Emily Johnston / Catalyst launches the Lenapehoking (New York City) installment of SHORE on Sunday April 19th, with gatherings and events taking place at various locations April 19-26, and performances at New York Live Arts happening April 23-25. SHORE emerges as the third piece in a trilogy, following The Thank-you Bar (2011) and Niicugni (2013). The Thank-you Bar focused on displacement and finding community. Niicugni, which translates to pay attention, stands as an excavation of tuning-in - to sound, space, physicality, ancestry and place for both audience and performers. SHORE is the culmination of the means through which the first two pieces manifested, story-telling, volunteerism, gathering around food and common ground, co-creating performative work, all of which is part and parcel of the choreography.
Johnson, originally from Alaska is of Yup'ik decent and spent her formative years engaging in her families business of salmon fishing. As she spoke with me about her passion for dance - an element she locates as "vital to her life" - I was transfixed by this notion of flow of responsibility, intention and interaction. "Because dance and movement is vital to me, I try to make work that is vital to others' lives." She also makes work that highlights not only her core values, but values that are vital to human existence. Her creative practice transcends stages or single projects. The generation of movement through relationships, through conversations, through performances and gatherings ties into the currents of the East River and the waterways that flow past New York City, past San Francisco, Seattle, and her home town in Alaska, where SHORE will moor next. When Johnson speaks of connectivity and interrelatedness, there is a palpable shift in the air. This is her life-practice, not merely concepts she's playing with. Though there is play and a certain wide-eyed exploration of how humans commune with one another and their environments.
As her company name suggests, Johnson's public art making is a portal and catalyst for potential change, or at the very least an invitation to connect - to others, to ones self, to the world around you.
SHORE: COMMUNITY ACTION in the Rockaways
When: Sunday, April 19, 11am-3pm
Where: Meet at Firehouse 59, 5803 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Rockaway, NY
A series of community work sessions in the Rockaways culminates in a celebration and caretaking of the land and water. A dune restoration planting project on the shoreline, designed with youth leaders from the Rockaways who care deeply about the land they live on. This day of community action includes working together, a story-walk, and sharing food.
In partnership with Emily Johnson/Catalyst, Gibney Dance, The Lenape Center, and the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance
SHORE: STORY (curated reading), Lower East Side
When: Sunday April 19, 6pm
Where: Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, Goldie Chu Community Room
82 Rutgers Slip, 2nd Floor, New York, NY
Local writers, their perspectives, stories, and poems have a prominent place within SHORE in this curated reading featuring original work relating to home, place, and land.
Curated by Emily Johnson; featuring Ben Weaver, Sahar Muradi, Chris Moore, Emmanuel Iduma, Tim Carrier, and Live Lines - a lively group of young poets from Two Bridges.
In partnership with Emily Johnson/Catalyst, The Lenape Center, and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council
SHORE: PERFORMANCE presented by New York Live Arts, Chelsea
When: Thursday-Saturday, April 23-25, 7:30pm
Where: Performance begins on the basketball court at PS 11, 320 West 21st Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues
New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, New York, NY
Tickets start at $30 / select $15 seats available
SHORE: Performance begins outside at PS 11 and makes its way to the theater at New York Live Arts. Combining dance, live music, and storytelling.
In partnership with Emily Johnson/Catalyst, New York Live Arts, and The Lenape Center
SHORE: COMMUNITY ACTION on Governors Island
When: Friday, April 24, 11am-4:30pm (meet at 10:45am)
Where: Meet at 10 South Street/ Battery Maritime Building
Free (limited to 30 participants)
Help restore the harbor through the reintroduction of oysters, an indigenous species of Lenapehoking.
In partnership with Emily Johnson/Catalyst, Gibney Dance, The Lenape Center, and The New York Harbor School's Billion Oyster Project
SHORE: FEAST (potluck celebration), on Newtown Creek in Greenpoint
When: Sunday, April 26, 2pm-6pm
Where: North Brooklyn Boat Club
49 Ash Street at McGuinness Blvd, Brooklyn, NY
Under the Pulaski Bridge, on Newtown Creek (outdoor event, please dress for the weather)
Join Catalyst for a celebratory potluck feast. Bring a dish to share that has a special meaning or story behind it and the recipe. The feast will include Wild Alaskan Salmonfrom Iliamna Fish Company, cooked on an open fire, oysters from Open Oyster, shucked by a team, and wine from Broadbent. Live music by Ben Weaver. The collected recipes and stories will be compiled in the SHORE zine, vol. 5 and mailed to all participants.
North Brooklyn Boat Club is offering environmental education programming to explore the unique history and returning ecology of Newtown Creek as well as free guide-led canoe tours of the Creek.
In partnership with Emily Johnson/Catalyst, The Lenape Center, The North Brooklyn Boat Club, Iliamna Fish Co., and Broadbent