May 18, 2019
May 19, 2019

FREE PANEL | Secret Journey: Stop Calling Them Dangerous #2

La MaMa in partnership with Movement Research
Concept by Yoshiko Chuma,
as part of the series Secret Journey

a black arrow pointing downward

A Panel Symposium with long-table discussions over two days. The Panel Symposium includes conversations between Yoshiko Chuma (New York/Berlin/Japan), Adham Hafez (NYC/Berlin/Cairo) and dance artists from around the world. Hosted by Movement Research, Secret Journey: “Stop Calling Them Dangerous”includes discussions that examine stories about oppression, marginalization, prejudice and profiling.

La MaMa’s Panel Symposium will enable artists to explore their ideas and translate them into a theatrical language that can communicate to diverse artists and members of the dance community. It is also a place where emerging artists learn from established artists and where artists from around the globe share work and ideas. To avoid the discussions from being overly prepared we will be introducing a simple and engaging structure for the panel wherein we will allow space for connection and honesty. In each panel discussion, an audience will have to suggest a topic for discussion. This way we will guarantee that the discussion is fresh.


Moderated by Yoshiko Chuma & Adham Hafez

Jimena Paz (Argentina) and Vanessa Vargas (Venezuela)

Long Table Participants:
Jean Carla Rodea (México), Pablo Muñoz (Uruguay), Ernesto Ortiz Leyva (México)

2:30 – 3:10 PM
Gathering, Snacks, and Drinks

3:10 – 3:25 PM
Opening Remarks and Introduction by Mia Yoo / Nicky Paraiso / Barbara Bryan / Anna Adams Stark

3:25 – 3:35 PM
Opening Remarks and Introduction by Yoshiko Chuma

3:35 – 3:55 PM
Jimena Paz (Argentina)

4:00 – 4:05 PM
Introduction of Participant Vanessa Vargas (Venezuela)

4:10 – 4:40 PM
Participant Vanessa Vargas Performance

4:45 – 5:00 PM

5:00 – 6:00 PM
Long Table – led by Yoshiko Chuma and Adham Hafez


Luis Lara Malvacias (Venezuela) and Arantxa Araujo (México)

Long Table Participants:
Alexis Ruiseco- Lombera (Cuba), Ana Maria Farina (Brazil), Sofia Gutierrez Losada (Colombia)

2:30 – 3:10 PM
Gathering / Snack / Drink

3:10 – 3:25 PM
Welcome and Introduction by Nicky Paraiso / Barbara Bryan / Anna Adams Stark

3:25 – 3:30 PM
Intro of Participant Luis Lara Malvacias by Yoshiko Chuma

3:30 – 3:55 PM
Participant Luis Lara Malvacias (Venezuela)

4:00 – 4:10 PM

4:10 – 4:15 PM
Introduction of Arantxa Araujo by Yoshiko Chuma

4:20 – 4:50 PM
Participant Arantxa Araujo (México)

4:50 – 5:00 PM

5:00 – 6:00 PM
Long Table – led by Yoshiko Chuma and Adham Hafez

The Panel Symposium is hosted in partnership with Movement Research as a part of the Move to Heal/Action to Heal series, with support from the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.

Cover photo from π= 3.14.. NOTHINg, or EVERYTHINg – With dry tech endless peripheral border – Fukushima – Kabul – Amman – Ramallah – Berlin by Yoshiko Chuma & The School of Hard Knocks

Yoshiko Chuma (New York/Japan)
Cutting-edge choreographer/ director/ Instigator / movement-explorer / performer Yoshiko Chuma continues a lifetime obsession with the mythology of danger. Landing in New York in 1976, Chuma settled in lower downtown Manhattan, labelled as a dangerous place to be at the time. Devoid of the culture and inflation you see before you now, Yoshiko managed to begin her career in lower Manhattan, spanning an impressive 41 year career to date. Creating over 100 productions, including company works, commissions and site-specific events, Chuma is constantly challenging the notion of performance for both audience and participants. Crossing physical and metaphorical borders along the way, quite literally, Chuma has placed herself in dangers way for the sake of art.

She has crossed the border between East and Central Europe in the earlier 90s, crossed the border to Palestine for over 10 years since 2005, the border between Albania and Kosovo in 2007, the border to Afghanistan in 2014, the border to Maracaibo, Venezuela in 2014 among many more. Forbidden realms for some but centers of creation for Chuma, as her visits to these locations challenge preconceived ideas of danger and have brought about some of the most beautiful experiences. Chuma intentionally proposes to confuse documentation with history, recreating segments from her own documented events.  She never gives herself any boundaries or let them interfere with her work.  Making art is not her intention at all.  All of her efforts are oriented towards giving to performances that have never been seen before.  Having received no formal dance training, she pursues spontaneous and experimental techniques and methods of construction.  Her creative process begins with single movement (dance) or abstract image conveyed to her film making pattern. She once presented a crumpled piece of drowning to her team and requested a single movement that expressed similar qualities. Project after project, year after year, she upends conventional notions of dance and disrupts accepted characteristics of performance. Her performances not only stand apart from the genealogy of dance but also resist definition and confound interpretation – endless peripheral borders.

