Rooted in Alaska, Ready for the World

Emily Johnson’s hybrid background is reflected in her performance, which will be apparent when she brings the piece Niicugni to Miami this Friday and Saturday, courtesy of Tigertail Productions. At the Miami-Dade County Auditorium’s OnStage Black Box Theater (2901 W. Flagler St., Miami), the Bessie Award winner has combined dance, original composition, and light-and-sound installation for the work that is conceptually based in her Native American and Alaskan roots. That might sound a little esoteric, but Johnson describes her dances as referencing the mundane as much as a higher art craft. She grew up playing basketball and running long distance and then took the Yukon with her when she moved a little farther south to Minneapolis, where she became a choreographer. Her works are physical, asking the audience to engage in the architecture of the space and with the movements that express a history and a place. The word niicugni, in fact, is a native Alaskan Yupik directive meaning “listen up and pay attention.” To accompany the dance, violin and electronic music as well as fish-skin lanterns will set the stage and the ambiance.
Fri., March 22, 8:30 p.m., 2013


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