Lawrence University 2020-2021 Dance Series

Marjani Forté-Saunders and 7NMS Residency

Imagining Liberatory Movement
A Conversation, A Game, A Study, A Process, A Meeting, An approach to Making Dances. Prayerfully, an approach to "Shaping Future" with 
Marjani Forté-Saunders and 7NMS.

Monday, April 12th, 6-8pm Central time
Pre-Registration required, limited space
Register here:

A Prompt:
"Africans leaping off slaver ships were afrofuturists. Slave era parents teaching their babies a foreign alphabet in the candlelit dirt were afrofuturists... It is the emphasis on tomorrow that centers the dignity of that seed, particularly in the face of extinction..." - adrienne maree brown/ Emergent Strategy.
Can we Imagine our liberation into existence- with our bodies, with our crafts, with our Dance?! 

I'm honored to join you in Appleton, WI, to connect with your stories, your pasts, and your visions/wishes for the "Next/Now" (- playwright Sharon Bridgeforth & jazz Scholar Omi J. Jones ph.D.). Aaaaah... "The Role of the Artist" (James Baldwin) to pull together the fragmented pieces of our lineages, our sustenance, and our dreams to imagine paths forward. After the protests end, the pandemic subsides, the institutions/applications/stages re-open... what kind of stories will you be telling? What kind of art will you make? What might it reveal about where we come from, and who we are becoming? Please join me, in making and unveiling some blueprints together, as we envision our paths forward. Together we'll explore the body, mind, and metaphysical as one organic unit. A container of memory, story, culture, inquiry, and empathy to be ignited by movement and meditation, in this Imagining Liberation Session, an embodied meditation.

If you can:
Clear out a room - push the furniture as far to side as you can, but keep the soft spaces (sofa, cushions, blankets) over sharp corners and edges.
Is there a small dance/yoga studio in your community with WiFi? Get to know the owner, see if they'll share their space with you- barter?
Prep snack/lunch/movie for the littles in your life, before class- see if you can grab 1.5 dedicated hrs- though the littles are totally welcomed!
Drink water.
Don't worry, you won't be able to see everyone while you work, lets see if we can "feel" each other, beyond distance.
Bring a Journal.
We'll explore states, while surrendering to the throes and pleasure of momentum and contemplation, all within the amoebic frame of Contemporary Technique.

Helpful Resources:
James Baldwin's The Artists Struggle for Integrity (Cue 19:01- End)
adrienne maree brown's Emergent Strategy
PISAB Undoing Racism Workshop: therein Critical Racial Analysis

Marjani Forté-Saunders  and 7NMS presents BLUEPRINT: Memoirs of a... Unicorn

Friday, April 16, 2021, 6:00pm

For BLUEPRINT screening -
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Apr 16, 2021 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

BLUEPRINT: Memoirs of a... Unicorn
Description and credits:
Co-conceived and directed by filmmaker Meena Murugesan, with a resurrected and remixed score by 7NMS co-director and composer Everett Saunders, this film collages the intimate encounters and experiences in the 3 year journey of creating the performance work, Memoirs of a ... Unicorn. Sitting at the intersections of documentary and experimental art, the film also offers an interpretation of the internal processes and dreams at the core of Unicorn (in short) and its team.

This film is the collaborative brain child of 7NMS|Tribe or 'kinfolk' including but not limited to:
- thought partner, camera assistance, drone operation and story consulting support of d. Sabela grimes,
- colorist and story consulting support of Adelina Anthony
- creative producer, original concept, performer, and writing by Marjani Forté-Saunders

Special Thanks to:
The Story Givers: Rick Forté, Everett Saunders, Jumatatu Poe, Jaamil Kosoko, Alzo Slade, Vince Ballentine, Yon Tande
Sophiensaele (Berlin, Germany) for hosting our preview screening
(all Unicorn Performance presenters-folks you already have listed)
Draft Viewers/Title Assistance: Gabri Crista, Sharon Bridgforth, Carole Kim, meenadchi, and Monica Williams.

"The Role of Art in Liberation Praxis" - a Round Table Disscussion with Marjani Forté-Saunders

You are invited to a Zoom Wedinar.
When: Monday, April 19, 2021 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)


Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Join Marjani Forté-Saunders for this discussion with locally engaged artists – Bes McGee, Amy Ongiri, Sarah E. Navy, Nora Robinson, and Moreau Halliburton.


