The Reconstructing Imagination Residency is hosted by the Reconstruction Study Project (RSP) at Idora Park Project Space. RSP began as performance research project exploring both the impact of Post Civil War Reconstruction on the inner landscapes of Black people and, in the words of Amara Tabor-Smith and Ellen Sebastian Chang, the resulting “insistence” on new ways of being. This work continues through Reconstructing Imagination Residency.
Through this residency RSP aims to cultivate an expansive, creative, balanced, nature and body connected collective imagination. This is only possible by seeding the collective imagination in ways that suggest new/old/forgotten ways of seeing, listening, being in our bodies, our communities, our Earth. The residency invites artists to be, to listen, to be still, to allow, to be alone, to search, to be found, to play, to remember, to reconstruct their imaginations in the 600 square foot Idora Park Project Space dance studio in North Oakland.
Artists are in residence for one month. During that time they will have access to the studio for up to 10 hours per week. Artists will be asked to make a public offering of their choice near the end of the residency period and are free to do other offerings over the course of their residency.
The first cohort of 2020 artist(s) in residence are:
Evelyn Ficarra is a composer and sound artist. Her work finds expression across a range of forms including music theatre, multi-media, installation, dance, film and the concert hall. Her musical ideas often come from sounds, words, and images, which inform the development and shape of the music and leave their traces in it.
A dual citizen (UK/USA), Evelyn Ficarra studied composition at the University of Sussex in the U.K. and at the University of California, Berkeley. Current interests include the inner life and voice of sound objects, notions of audio time-lapse, electroacoustic & interdisciplinary improvisation and robot opera. Recent projects include Summer Winter Spring, a site specific installation / performance collaboration with media artist Ian Winters and others, which premiered at the Minnesota Street Project SF Arts Ed Gallery as an installation and performance in January 2018. Current projects include Here, Kittykitty? a 20-minute chamber opera for a Pepper Robot, a robot cello, a robot cat and two human musicians, made in collaboration with singer Loré Lixenberg, cellist Anton Lukoszevieze, instrument designer Sam Bilbo, and programmers Deepeka Khosla and Kopiga Kugananthavel, which received a workshop performance at the Sussex Humanities Lab in June 2019. Evelyn also has an ongoing laptop improvisation duo soeurs sonores with Berlin-based composer Heather Frasch, and is currently exploring improvisation practice in different contexts with interdisciplinary artist Chris Evans and choreographer / performer paige starling sorvillo.
Evelyn Ficarra is a Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Sussex.
Tossie Long is a San Francisco native with the incarnations of Mississippi, Tossie is named after her father, fathers father, fathers father father, making her the first woman in her lineage with the name. She is a mother, multidisciplinary performing artist, sound sculptress, facilitator, producer and director that speak to the intersections of culture, personal identity and sociopolitical issues. Nicked named “Bone Rattler” Tossie uses art, culture, and explorations in intimacy as her tools to rattle actuality. A practitioner of ceremonial music from around the world with a focus on diasporic spirituality, Tossie has voyaged to Haiti, Cuba and Benin tracing the migration of Vodou studying the culture through music. Tossie is currently excavating the inner workings of her mind via her multi-part project ‘Red Clay: A Romance Primer: The Preservation of Landmarks: Body, Architecture and Desire’ interpreted through sound, film, stage and movement. The last Black woman of San Francisco; Tossie is a connoisseur of Brussel Sprouts, loves heavy weightlifting and dirty chais all wrapped up by nature walks with her French bulldog Charlie. Tossie does not perform for the sake of performing, but to push her perceived limits.
Amara Tabor Smith is an Oakland, California based choreographer/performance maker who describes her work as Conjure Art. Her site responsive, dance and performance practice utilizes Yoruba spiritual ritual to address issues of social and environmental justice, race, gender identity, and belonging. Her work explores the ways ritual performance can gather people together in an experience of mutual vulnerability and connection as a pathway to shift the vibration of oppression into liberation and well-being. Her latest work, House/Full of Blackwomen–a collaboration with director Ellen Sebastian Chang and Oakland based artists and activists is a multi-site, ritual performance project that addresses the displacement, well being, and sex-trafficking of black women and girls in Oakland. Amara is a 2019 Dance/USA Fellow, a 2018 United States Artist Fellow, and a 2016 recipient of Creative Capital along with long-time collaborator Ellen Sebastian Chang. She is an artist in residence at Stanford University.
Latanya d. Tigner has performed professionally with Dimensions Dance Theater since 1986, and has studied and toured nationally and internationally, performing multidisciplinary works rooted African diasporic dance forms. Latanya holds a B.A. in Physical Education/Dance, a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration, directs Dimensions’ youth company, teaches dance at UC Berkeley. Latanya has created commissioned works for Dimensions Dance Theater, Black Choreographers Festival, Robert Moses’ Kin, Mills College, and has presented work in SF Ethnic Dance Festival, Cuba Caribe, and Mabina Dance Festival (Congo-Brazzaville). She has also set choreography for Cal Shakes’ production of black odyssey, SF Shakespeare’s production of A Winter’s Tale, Ubuntu Theater’s production of Dance of the Holy Ghost, Delina Brooks’ An Open Love Letter to Black Fathers, Contra Costa College’s productions of In the Blood, For Colored Girls, and Godspell, and Li Smith’s production of Purlie Victorious. Her current research includes New Orleans Second Line parading traditions and West and Central African retention in African American dance forms. Latanya also holds the position of Co-Artistic Director of World Arts West’s esteemed San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival along with Mahealani Uchiyama and Patrick Makuakane for the 2018-2020 seasons