Open Studio #38 Mar 24, 2018



March 24, 3:30 pm

Lobby and seating opens at 3 pm.

Please note: Seating in the Studio Theater is limited; please RSVP here (for free) to reserve a seat. Any unclaimed reservations will be opened to the general public starting at 3:20 pm. 
Suggested donation at the door: $5

A special Open Studio, curated by Dani Tirrell, 17/18 Season Artist and OtB Ambassador

El Nyberg
Angel Alviar-Langley "Moonyeka"
Kiana Harris (film)
Imani Sims
Alicia Mullikin (dance)
Roache (music)

Open Studio offers artists a regular platform to present a range of works-in-progress: from a few minutes of new material to a performance installation to an excerpt of a durational performance. All projects are self-contained and technically constrained, providing a low-pressure showcase that encourages experimentation. Audiences have the opportunity to engage informally with artists and give feedback after each showcase. 





El Nyberg

El Nyberg is a queer, femme, mixed-race dance artist/shapeshifter and a graduate of the University of Washington, where they received a B.A. with a double major in Dance and Communication. In their life and work, El uses movement to explore the way that bodies and movement are politicized for people who hold marginalized identities and the way in which dance is an agent for growth and change within our communities. They believe that art is inherently activism — that creation in the face of overwhelming oppression requires bravery and demonstrates resilience to the core. Above all, El is committed to breaking down the hierarchy that currently exists in the dance community and creating space for those who have historically been pushed out.

In their newest work, El Nyberg offers a window into their personal world as they show you what love looks and feels like in their most intimate friendships. Expressing the power of touch, they examine the way affection, tenderness, and physical contact can be restorative and how holding each other, literally and metaphorically, creates space for healing.



Angel 'Moonyeka' Alviar-Langley

Angel Alviar-Langley (aka Moonyeka) is a sick and disabled queer Filipinx femme street-styles dancer who utilizes art creation and organizing to realize a more inclusive and intersectional world for the communities she comes from. Her current projects for 2018 include expanding WHAT’S POPPIN’ LADIEZ?! into a mentorship program for young brown femmes of color; In The White Frame, a work that explores the multiracial experience in "post-racial" America that will premiere at OtB’s NW New Works Festival in June; and so much more!

Moonyeka is also a choreographer and dancer for Au Collective — a dance collective that forefronts women, queer folks, and POC. When not battling, Angel is a teaching artist for Arts Corps + Spectrum Dance Theater, helps run an open dance session (VIBE) for immigrant youth at Yesler Terrace, and coaches LIL BROWN GIRLS CLUB. As a team member of Moksha, a Seattle art space and local boutique owned by Karleen Ilagan and Robin Guilfoil, Moonyeka expands her artistry outside of dance by supporting Moksha’s mission to foster the next generation of Seattle artists through event curation and creative direction. Moonyeka is a SeattleDances 2016 DanceCrush, a 2017 Tina LaPadula Fellowship recipient, an Ubunye Project 2017 contributor, a Mary Gates Leadership awardee, and a George Newsome Humanitarian scholar.

In this piece, a collective of queer, femme Filipinxs explore the violence of distance. We are finding ceremony and healing through offering this work to our mga Lola, nanay, ancestors before us. We call them in to guide and protect us as we struggle through the journey of finding and re-finding our mother(‘s)land.



Kiana Harris

A native of Anchorage, Kiana received early dance training at Dance Spectrum School of Dance where she took her very first ballet class at the age of six. In 2003, she was invited to study and perform with Dance Contempo Company where she expanded her repertoire to include various multicultural styles of dance. In spring of 2008, Kiana moved to Seattle to enhance her training as a student at Cornish College of The Arts. An active member of the Seattle dance community, she has danced at local shows such as DanceThis and Black Nativity, and has been a member of the Afro- Peruvian performance ensemble, De Cajon Project, for the past seven years.

