationship, explains Johnson. "The work asks audiences to join in community processes that move from each presentation out into the world in what I call the Speculative Architecture of the Overflow, with actions that directly support local rematriative, protection, and Land Back efforts. The Overflow is resonance, moving in the in-between, in-the- collective, in-the-invitation to GATHER HERE. Can the Overflow become supported, beyond the moment of the performance gathering, a speculative architecture resisting BUILD, but living, ongoing in an otherwise?"

The Speculative Architecture of the Overflow is Indigenous-led and developed in collaboration with community organizers, land defenders, and water protectors in ways that foster Indigenous kinship, accomplices, and audience relationships.

"One day, civil rights and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples will be recognized in relation to land. Power imbalance and extraction will not be the default relationship in our working lives. Theft of, abuses on, and lack of recognition of Indigenous land and water will not be tolerated," Johnson said (Inaugural Lecture Series, The Open Society University Network's Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College).

Rob Bailis, Artistic and Executive Director of BroadStage, said, "Emily Johnson's work is simultaneously epic and poetic. There is nothing she speaks about that is not generous and rich and also a little terrifying. For example, what if when we looked at a tree, we saw not only foliage or landscape, but we saw just as immediately a critical player in our ability to breathe. How might that idea reorganize us? What if we had embraced Indigenous wisdom and practices of land protection and resource stewardship instead of eradicating it?"

"What future could our beings inherit if a symbiotic relationship with living things was more essential than our dominance in the world? This piece of Emily's quietly relates to the idea Arandahti Roy offered us in her brilliant essay, a piece of writing that inspired our choices deeply at BroadStage, The Pandemic is a Portal and now we face the great gift and the painful challenge of selecting what to leave behind and what to carry forward into a transfigured landscape. Will we choose to see the earth as singularly sustaining human life or have we, however foolishly, however predictably, set our eyes on our next planet?"

Emily Johnson / Catalyst Brings BEING FUTURE BEING to BroadStage Next Month

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