Fresh Tracks 2021/22 Cohort

New York Live Arts Theater
APR 15-16, 7:30PM
Tickets start at $15
The five amazing artists selected for the 57th year of the Fresh Tracks in Our Season of Anniversaries are (alphabetical by last name):  

Jessica Cook
John Maria Gutierrez
Lilach Orenstein
Majesty Royale
Maleek Washington

This season’s Fresh Tracks artists present their new work in a shared evening in the theater. Fresh Tracks Residency & Performance program is a season-long residency for emerging movement-based artists in support of new work creation and professional development. This season marks the 57th year of Fresh Tracks, which was a signature program of Dance Theater Workshop to bring new choreographic artistry to the forefront.

Movement based artist Jessica Cook’s Interiors aligns sound with movement in a bare landscape of stage and proscenium.The work researches Cook’s own family connection with Korean Shamanism, trauma, anonymity, and assimilation as it could relate to performance. Utilizing learned divination practices, Cook has developed a rotary of sounds that interchange with formalized dance steps. While splicing sounds and rhythm, the space is physically mapped in accordance with 5-element theory and the cardinal directions within the Live Arts theater. This process recall’s Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s 1978 poem, Audience is Distant Relative. Keeping the production elements to a minimum, Cook draws the audience in, making them a close cousin, or sibling. 

Actor, performer, creator, educator John Maria Gutierrez weaves a tapestry of movement, original song, film and theater in quieted (stillness) en Maria, a solo that cracks open a re-membering of a queer non-identity, one note, tone, cancion, gesture, y momento at a time. The work blends John’s uptown urban hip-hop/b-boy aesthetic, downtown experimental/post-modern questioning, and poetic/imaginative writing, conjuring a live figure and digital reflection of their bi-lingual first generation New York upbringing along with the isolation that comes when venturing past the “hood” you know. The stillness that waits, the cage of another, the experience of “other” is not a binary thing, a body that questions… that destroys… that evolves. “Lo que ves, primera ves, no es cierto”//“What you see, at first glance, is not certain”.

Choreographer, performer, and producer Lilach Orenstein’s Don’t pick the flowers is a performative installation exploring the objectification of the female-identifying body. The piece challenges the traditional way performances are consumed by inviting the audience onto the stage to join an intimate journey, as they witness the unfolding of Orensteins personal experience of being objectified. The audience is welcomed to take part in the moving, live landscape to create their own experience through multiple viewpoints and positions. The work takes the spectator through a fragmented pre-recorded testimony, as the performer constructs and deconstructs movement materials inspired by sex positions from the Kama Sutra. Don’t pick the flowers serves as a vehicle for female-identifying experiences at large and celebrates those who survived and remembers those who didn’t.

Dancer, performance maker, sound explorer Majesty Royale’s the space between the riot and i is a solo performed by Majesty that uses movement and sound to investigate alternative modes of existence, memory, and ghostly inhabitants. The work exposes the physical body and sensorial landscape to rigorous transformation located in the liminality between “here-now” and “then-there”. It poses the question: Who and where are you when the glitter has settled, and the dance floor is sticky with the sugars of the night before? A bridge emerges out of the world of post-ecstatic experience. Majesty becomes a channel to emergent mythologies of the underworld with ritual practices derived from Black southern culture: sampling, chanting, sermon-ing and marching.

Choreographer, performer, and professor Maleek Washington’s Spectrum is a dynamic, interdisciplinary solo work that explores the felt and perceived tension within one’s mind during times of isolation and of freedom. Using contemporary aesthetics, Washington narrates through movement how his mind and body responds to shifts in personal experience. With Kwinton Grey producing an original ambient instrumental score and set design by Alex Ustach, viewers get a glimpse into the thoughts and universe of a young man navigating his own evolving existence.

Fresh Tracks is supported in part by Partners for New Performance