On the first Tuesday of each month The News, presented by SOMArts Cultural Center, features new, queer work by Bay Area artists. The News is a monthly cabaret evening that spotlights 10-minute or less performance pieces, experiments, and works in progress by pre-selected solo artists, groups, or troupes.
On Tuesday, June 2, The News is guest curated by SALTA:
For 90 minutes we invite you to inhabit a space that we are calling a queer energy cauldron. Without breaks, the energy and attention will swirl as you explore the continuous and overlapping worlds. Move around freely, spending time with whatever draws you in. You will probably find yourself involved.
Featuring Elizabeth Ardent, Royal Skin, Judah Levenson, Bernadette Herself, NCN, Zander Brown with Earth Dance Mafia, Justus Harris, Ian Waisler w/Lilie Mae Nightshade, Rachael Dichter, Kat Marie Yoas, Sara Rees, and Dia Dear.
SALTA will also set up the FREE BOUTIQUE, where everyone shops for free. Bring something for the exchange! Suggested items: truck nuts, honey, hosiery, glass jars with spigots, house plants, loquats, short shorts, erotica, gold nail polish.
New: admission is FREE! SOMArts is offering free admission in hopes that if you can afford to donate, you will support the artists onstage when the hat passes. RSVP on EventBrite to guarantee a seat.
The nature of The News is to give artists access to critical space for risk-taking in performance. In addition to artists selected by a guest curator, a “wild card” performer or two appears in each line-up at The News. “Wild cards” are artists who may not have been selected by the guest curators, but join in the evening to share new work. Artists interested in performing as a “wild card” at The News can find more information here.
SALTA is a collective of 7 dancers who curate a free monthly mobile performance series in Oakland, CA and beyond. We are in an ongoing conversation with other dancers, watchers, spaces, curators and collectives. We approach curation as an experiment in: dancers making space for dance to happen, trying new formats of presenting and thinking about performance, supporting people to try things out, and being open to surprises. We are invested in feminisms, collaboration and dance parties.
Judah Aryeh Levenson is an Oakland based poet, dancer, and educator. He is currently studying dance at Laney College. This summer he is off to an arts residency at betterArts in Redwood, New York.
Bernadette Herself: My work is wondering about everyday fantasy living—the ways that we create our realities and share them, and how we decide what is fantasy and what is unsharable. Working in a variety of mediums, I invite people to engage with these decisions of what is and isn’t real. I use jokes and fantastical characters to invite people into the strange uncertainty of everyday living. I’m an SFAI student born and raised in the Bay Area, and you can find my drag character Bernadette Herself performing campy burlesque at the Stud a couple times a month.
NCN is the stage name of a believer in collective liberation, hater of capitalism, and conductor of storytelling experiments for children and adults. Tigerlad, the baby donkey, and all NCN’s other characters (NCN personifies everything he sees) inhabit worlds where Newtonian physics and cause and effect logic have been replaced by desire, emotion, and SM fantasy.
Zander Brown is an East Bay Performing Artist of Earth Dance Mafia. He has had the opportunity to work with talents such as filmmaker Desiree Holman in an installation for the SFMOMA, Choreographer Phoebe Osborne in God Sees Everything at OMCA, Indie band Waterstrider’s music video Frayed. Currently he resides in Oakland, CA studying Dance at Laney College while being a Company member of South African Troupe Jikelele Dance Theater.
Earth Dance Mafia will attempt to embody the Queer warriors of an ancient world and the Homocentric Deities who watched over them through movement, meditation, soft tones, energetic sacrifice and spoken word to channeling the ancestors for relevance.
Dia Dear: I began performing in February 2011. I came to art-making in general, and performance art specifically, through the gay club scene in San Francisco. My performance art combines gay club aesthetics of appearance, movement, and attitude with their opposites. I use trickery, sincerity, and pop culture to create emotionally visceral and visually fascinating images through live performance. Most recently, I was an artist in residence collaborating with Swedish sound and voice artist Zofia Asenlof for the Future Legends festival at Musik I Syd in Malmo, Sweden.
