Center for Art,
Research and Alliances
September 30, 2023 – February 3, 2024

study now steady: Live at CARA, Thursday—Sunday

Publication Cover

study now steady, a new commission that gives its name to the exhibition Ligia Lewis: study now steady, transforms CARA’s gallery space into a studio for ongoing choreographic study.

Lewis and a group of dancers, including Corey Scott-Gilbert, Miguel Angel Guzmán, Trinity Dawn Bobo, Niall Noel Jones, Sharleen Chidaic, Ley (maybe Lysis), and Mame Diarra Speis, will perform ongoing studies of scores by Lewis, taking place weekly Thursday through Sunday.

study now steady is a durational process, based upon scores that have given form to Ligia Lewis's stage and film works such as minor matter (2016), Still Not Still (2021) , Water Will (in Melody) (2018), and deader than dead (2020). By mobilizing the score as a landscape for relation with and against each other and the space, questions of visibility and touch come to the fore, building on the hyper-relationality of perception. Through the body, the work throws into question the possibilities of empathy and care. What are the conditions of seeing and being seen? Who can you trust in your seeing?

Through a processual form, Lewis attempts to break the representational holds on racialized bodies, while simultaneously reckoning with the seeming futility of this task. The body transmutes into amalgamations of multiple histories, creating a space that reflects that which cannot be captured and yet has been captured all too many times—the unfinished work of liberation.

Read more about the exhibition here.

Live studies occur weekly at the following times:
Thursday: 4-7 pm
Friday: 3- 6 pm
Saturday: 3- 6 pm
Sunday: 3- 6pm

Duration: Three 50 min studies (10 min breaks).

Final live study: Saturday, February 3, 2024 from 3-6 pm

Please note there will be no studies on Thursday December 14, and between December 18, 2023 and January 11, 2024.

study now steady is on view at CARA as part of the exhibition of the same name. More information about the exhibition here.

More about the performers

Trinity Dawn Bobo is a queer multi-disciplinary performance artist, virtual assistant to business owners in the arts and wellness industries, and a digital nomad. Their work is informed by improvisation, nature, imagery, and voice. Her commitment to create, is a practice of love and the pleasures of feeling good. Trinity’s work has been presented in Chicago and New York.

Sharleen Chidiac is a dancer and choreographer based in New York City. Her work has been shown at various venues across NYC such as Judson Memorial Church, BAM Fisher, TheaterLab and The Hancock. She is a co-founder of the artist-run performance space PAGEANT in Brooklyn, New York.

Miguel Angel Guzmán is a dancer and actor originally from Mexico and is currently based in New York City. He has performed nationally and internationally in Tel Aviv, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Stockholm, Dublin, London, Mexico and Montréal, among others. Miguel’s work incorporates dance, film, theatre and music. He recently wrapped a short film titled "Moving" by Turkish director Azmi Mert Erdem. He has worked alongside musicians Amanda Palmer, Sharon Van Etten and Sxip Shirey. Miguel continues to collaborate with dance and performance artists Alexandra Pirici, Coco Karol, Madeline Hollander, Ligia Lewis, Pope L, Simone Forti and Deborah Hay.

Niall Jones is an artist, performer and teacher based in New York City. Niall engages (via immersive modes of deconstruction and rearrangement) the theater’s capacity to experiment with and destabilize senses of place, completeness, and legibility. Niall received a Bessie Award nomination for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer in 2017, and more recently, a 2021 Grants-To-Artists Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Art. Recent performance works by Niall include: Sis Minor, in Fall at Abrons Arts Center, New York, NY (2018); Fantasies in Low Fade at the Chocolate Factory, New York, NY (2019); A Work for Others at The Kitchen @ Queenslab, New York, NY (2021); Open Studio at MoMA PS1, Queens, NY (2021); In the Efforts of Time at Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart, DE (2022); dark de luxe: a mess for body, shadow, and other rogue im/materials at Jack Art Center, Brooklyn, NY (2022); a n u n r e a l at The Shed, New York, NY (2022); and C O M P R E S S I O N at Performance Space New York, NY (2022). Niall works as Creative Producer and adjunct professor in the School of Dance at University of the Arts.

Ley (maybe Lysis) is a trans-disciplinary caretaker and multi-directional cross-dresser.

Corey Scott-Gilbert, a graduate of Baltimore School for the Arts and The Juilliard School, was a soloist with Lyon Opera Ballet and received the Princess Grace Award in 2009. After an ankle injury while under the mentorship of Alonzo King, Scott-Gilbert continually seeks possibilities where an artistic process sparks a physical language. Scott-Gilbert is now freelancing with a base in Berlin, Germany focusing on works that are in dialogue with social dynamics.

Mame Diarra (Samantha) Speis is a mother and movement improviser intrigued with play, risk, rigor, and experimentation. She is currently a performer and the Co-Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Urban Bush Women. Her most recent work with the company has been the development of UBW’s new site responsive work “Haint Blu” with Chanon Judson, Co-Artistic Director of UBW, which premiered in 2023. Speis has had the pleasure of working with Gesel Mason, The Dance Exchange, Jumatatu Poe, Deborah Hay (as part of the Sweet Day curated by Ralph Lemon at the MoMA), Baba Israel, Marjani Forte-Saunders, and Liz Lerman. In 2021, she performed as a guest artist with MBDance in the Motherboard Suite with artist Saul Williams, under the direction of Bill T. Jones. Speis was the recipient of the Alvin Ailey New Directions Choreography Lab and was awarded a Bessie for Outstanding Performer in 2017. Mame Diarra’s work has been featured at the Kennedy Center, Long Island University, Joyce SoHo, Hollins University, BAAD, Danspace Project, BAM, Dixon Place, BRIC, Dance Place, and The Kelly Strayhorn Theater. Speis has developed a movement and teaching practice that explores pelvic mobility as the root of powerful locomotion and as a point of connection to the stories, experiences and lineages that reside in each of us. She has been a guest artist and teacher throughout the U.S., South America, Senegal, and Europe. Speis has also taught at Princeton University and Montclair State University as a Lecturer in Dance. She has been fortunate to continue building a strong relationship with her alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), in various capacities and was the commencement speaker for the VCUArts graduating class of 2020-2021. In recent years, Mame Diarra has co-choreographed multiple new works with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar in collaboration with the UBW Dance Company, along with co-choreographing Cannabis: A Viper Vaudeville, created by Baba Israel and directed by Talvin Wilks. Her most recent projects outside of UBW include being a commissioned artist on the Toni Morrison Project through the McCarter Theatre at Princeton University, in addition to being a performer and collaborator in Leslie Parker’s recent work A Call To Remember, both premiering in 2023.

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