Portland – Houston: Dance in Two Cities
A CONVERSATION WITH TAHNI HOLT, ALLIE HANKINS, AND EZRA DICKINSON, (PORTLAND) & JHON STRONKS (HOUSTON), AND DANCE SOURCE HOUSTON RESIDENTS ALISA MITTIN AND LORI YUILL
Tahni Holt is a choreographer, teacher, curator and organizer based in Portland, Oregon who has been creating performances for the past 18 years. She is deeply invested in the ecology of her field. Holt is inspired by how colleagues in other parts of the world situate themselves depending on the political climate of where they practice. All of Holt’s endeavors are shaped by her beliefs and convictions which invigorate proactive projects of artist-driven empowerment.
Allie Hankins is a performer & performance maker, teacher, and researcher currently residing in Portland. She is an inaugural member of FLOCK, a new dance center & creative home to Portland’s experimental dance artists, and a founding member of Physical Education, a critical & casual, reading & researching, drinking & dialoguing, dance & performance body comprised of herself, keyon gaskin, Taka Yamamoto, and Lucy Lee Yim. She was most recently seen performing in works by Taka Yamamoto & Tahni Holt, and in her own solo Like A Sun That Pours Forth Light but Never Warmth. Her new endeavors include a project in progress titled better to be alone than to wish you were, her all-levels movement class Transcendentaerobicourage, and learning American Sign Language, which, as it turns out, is one of her greatest passions.
Ezra Dickinson is a multi disciplinary artist who began dancing at the age of four, trained at Pacific Northwest Ballet for twelve years on full scholarship. While attending PNB Ezra also completed a seven year apprenticeship in ceramics. Ezra earned his BFA in Dance with an emphasis in choreography from Cornish College of The Arts. Ezra regularly practices and is commissioned in performance/choreography, ceramics, sculpture, visual art, photography, design, murals, street art, film, animation and textiles. Along with being co artistic director of The Offshore Project and Actually Really, Ezra is also a member of The New Mystics, The Maureen Whiting Company and HYPERNOVA.
Alisa Mittin is originally from Buffalo, NY. Mitten recently relocated to Houston from Atlanta, where she had the pleasure of working with Blake Beckham from The Lucky Penny, Catellier Dance Projects, and the Core Performance Company, where she was a former member. She attended The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts. Mittin has performed with various choreographers such as Blake Beckham, Colin Connor, Beth Elkins, Jonathan Fredrickson, Helen Hale, Mira Kingsley, and jhon stronks. Her choreographic work has been showcased in Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York City. She is currently an Artist in Residence at Dance Source Houston.
jhon r. stronks is a dance maker whose passion for giving addresses the gaps between what is perceived and what is present, and lands his work somewhere between a cry for personal consciousness and a plea for social justice. jhon’s choreography combines the fundamental elements of composition and choreography with a convergence of movement styles and techniques drawn from his personal movement foundation. Stronks alternative dance making systems result is the creation of an open space for the dancing to inhabit, where the context is clear, the eye has choices, and the viewer gets to decide.
Lori Yuill is an independent choreographer, performer, and teacher. She did her undergraduate work at Texas Christian University before joining Momentum Danza Contemporanea in Guatemala to perform. In 2000, Yuill returned to Houston to perform with Suchu Dance. She also made Floating/Falling for the DiverseWorks Houston Performing Artist Residency during this period of time. Yuill moved to Yonkers in 2003 to pursue a masters degree at Sarah Lawrence College. She spent the next decade traveling between New York and DC performing for Sara Rudner, Anneke Hansen, Milka Djordjevich, Enrico Wey, Stephanie Miracle, UpRooted Dance and Daniel Burkholder/The Playground. Yuill’s choreography challenges audiences to look at dance in new ways, and aims to create and connect to community through movement.