Kat Marie Yoas is a spirited performer, writer and candle making kitchen witch who lives and loves in San Francisco. She has performed her feminist brand of comedy and story telling on stages across the US, Europe and the UK. Kat Marie is a Sister Spit veteran and has held residencies in the literary and theatrical worlds with RADAR Lab in Mexico, as a CIIS writing fellow and as the artist-in-residence with the San Francisco theater, The Garage. Kat Marie’s performances are comedic catharsis and the heartbeat of her work is rooted in healing the not so funny wounds brought on by shame, class, sexism, loss, grief and fear. She believes stories are magic, laughter is radical and sharing that is her life’s work. Her new work “A Lesbian’s Guide to Self Care” premieres on June 5-7 at CounterPULSE as part of the National Queer Arts Festival. Tickets at qcc.org
Sara Rees is an artist based in Cardiff, Wales. Conceptually driven and utilizing a range of mediums, Rees works both within the gallery and beyond, creating site-specific installations and interventions for a diverse range of sites, such as a bucolic woodland and a derelict ex-Soviet power station. Her practice is an on-going exploration of the interface between nature and civilization, of the conditions of neoliberalism in relation to the environment and the human condition. While political and provocative, Rees’ work is also playful; often blurring the distinction between reality and fiction, it is both enchanting and uncanny. Rees exhibits her work internationally, to date in Barcelona, Berlin, Czech Republic, Netherlands, London, Latvia, Amsterdam, Athens, St. Petersburg, Sao Paulo, Belgium, Glasgow, Moscow and Montreal. She has been the recipient of a number of awards and prizes, including Oriel Davies Open, Creative Wales Award and The Leverhulme Trust Award. www.sararees.com
Justus Harris’ art connects his own body and other bodies that are often considered ‘queer’ to show how we construct culture through defining individuals and telling their narratives. Aspects of culture that are undergoing relentless transformation interest him including emerging technologies related to data collection, geolocation, and biomedicine. The medical devices he uses as a type 1 diabetic (an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor ) he believes are only slightly more necessary to live in society than the smartphone in his pocket. His goal is to reveal the relationship between society, which is inextricably linked to technology, and cultural evolution by viewing and sharing his life as a prototype.
Ian Waisler is an astrologer whose practice draws from ongoing studies of language, ritual, yoga, and mystery. The work of claiming our lives, bound up in words and symbols and bodies, is a glorious and formidable task. He is honored to share it with you.
Lilie Mae Nightshade was born in a desert by the sea to a family of radical déclassé refugee witches. In her youth, she was driven by a yearning to reconcile her love of classical art forms with her mad desire to deconstruct her place in an unjust and violent world. This tension sent her flailing back and forth across the continent studying opera singing, ballet, physical theatre, queer theory, Jungian psychology, archaic forms of divination, and making really weird, fancy performance art no one understood. A lover of all things sentient, these days she spends most of her time tending to other people’s hearts and imaginations, clearing cobwebs, untangling tangles, rescuing fairies and foxes, and forging pathways to comfort and joy.
Rachael Dichter is a San Francisco based dancer, performer and curator. She grew up on the ocean and in the mountains and forests of Northern California, training and performing as a ballerina and majoring in Dance and Art History at Mills College. She studied performance and classical techniques in New York and India before dancing with the Dylan Skybrook Dance Company in Minneapolis and Fougere Dance in Brussels Belgium. Since returning stateside she has been lucky to work with a number of fierce and talented folks including Laura Arrington, Mica Sigourney, Sara Kraft, Jesse Hewit, Keith Hennessy and Jess Curtis.
Writer, DJ, Astrologer, Photographer, Non Profit Administrator—what a Gemini Laurence Jones is. As a natural storyteller he seeks to interweave the complex narratives that inform our existence and the relationships we have with ourselves and our surroundings. Using his knowledge of the stories in the skies and embodying those narratives for you, he’ll be bringing you more in touch with your elemental being during the Queer Energy Cauldron.
With a sound like a whiskey fueled orgy in Hell, Royal Skin draws inspiration from raw, visceral rock n roll, Blues, punk and classic metal with a flair for the theatrical. New on the scene, and establishing their musical territory through aggressive creation, a short gestation period and balls of steel, Royal Skin is poised to be the next serious contender to ascend the Rock n Roll throne. Royal Skin is Ronnie Heaven (vocals), Sidestreet Ricky (lead guitar), Stephanie Burd (rhythm guitar), Sam (bass) and X (drums).
Pictured: courtesy La Salta; Sara Rees, courtesy of artist