Settlement House Performances

Settlement House 
a choreography by Will Rawls
June 6 & 7, 2015
Abrons Arts Center
466 Grand Street, Manhattan
$15, Info and Tix HERE

Modeled after the all-day performance pageants that marked Henry Street’s early years, Will
Rawls’ newest work is a two-day choreographic installation of dance, readings and spatial interventions. Using the combined architecture of The Playhouse and Abrons Arts Center as a frame, Settlement House explores the idealism and interdisciplinary overlap that characterize the center’s founding. This work was developed through the support of The Jerome Foundation.

Concept and Choreography: Will Rawls
Dancers: Javier Baca, Talya Epstein, Abigail Levine, Callie Lyons
Sculpture and Installation: Jarrod Beck
Original Sound Scores and Vocal Performance: Sahra Motalebi
Lighting Design: Ashley Beeler
Original Text: Emmanuel Iduma
Costume Design by Aaron Crosby


Javier Baca (dancer)

Native of California, Javier is a performer, dancer, educator and choreographer. After moving to New York City to focus on the research of dance and the moving body, Javier performed with Gibney Dance, HT Chen, Shen Wei Dance Arts and many others. He has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia in festivals and theaters including the American Dance Festival, Lincoln Center Festival, Israel Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, the Kennedy Center, the Silk Road Festival (Hong Kong), Mimar Sinan University (Turkey), and Monaco Dance Forum for Princess Caroline, and a number of others. As well as performing, Javier enjoys teaching and has taught as guest artist leading master classes, workshops and held residencies at Dans och Cirkushögskolan in Stockholm, Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul, New York University, Pomona College, Dance Place San Diego, University of California at Irvine, Riverside Community College, Santa Ana College and the University of Redlands.


Jarrod Charles Beck (sculpture / installation)

Beck is an installation artist, printmaker and sculptor. He is currently a Workspace Artist at Dieu Donné Papermill and a Visiting Artist at UrbanGlass. Beck’s drawings are in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art and he has created installations for Socrates Sculpture Park, Wave Hill, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Instituto Cervantes,  Universidad Central de Venezuela, and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. His outdoor sculpture Uplift, on view in Sara D. Roosevelt Park on Houston Street, was made possible by the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Fellowship. He is currently building an installation in collaboration with the performance artist John Kelly for Love  of a Poet, which will be presented by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council through the River to River festival in late June.


Ashley Ryan Beeler (lighting design)

Ashley Ryan Beeler is a Lighting Designer based in New York City. She received her BFA in Production Design with an emphasis in Scenic and Lighting Design from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2012. She is currently working as a freelance designer and technical director.  Some of her favorite lighting designs include Spring Awakening, Gruesome Playground Injuries, and Genderosity. She also has experience in event design, scenic design, stage managing, production managing, and sound.

Talya Epstein (dancer)

Talya Epstein is originally from Sharon, Massachusetts. Past and present collaborators include Anna Azrieli, Vanessa Justice, Juliana May, James McGinn, Melinda Ring, Tatyana Tenenbaum, and Larissa Velez- Jackson. Her own creative projects have been supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ RDDI special projects grant, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Dixon Place, CPR, and The Bushwick Starr.


Abigail Levine (dancer)

Abigail Levine is a New York-based choreographer and performer whose works have been shown in the US, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, Canada and Taiwan, at venues including the Movement Research Festival, Mount Tremper Arts Festival, Danspace Project, Center for Performance Research, Roulette, Art in Odd Places, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Foro Performática (MX), and SESC São Paulo. Abigail was a reperformer in Marina Abramovic’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art and has also performed recently in the work of Clarinda Mac Low, Carolee Schneemann, Larissa Velez-Jackson, and Mark Dendy. In 2014, Abigail learned Yvonne Rainer’s iconic 1965 work Trio A, coached by Pat Catterson. She holds a Masters in Dance and Performance Studies from NYU and was the 2013-14 guest editor of Movement Research’s digital performance journal Critical


Emmanuel Iduma (original text)

Emmanuel Iduma is a writer of fiction and art criticism. He is the author of Farad (Paressia, 2012) and co-editor of Gambit: Newer African Writing (The Mantle, 2014). On three occasions, he traveled by road with the trans-African organization Invisible Borders from Lagos to African and European cities. His essays from the trips have been exhibited and published widely, including at the New Museum’s 2012 Triennial, and in the 2015 Venice Biennale. He now serves as Director of Publications of the organization. He directs Saraba Literary Trust, publishers of Saraba Magazine, which he co-founded in 2009. He was editor of, and has also organized several independent TED events in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Recent projects have included an interview series on the Wasafiri blog with acclaimed African writers, and writer-in-residence at Danspace Project’s Platform 2015, New York. He was educated at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, where he trained as a lawyer. In 2015, he received an MFA in Art Criticism and Writing from the School of Visual Arts, New York.


Aaron Crosby (costumes)

Aaron attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and will be pursuing his Masters in costume design at NYU Tisch in the fall. He specializes in costume design for theatre, dance, and film as well as fashion design and garment construction. Aaron is very excited to join the creative team for Settlement House. He is currently designing Pirates of Penzance with the Cimarron Opera and a one night performance for Loreal with Andrea Lauer. Past design credits include The Gondoliers with the Cimarron Opera, promotional styling the ARTPOP tour, Life Is A Dream at the Access Theatre, Devil Dog Six at Spiral Theatre, God Hates This Show at Here Arts Center and The Future of Fashion runway presentation. Select assisted works include Tales of Hollywood at the Guthrie, Chicago at The MUNY, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Classic Stage Company. He lives and works in New York City.


Sahra Motalebi (original sounds score and vocal performance)

Sahra Motalebi is a visual artist, composer and singer born in Birmingham Alabama, 1979. Her work has been performed and exhibited at SculptureCenter, New Museum of Contemporary Art, MoMA PS1, Gladstone Gallery, Museum Ludwig, Vancouver Art Gallery, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, and the National Portrait Gallery | Smithsonian Institute. She has collaborated with Kai Althoff and performed with Antony Hegarty. Motalebi has contributed to many projects at the intersection of contemporary art, architecture and performance, including music direction for the NYC premiere of Yves Klein’s 20th century masterwork Monotone Silence Symphony. In 2007 Motalebi founded Static Recital, an independent media imprint. Motalebi studied classical vocal performance, visual art, and the history of art and architecture at Sarah Lawrence College. She attended the Masters of Architecture Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture where she focused on the relationship of architecture and performance. She lives in New York.


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