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STACKS and BRACKO: A Reading and Performance


Jonah Bokaer is an award-winning choreographer and media artist. A graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts, Bokaer was hired as a professional member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (2000-2007) at the unprecedented age of 18, and remains the youngest dancer ever hired in the 55-year history of Cunningham's dance ensemble. Presently, Bokaer is touring his own choreography & media art in diverse venues throughout the United States and abroad, including engagements in Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, and Germany. Bokaer is also collaborating with theater artist Robert Wilson on the choreography of his operas FAUST (2008) and AIDA (2009), a tribute to Suzushi Hanayagi (2009), as well as an exhibition at the Instituto Valencia d'Art Modern (2009).


Anne Carson, whom Michael Ondaatje has called “the most exciting poet writing in English today," received her bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from the University of Toronto. Her books of poetry include The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos (2001), winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry; Economy of the Unlost (1999); Autobiography of Red (1998), shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize; Plainwater: Essays and Poetry (1996); Glass, Irony and God (1995), shortlisted for the Forward Prize; and Goddesses and Wise Women (1992). Carson is also a classics scholar, the translator of If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (2002), and the author of Eros the Bittersweet (1998). Her most recent work is Decreation: Poetry, Essays, Operas. Her awards and honors include the Lannan Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Griffin Trust Award for Excellence in Poetry, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the MacArthur "Genius" Award. Carson is the Director of Graduate Studies in Classics at McGill University and now teaches Classics, Comparative Literature, and English at the University of Michigan. Carson was the Lilian Vernon Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the NYU Creative Writing Program in spring 2008.


Sculptor Peter Cole, born in New York City in 1965, earned his MFA in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute. He has had six solo exhibitions, most recently “Vast” at the AFS Gallery in Santa Barbara, California (2005) and “Pack Horses and Power Figures” at the Blue Oak Gallery in Solvang, California (2004). Featured in numerous group exhibitions and specially commissioned projects, Cole showed his work this year at Alexander Gray Associates in New York City and Edward Cella Art + Architecture in Santa Barbara, California. He has worked with poet Anne Carson previously, as a photograph projector in her opera Simone Weil (2001), and as the cover artist for her most recent book, Decreation (2005). His work “STACKS” (pictured left) provided the inspiration for Carson’s text by the same name. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.


Robert Currie performed as a randomizer in the spring 2008 performance of "String Talks," a multimedia production which also featured Anne Carson and Jonah Bokaer. (at left, pictured center)


Rashaun Mitchell, a current member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company,was born in Stamford, Connecticut and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He started dancing at Concord Academy in Massachusetts and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2000. He received the Viola Farber-Slayton Memorial Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts in 2000. He became a member of the CDF Repertory Understudy Group in June 2001 and joined MCDC in January 2004. Since then he has danced with Pam Tanowitz, Chantal Yzermans, Donna Uchizono, and is currently collaborating with writer Anne Carson. Most recently Rashaun was the recipient of a Princess Grace Award: Dance Fellowship. He has been called “the most riveting of all the company’s present dancers” by The New York Times.


Marcie Munnerlyn, a current member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, is from Portland, Oregon. She trained at Jefferson High School, Oregon Ballet Theater, and the Cornish College of the Arts. She became a member of CDF Repertory Understudy Group in June 2002 and joined MCDC in January 2004.

 07.06.02.streb.190.jpgIn 1975, choreographer/performer/teacher/innovator Elizabeth Streb created her dance company, STREB/Ringside in New York City. In 2003, she established SLAM (Streb Laboratory for Action Movement) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn which created a new outlet for the community where people could watch rehearsals and even participate in classes. In 1997, she was awarded a fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation. She is also the recipient of two Bessie awards and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.