June 1-2║ J (()) Y by Leralee Whittle ║ work-in-progresss by Mizu Desierto

new performance
June 1 & 2, 2018
Friday & Saturday 8pm
Tickets $10-15 in advance, $15 at the door http://leralee.bpt.me
Arts for All: $5 tickets available for Oregon Trail Card members. Click HERE for info, email info@pwnw-pdx.org to reserve.

In J (()) Y, Leralee Whittle’s dance history in American, European and African dance is reconfigured into genre-bending assemblages fueled by inherent and external forces, new and ancient body circuitry, her body of work on instant composition, space, sound, other dimensions and the audience. She complements her live performance with video art and live sound by guest artist and collaborator of 13 years, musician/composer Paul Sprawl.  The videos feature Whittle collaborating in found installations she finds in her travels. The spaces appeal to her visually, symbolically or as a lab for experimentation and play. She brings these found spaces into the performance space, where the audience can then be in on the ritual of expanding presence to fill a giant, retro, yellow gym, or trip into a strange corner for a humorous impromptu dance or a composition with objects found in that particular space.

Both occupying spaces and then showing video art made from the footage is two step culture-jamming in protest to formulaic colonization of bodies, hearts, minds and imaginations. Then you add the performance on top of that.

Mizu Desierto will be joining Leralee in this event to share an exploration of a work-in-progress, exploring loss of control in favor of liquidity.



Leralee Whittle is a dance and video artist working in the US, Canada and Europe. She performs instant composition regularly with musician Paul Sprawl -in arts venues, homes and festivals. She crafts video and performance for stage, galleries,site-specific locations and internet audiences. Once in awhile she crafts music videos for her favorite musicians. She teaches aesthetic, liberating embodiment and dance composition. She teaches instant composition, embodiment practices and contact improvisation as a guest teacher at such venues as Wayne State University, FLOCK, Portland, OR, Counterpulse, San Francisco, Sudstern Jam, Berlin, The Cowels Center, Minneapolis. She collaborated with Nita Little in the performance and research of compositional improvisation 1995-2005 and performed choreography with Anouk van Dijk, Tandy Beal and Scott Wells.

Her work’s been presented internationally in festivals: Dinamiche Scomposte/Teatro di Limonae, Italy, Twin Cities Film Festival, Twin Cities/Montreal Choreographer Exchangeand venues- PWNW, Portland, La Esquina Gallery, Kansas City, Southern Theater, Minneapolis, Starlight Theatre, Terlingua, TX, Urban Culture Project, KC, MO, The 418 Project, Santa Cruz, Ca and Aria, Barcelona.

Leralee Whittle is a recipient of Project Space Residency, Counterpulse, SF (2017) and a grant from PLRAC, MN (2017), Theatre Bay Area, San Francisco, CA, Charlotte Street Foundation and Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO and Puffin Foundation, New Jersey. leraleewhittle.com

Paul Sprawl has owned and operated his own full-time music career since Sept. 1997. He plays all over North America and several countries in Europe. He’s got nine full-length recordings of his own songs (so far), the first on a German label and the rest on his own. He’s also produced three full-length cds for other artists. Born and raised in California, he and his dancer/choreographer wife are currently building a place for artists to find refuge and inspiration in Big Bend, Texas. He’s been playing guitar, singing and writing songs since he was a boy. His music uniquely combines percussive guitar techniques with bottleneck, tapping, harmonica and a baritone voice. paulsprawl.com

_MG_0010Mizu Desierto is a dance-theatre artist, artistic director and farmer whose life=art explores themes of feminism, queerness, playful social deviance and regenerative land/culture. She is the co-founder of Portland’s Water in the Desert, a hub of numerous projects, including: The Headwaters Theatre, Prior Day Farm & the annual festival that is Butoh College. Mizu’s artistic works have been commissioned by The City of Portland and Portland Center Stage and her projects have received funding from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Oregon’s Regional Arts & Culture Council, Portland Development Commission, Oregon Arts Commission, The Multnomah County Cultural Coalition & The Oregon Cultural Trust. As an educator, she has worked as adjunct faculty in dance at Prescott College and Portland State University. Recently she was awarded her second fellowship residency at PLAYA for continued work with ÆVIUM, a multi-generational, multi-regional women’s dance project with a 20 year history of collaboration.

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