Press Release
Press Release

Rare Opportunity to see Experimental Dance and Media Installation by three choreographers

One night only in new alternative dance space in Milwaukee’s Fifth Ward

By - Mar 13th, 2024 11:04 am
To Get There.

To Get There.

Milwaukee, WI – March 13, 2024 – An experimental dance and media installation by three nationally respected choreographers comes to Milwaukee on Friday, April 5, 2024. This special evening will feature two works by three artistic collaborators: Milwaukee choreographer and performance artist Maria Gillespie and Los Angeles-based choreographers and performers Nguyễn Nguyên and Kevin Williamson. Gillespie is also a professor of dance at UW-Milwaukee. These artists have worked together for the past 20 years.Gillespie, Nguyên and Williamson collaborate to make personal, poetic and deeply kinetic work that explores their intersecting lives, identities and entwined experiences.

The first work is titled to get there from here (Milwaukee Premiere) and is a choreographic investigation on mapping memories, unfixed, in and through their bodies. The artists reflect on the allure and impossibility of destination through mixed media. The stitching together of panoramic videos, movement and objects animates the tension of never quite arriving while being propelled forward.

Their process charts the physical and emotional landscapes enlivened by auto-ethnographic research where they negotiate their inscribed pasts. In this process, Maria traces the erasure and restoration of her Mexican lineage, Nguyen navigates unfamiliar terrains as a refugee and Kevin wrestles with discomfort and queer pleasure. In their live performance, they embody themes of reunion, transformation and resilience.

The three choreographers will also share an excerpt of a new work-in-progress, Wild Tonguethat radically reimagines home, kin, sexuality, aging and belonging. The artists confront and celebrate tensions among their multiple language systems and hybrid identities as Latiné, Asian and Queer. In overlapping utterance, song, story, dance and text, the artists write memories together through dance to perform the process of becoming, to share intersecting histories not governed by a singular narrative.

Choreographer Maria Gillespie shared her thoughts on what audiences can expect from this special evening: “This performance is a rare opportunity for the Milwaukee community to see experimental dance that combines dance theatre (narrative driven performance which includes speaking, text and singing) and media installation. Audiences will experience embodied storytelling through highly kinetic dancing that delves into our three histories and our desire to continue seeking refuge. Ultimately, rather than finding refuge at a fixed destination, we find refuge through our journey together. It feels incredibly important now more than ever to contemplate the profound impact on our bodies and communities by oppression and the physical and psychological displacement it creates.”

Milwaukeeans often don’t have the opportunity to see experimental choreography by artists not from this part of the country. Nguyên and Williamson, educators and seasoned performers both have long-standing careers in Los Angeles. They each bring their own approach to performance and dance making that will offer a divergence from what the Milwaukee dance community has experienced before.

The performance will be held on Friday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Daync Academy, located at 504 W. National Avenue in the Fifth Ward. The location was previously home to the Milwaukee Ballet studios and now is a site for Latin dance practices and is also rented out for events. This is a rare chance to see a performance installation by new dance artists as well as a new dance venue. Audiences will see a transformed space animated by a sparse but evocative set featuring panorama videos shot in Iceland, Milwaukee and California.

Tickets: $18 general admission, $12 students/seniors and $5 children

Tickets are available on Eventbrite:

Please note: Seating is limited, so advanced ticket purchases are recommended.

Artist information and work can be found here:

Visuals: Here is a Google Drive link with photos of the performers/choreographers, past work and video trailers:

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

Mentioned in This Press Release


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