Street Dance Activism’s Global Dance Meditation for Black Liberation

A Collective Conversation
with Dr. Shamell Bell,Dr. grace shinhae jun, ‘Amelia Leafaitlulagi and more

Sunday, Nov 1, 2020

Street Dance Activism’s Global Dance Meditation for Black Liberation is a series of 28 days of embodied meditation and movement sessions led by Black, Indigenous, People of Color + Queer guides from multiple wisdom traditions and healing practices.  Find the 28 days here: The offering is intergenerational and embracing of all abilities; all bodies are welcome. We ask everyone to take part in the universal shift that only comes with true Black liberation. Black liberation is your liberation and your liberation is Black liberation. By reading these words you are already vibrating with us. Please join us for a Zoom Conversation at the link below:

Meeting ID: 959 1554 3645
Passcode: Dance

Join the Street Dance Activism community in conversation. Let’s connect with each other for healing, dancing, Black liberation, and continuing the journey, together.

Lower Left in Ensemble Thinking

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

12:30pm- 2:00pm via Zoom

(photo credit Manuel Miethe)


The performance collective, Lower Left, will be leading a workshop and talk for the Lawrence University Dance Series.

Spanning seven cities and four countries, Lower Left is a collective of dance and performance artists committed to artistic innovation, ensemble building, and collaborative art-making. In this participatory online workshop and conversation, we will explore a sampling of Ensemble Thinking together. Ensemble Thinking is a system of collaborative group performance practices. These compositional exercises refine the individual's ability to perceive, initiate, and support collective action. Ensemble Thinking's conceptual nature allows for equality of access regardless of background, aesthetics, or physical capabilities. Join Lower Left, the Lawrence University Ensemble Thinking class, and your community in this Dance Series event.

Leah Terada and Miles Pertl will be teaching a creative workshop on Zoom.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 04:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Please register here to join us!
Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Miles Pertl is a dancer and choreographer who currently resides in his hometown of Seattle, Washington where he dances for The Pacific Northwest Ballet. After returning from an eight year stint abroad where he danced for the Stuttgart Ballet and The Dutch National Ballet, he returned home where his interest in choreography and art creation only grew. He focuses on inclusivity and collaboration in his choreographic projects. Miles enjoys thinking of crazy ways to introduce dance to new audiences while enjoying a perfect beer in the sun.

Company dancer at Pacific Northwest ballet since 2015, Leah Terada grew up in Dallas Texas, where she split her extracurricular focus between intense ballet training and competitive Springboard diving. She studied dance at The Dallas Metropolitan Ballet and the School of American Ballet. Not one to sit around unless writing, Leah most values the time when she's on the move: walking, running, biking, swimming, and dancing. Her interests in movement and creative language informs her work as a dancer and choreographer.

Leah and Miles have danced, choreographed, and directed together since 2016. Collaborating on projects and performances has been a fruitful lesson in movement communication and exploration.

2019-2020 Dance Series

Anindita Neogy Anaam
Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 7:00 p.m.,
Esch Studio, Warch Campus Center

Anindita Neogy Anaam is a leading exponent of Indian classical Dance Kathak. Anaam is a well-known instructor, performer and choreographer presently based in Wisconsin, USA. She is a recipient of many prestigious awards like the Shri Jayadev National award for excellence in Kathak dance by National Culture Mission (Bhubaneswar, India) and the State government of Odisha (India), Bidagdha Nartaki Samman and National Nritya Shiromani award 2019 from the International Dance Festival, Cuttack India. She is one of the few Kathak dancers from entire North America to be awarded the coveted Indian Raga Fellowship fall 2018 and was part of the repertoire in San Diego.  

Anindita trained for several years under award winning danseuse Uma Sharma. Later she started her advance training under the tutelage of Jaipur and Lucknow school of Kathak maestros Guru Rajendra Gangani and Guru Jai Kishan Maharaj. Her dance style is a blend of both the schools of Kathak, and she believes in the philosophy of incorporating feminine grace into technical recital of the style. She has also studied Indian ballet and Chau style for a brief period under Guru Shashidharan Nair in Shri Ram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, Delhi, and is a classically trained vocalist as well. Anindita was part of the Kendra’s famous ballet ‘Krishna’. Known for her delicate dance gestures yet powerful technical performances, Anindita is a dancer par excellence. She has always tried to tell stories through her dance about the subjects of contemporary times.

Anaam has given numerous dance presentations as a soloist in India, Germany and USA. She has been invited for solo Kathak performance by highly illustrious “12th Delhi International Arts Festival 2018” as an International performer of Indian Art in India Habitat Center Delhi. Anaam was the featured Kathak performer for New York Kathak Festival 2019 at the prestigious Alvin Ailey New York Theater and was also invited as a workshop artist for Kathak in the famous Miles of Music Festival. Anindita is one of the few dancers in USA to collaborate impromptu with Grammy Award winner Vishwa Mohan Bhatt on his compositions accompanied by Vineet Vyas on Tabla and has been appreciated for her performance by the maestro himself. Anindita is the first Indian classical Kathak dancer in the state of Wisconsin USA to be serving as the ‘Secretary’ of prestigious Wisconsin Dance Council, the state affiliate of National Dance Education Organization.