In summer 2016, Kiana created and debuted her first dance film, “DIVINE” part l and lI. Her dance films were featured in the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (April 2017) and at the Risk/Reward Festival (June 2017). In 2017 DIVINE premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and 1 Reel Film Festival at Bumbershoot. Her mission as a filmmaker is to reclaim images in a non-exploitative representation from a black womxn's lens, as one of many tools to drive black liberation.

Synopsis: ‘AJE IJO’ Short Dance Film Series centers the humanity, resiliency, vulnerability of black & African diasporic people [of all genders], interrogating the western gender binary and interrupting accompanying notions of masculinity and femininity. Our individual and collective complexity, survival, thriving, and ultimately our healing as a people are at stake, and compel the elaboration of this narrative. To this end, the film elicits elements of spiritual cosmologies of the African diaspora, particularly those that emerge from the Yoruba divine consciousness, Ifa, and the Orisa (deities) that comprise it.


Imani Sims

Imani Sims

Imani Sims is a bourbon-loving Seattle native who spun her first performance poem at the age of fourteen. She believes in the healing power of words and the transformational nuance of the human story. Imani works to empower youth and adults through various writing courses and interdisciplinary shows all over the nation. She is a 2016 Artist Trust and CityArtist Grant recipient, current Kitchen Sessions Curator: a performance art collaboration with Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas, Writer for On the Boards, 2016/2018 Gay City Arts Fellow and 2017 Center on Contemporary Arts Artist in Residence. Her book (A)live Heart is available on Sibling Rivalry Press.

In ‘Boundaries of Black’ Imani will be experimenting with storytelling techniques in an effort to stretch the boundaries of what constitutes a story. Armed with a unicorn onesie and an oversized bottle of whisky, this short act will make you uncomfortable all while chuckling about the nuances of #hoodproper.


Alicia Mullikin

Alicia Mullikin

Alicia Mullikin is a Chicana choreographer and was recently nominated for the James Ray Distinguished Artist Award. She was the 2016/17 guest artist for the Au Collective, a group which spotlights people of color, queer persons, and female artists, and a current eXit SPACE artist-in-residence for the 2017/18 season. Alicia is dedicated to representing her truth through dance, allowing cultural expression and deeply emotional content to inform her works. She believes that art and social change are deeply connected; through her teaching she aids in the development of active thinkers. Alicia is on staff of Seattle Academy of the Arts and Sciences, eXit SPACE School of Dance, and Bainbridge Ballet.

Alicia is bringing the queen spirit to Open Studio with ENRIQUETA, a work created for her grandmother and is set to an original composition by multi-instrumentalist Daniel Mullikin. It is a solo adaptation of her current work-in-progress REINA which is set to premiere at NW New Works June 16th and 17th. REINA is an exploration of the innate beauty and power that comes from women of color. Drawing from personal experiences and familial histories, REINA will put the struggle of brown women on full display and will feature a multicultural cast with diverse histories and backgrounds. REINA will pair Alicia's signature bottom-heavy dance phrases and daring partner work to create yet another fiercely athletic and emotionally charged piece that brings attention to the voices of femmes of color.

Photo by Joseph Lambert




Known as Roachethemuralist, Brandon Xavier Roache is a Seattle-based artist of color who is determined to provide a creative outlet for his community. Since Roache graduated from Alfred University in 2016, his work has been showcased at New York’s Robert C. Turner Gallery, The Factory in Seattle, and Base: Experimental Arts Space, and has been published in The Stranger and City Arts Magazine. He has painted many murals in Seattle, and has been the site supervisor for the city’s largest mural project under the I-5 bridge at Cherry St. Some of his murals were done in partnership with Urban ArtWorks, Seattle, where he has also taught classes and workshops for teenagers. His time working with Urban ArtWorks has grown his passion for community-based art.

For Open Studio, Roachethemuralist will use his guitar, voice, and props to tell stories and share his emotions about his culture.