The Helix Queer Performance Network gathers some of the most exciting voices from New York City’s queer performance world, across the generations. Over three nights, three curators sculpt the fabric of queer community to pose questions, honor legacies and ignite the present:
Eva Yaa Asantewaa begins the series with Q(here)magiQUE, an evening of improvised dance.
The next night, the legendary House of LaBeija returns to La MaMa for Linda LaBeija’s exploration of the House’s lineage and impact.
The series ends with Queer Abstract curator Shannon Matesky’s Four Questions, with spoken word and dance artists reflecting on common themes, inspired by Nina Simone.
The Helix Queer Performance Network is a collaboration between La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange and the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics. Cover image & postcard design by LAUREN DENITZIO
FRIDAY, JUNE 8TH AT 7PM | Q(HERE)MAGIQUE
Curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa
thinking on my feet
thought and motion
Q(here)magiQue is an evening of improvisation, manifesting multidimensional queer space for queer spirituality, casting spells through dance and the word.
SATURDAY, JUNE 9TH AT 7PM | THE LABEIJA SHOWCASE
Curated by Linda LaBeija
You can glimpse the House of LaBeija in great films like The Queen and Paris Is Burning, but in The LaBeija Showcase, peek into the life and history of the House and where it is today, with an evening of collaborative, devised theater. Through vogue and modern movement, original music, and lip sync performances, bear witness to the performative talents and fashions of this iconic collective. Learn who they are and learn what they stand for. Learn it and learn it well!
Commentator/Co-Director: Leggoh LaBeija
Choreographer and Dancer: Monster LaBeija
Sound Director: Skyshaker
NYC Father Legendary Freddie LaBeija
SUNDAY, JUNE 10TH AT 7PM | FOUR QUESTIONS
Curated by Shannon Matesky
Shannon Matesky, creator and curator of Queer Abstract, curates an evening of theatrical performances highlighting queer artists as they grapple with four pivotal questions in honor of Nina Simone’s “Four Women”.
Featuring work by:
ABOUT THE HELIX QUEER PERFORMANCE NETWORK
The Helix Queer Performance Network is a collaboration between La MaMa Experimental Theater, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange and the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics, seeking to nurture queer performers, empower queer communities, and celebrate the legacy and lineage of queer performance in NYC. Directed by playwright Dan Fishback, major programs include “La MaMa’s Squirts,” the workshop “Needing It: Solo Performance in Queer Community,” and the annual festival of queer and trans artists of color, “Submerge.”
The 6th annual La MaMa’s Squirts: Generations of Queer Performance has been made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, with special thanks to City Council Members, Carlina Rivera and Daniel Dromm, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Eva Yaa Asantewaa (2017 Bessie Award winner for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance) is a writer, curator and community educator. Since 1976, she has contributed writing on dance to Dance Magazine, The Village Voice, SoHo Weekly News, Gay City News and other publications and interviewed dance artists and advocates as host of two podcasts, Body and Soul and Serious Moonlight. She blogs on the arts, with dance as a specialty, for InfiniteBody.
Ms. Yaa Asantewaa joined the curatorial team for Danspace Project’s Platform 2016: Lost and Found and created an evening of group improvisation, the skeleton architecture, or the future of ourworlds, featuring 21 Black women and gender-nonconforming performers. Her cast was awarded a 2017 Bessie for Outstanding Performer. As EYA Projects, she has begun partnerships with organizations such as Gibney Dance Center, Abrons Arts Center, Dance/NYC, BAX and Dancing While Black to curate and facilitate Long Table conversations on topics of concern in the dance/performance community. She is a member of the faculty of Montclair State University’s MFA in Dance program. She has also served on the faculty for New England Foundation for the Arts’ Regional Dance Development Initiative Dance Lab 2016 for emerging Chicago-area dance artists. In May 2017, she served on the faculty for the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography’s inaugural Forward Dialogues Dance Lab for Emerging Choreographers. A native New Yorker of Black Caribbean heritage, Eva makes her home in the East Village with her wife, Deborah, and cat, Crystal.
Linda LaBeija is a multidisciplinary artist, organizer and curator from Bronx, New York. Her work explores the complexities of living as a transgender woman of color in today’s America. With origins in both Black America and the English/Spanish-speaking Caribbean, Linda’s transnational experience of living at the intersection of embodied, social, and national borders hones in on the critiques of hegemonic power. Born out of the Iconic House of LaBeija in the underground New York City Vogue Ballroom scene, Linda’s pursuit of spoken word infused musical sound has been featured in articles in both Afropunk and The Fader. She has performed in various theaters and venues including The Cherrylane Theater, The National Black Theater of Harlem and El Teatro of Museo Del Barrio. She has performed with wonderful voices and writers such as StaceyAnn Chin and Me’shell Ndegeoecello. She can also be seen in the feature film “Pariah” directed by Dee Rees.
Through workshop facilitation and communal performances, Linda uses her autobiographical work to create greater social consciousness around transgender issues. In 2015, she helped organize Afropunk’s first Trans Awareness March. In addition to her work as an organizer and curator she devotes her time to providing services to LGBT homeless youth at the Ali Forney Center. As a performing artist, musician and author, Linda’s work intervenes with confidence, politicized anger, and grace into a symbolic and literal economy which would otherwise render her bound and gagged.
Shannon Matesky is an actress, writer, director, and producer from Berkeley, California. She is creator and curator of Queer Abstract, a monthly performance series in Brooklyn that has been featured in AM New York, Time Out New York, L’Express, and The New York Times. As an actress Shannon has worked with a range of theater companies including The Inconvenience, The Hypocrites, The Goodman Theatre, and Steppenwolf Theater. Shannon’s poetry has been featured with Nylon, BET, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. Shannon is the author of four solo performances, Heartbreak Hotel: Whitney, She Think She Grown, We Gotta Eat, and The Saga of the Return. Shannon has produced campaigns and festivals across the United States, including the Brave New Voices International Teen Poetry Festival, Life is Living, and The Fly Honey Show. For more information visit www.shannonmatesky.com
La MaMa's Squirts
La MaMa's Squirts gathers some of the most exciting voices from New York City’s queer performance world, across the generations. Over three nights, curator Alexander Paris sculpts the fabric of queer community to pose questions, honor legacies and ignite the present. Join us as we celebrate those who paved the way, and uplift new voices and perspectives from the individualistic, yet multiplistic, Gen Z lens.
“La MaMa’s annual showcase for emerging young queer talent has been moving toward a more multigenerational approach. All five former editions were curated by Dan Fishback; this year, he passes the reins to three women of color”