Set Go
Friday, January 17, 2020, 7:00p.m.,
Esch Studio, Warch Campus Center

Set Go is a Contact Improvisation Research and Performance ensemble founded in 2016 by dancers Shura Baryshnikov, Aaron Brando, Paul Singh, Bradley Teal Ellis, and Sarah Konner. Though all are interdisciplinary artists, each identifies Contact Improvisation as a primary practice and are lead researchers and educators in the field, both nationally and internationally.  International teaching credits include the Play Practice Residency in Bangalore, India, the Paris CI Gathering and 1001 Spirals Festival in France, and Contact Meets Contemporary and Contactfestival Freiburg in Germany.  Set Go members also teach regularly in the United States at New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, The Julliard School, SUNY Purchase, and Brown University, among others.   Collectively, Set Go has been practicing the form of Contact Improvisation for over 60 years, and they have developed pedagogy together as part of the CI Ground Research laboratory project since 2010.

In performance, Set Go ensemble shares a love for whimsical, whole-hearted, virtuosic improvisation and have been dance-making together since 2009. The group has performed at the Moving Arts Lab (Earthdance, MA), the RISD Museum Open Rehearsals, for the Institute for the Study of Environment and the Society at Brown University, the Providence Fringe Festival, Interlochen Arts Academy, the Everybody Moves Festival and the HUT series at the School for Contemporary Dance and Thought in Northampton, MA, and were recipients of a FITT Artists Residency grant through the Brown Arts Initiative at Brown University for the development of new work.


Michelle Ellsworth
Wednesday, April 8th, 2020, 8:00 p.m.,
Esch Studio, Warch Campus Center












Phone Homer: Clytemnestra's Guide to Surveillance-Free Living is a techno-feminist remix of the ancient epic poem, The Iliad and an investigation of what it is to be a “first lady.”  This so-called “work” demonstrates how to avoid exposure to: 1) unstable “watching” and 2) insecure humans.  With a completely offline internet and prerecorded replicas of her most frequent conversation, Clytemnestra demonstrates how to live free from surveillance and interpersonal drama.

Michelle Ellsworth
Though not a licensed scientist, technologist, or carpenter, Ellsworth nevertheless co-mingles these disciplines with dance to create solutions and/or demonstrations of peculiar geopolitical (and personal) phenomena. The pharmaceutical and political potential of dance interests her, as well as the value of broken and labor-intensive ideas. 

Among Ellsworth’s honors are a Doris Duke Artist Award (2019), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2016), a Doris Duke Impact Award (2015), a NEFA National Dance Project Grant (2014 and 2017), a Creative Capital Fellowship (2013), and a USA Artists Knight Fellowship in Dance (2012). She has received three National Performance Network Creation Fund Commissions (2004, 2007, and 2016).

Highlights in her performing career include presenting at On The Boards (2004, 2005, 2012, 2015, 2019), The Fusebox Festival  (2013, 2015, 2019), American Realness (2015, 2018), Bard’s Fisher Center (2017), Noorderzon Festival (Netherlands 2016), Made in the U.S.A Festival (Greece 2016), , The Chocolate Factory (2015),  Brown University (2011, 2015), Abandon Normal Devices Festival (Liverpool 2013), Danspace in New York City (2012), Diverseworks in Houston (1996, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009), and Dance Theatre Workshop in New York City (1992, 1993, 1996, 2007).

Ellsworth is a Professor in Dance and Interim Director for the Center for Media Arts and Performance in ATLAS at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Rythea Lee
Monday, April 27, 2020, 7:00 p.m.,
Esch Studio, Warch Campus Center

IMPERMANENCE IS EXHAUSTING is a fiery one woman show with special guests and (delightfully optional) audience participation.
Rythea Lee presents her humorous one woman show about the joyful practices required to deal with the undeniable reality of death. For her, it’s all about unabashed creativity, fearless self-expression, loving others passionately despite loss, and laughing at the absurdity of our humanity. Rythea shares monologues, choreography, poetry, and original songs, to create entertainment and artistic reflection.

Rythea Lee is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses humor and risky content to inspire and transform both her audiences and herself. She sees performance as a heightened conversation with potential to shift consciousness for all involved. Rythea is the star and creator of a Youtube 20-episode, online show called "Advice from a Loving Bitch”, an instructional, therapeutic, performative, and funny series about healing self-hatred at, and is soon to publish a curriculum that goes with the videos for groups and individuals who want to use the course as in-depth study for healing. She is a singer songwriter, visual artist, and author and writing a book on the benefits of having a creative practice called Art Makes Life Worth Living. She has a private practice as a trauma counselor for 23 years and teaches Peer Counseling classes, a practice of peer to peer emotional support. Rythea is the proud Mama of a 7 year old, who is also a regular creative collaborator. All things Rythea at