Adham Hafez (New York/Cairo/Berlin)
Choreographer, composer and performer, Adham Hafez studied contemporary dance at the Cairo Opera House before he moved to Amsterdam for his Master in Choreography, at the Amsterdam Theatre School. With a Master degree in political science from SciencePo (Paris), Hafez his work tilts towards studying what political art is at times of catastrophic change, having studied with Bruno Latour the impact of the human on nature; physically, artistically and politically. Awarded for his work as a choreographer, composer and cultural entrepreneur, Hafez is currently a PhD candidate at New York University, completing a 15 years research on Arab performance history. His company’s latest productions were presented at MoMA PS1 (New York), Hebbel Am Ufer (Berlin), and ImpulsTanz (Vienna). Adham Hafez publishes in Arabic and English on Arab art history and performance theory. Hafez is the founder and program director of “HaRaKa”, the first movement and performance research project in Egypt. He is also the artistic director for the “TransDance” festival series and the founder of “Cairography”, the first publication in Egypt dedicated to critical writing on choreography and performance.

Movement Research is one of the world’s leading laboratories for the investigation of dance and movement-based forms. Valuing the individual artist, their creative process and their vital role within society, Movement Research is dedicated to the creation and implementation of free and low-cost programs that nurture and instigate discourse and experimentation. Movement Research strives to reflect the cultural, political and economic diversity of its moving community, including artists and audiences alike.

Nicky Paraiso is an actor, musician, writer, performance artist and curator. He has been Director of Programming for The Club at La MaMa since 2001, and is responsible for its surge of theater, performance, dance and cabaret programming. He is also Curator for the annual La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival. Nicky is a graduate of Oberlin College/Conservatory and holds an M.F.A. from New York University’s Graduate Acting Program. He has been a prolific actor at La MaMa, and in New York downtown theater and performance, since 1979. He has worked as an actor and musical director with playwright/actor/director Jeff Weiss and his partner Carlos Ricardo Martinez since 1979. He has also been a member of Meredith Monk/The House and Vocal Ensemble (1981-1990), touring extensively throughout the US, Europe and Japan, and he has performed with, and been a member of, Yoshiko Chuma and the School of Hard Knocks since 1988. Nicky has served on various theater, dance and music panels, including the Village Voice OBIE Judges Panel in season 2013-2014, as well as being a long-standing member of the New York Dance and Performance Awards “Bessies” Selection Committee since 2006. He is serving on the “Bessies” Steering Committee for the current season 2015-2016. Nicky is a recipient of the 2012 BAX (Brooklyn Arts Exchange) Arts & Artists in Progress Arts Management Award. His writing appears in the anthology Love, Christopher Street: Reflections of New York City (Vantage Point, 2012), edited by Thomas Keith. Paraiso will present a new dance-theater work, now my hand is ready for my heart, to premiere at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre in Fall 2017.

Vanessa Vargas is a Venezuelan, Brooklyn based dancer, performer, journalist, dance educator, and researcher. She holds a BFA in dance from Escuela Taller de Danza de Caracas, a Laureate in Mass Media and journalism from Universidad Central de Venezuela, an M.A in Mass Media and Social Research from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, and an M.A in performance studies from Tisch School of Arts at New York University. Her works focuses on dance and performance, from practice-based research to communication, cultural studies, and social theory. Since 2002, she has worked for several dance companies in Venezuela, collaborating as a dancer and choreographer. Currently living in New York, she continues working as a dancer and performance artist, performing for different New York based dance companies while developing her experience as a dance educator and researcher, facilitating workshops and performing in Venezuela, Spain, México, Perú, and Argentina.

Jimena Paz was born in Buenos Aires. She has had the pleasure of working with Lance Gries, Vicky Shick, Ralph Lemon, Susan Rethorst, Juliette Mapp, the Stephen Petronio Company (1999–2006), Martha Clarke, Iris Scaccheri (Argentina), Burt Barr, and Virginie 10 Yassef (France), among others. A certified Feldenkrais practitioner, Paz works on somatic approaches to dance. She is on faculty at The University of the Arts and teaches internationally.

La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival


La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival continues to support La MaMa’s commitment to presenting diverse performance styles that challenge audience’s perception of dance by featuring performance/installations, experimental film screenings & public symposiums which address dance artists’ engagement with the current political climate, as well as honoring diasporic histories and legacy, ancestral inspirations and inter-generational dialogue.

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