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Wind in the Pines

October 25, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - November 27, 2019 @ 5:00 pm

Friday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Please note seating will be limited for these performances

November 1 – November 27, 2019
Opening Reception:
First Friday, November 1 from 6 – 8 p.m.

KCAI Crossroads Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice
1819 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64108
Public Hours: 12 – 5 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday
For more information please contact Michael Schonhoff at mschonhoff@kcai.edu or 816.914.5394

The KCAI Crossroads Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice is pleased to present Wind in the Pines by Aretha Aoki & Ryan MacDonald (‘08 Painting & Creative Writing). Aoki and MacDonald will be artists-in-residence from mid-October through early-November to realize two performances and install a related exhibition in the galleries. Aoki and MacDonald will also have special engagements with KCAI students while in Kansas City. Wind in the Pines is a project of the Center for Contemporary Practice program at the KCAI Crossroads Gallery. Wind in the Pines is an hour-long interdisciplinary dance piece that weaves memoir, 3D animation, sound and dancing to create an immersive excavation of a mysterious family past. Centering around Aretha Aoki’s Japanese family history during World War II, Wind in the Pines attempts to make the past feel present, despite language barriers, geographical and cultural distances, and the imperfection of memory.  Multiple mediums, references and images create a space where history, fiction, imagination and embodiment can co-exist. Live and animated video projection references and embellishes the setting in the classic Noh play Matsukaze: a wintry beach, a forest of pine trees, a full moon. Two “sisters” dance almost entirely in mirrored unison in unwavering, almost telepathic, connection. A third dancer roams the edges, acting partly as stagehand and partly as agitator.

Aretha Aoki is a choreographer, performer, and teacher originally from unceded Coast Salish territory (Vancouver, B.C.) and currently residing in Wabanahkik (Maine).  Her research as a choreographer is grounded in improvisation and collaboration with artists both within and outside the field of dance. Aoki’s work has been performed at the Kraine Theater (NYC), Judson Church (NYC), Portland Ballet Theater (ME), Franco Center (ME), School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (Northampton, MA), Brooklyn Studios for Dance, A.P.E Gallery Ltd. (MA), Danspace Project (NYC), the Academy of Music (MA), Movement Research Festival (NYC), Center for Performance Research (NYC), Catch (NYC), Exit Art Gallery (NYC, Culturebot’s “Ephemeral Evidence”), New York Live Arts (2011/12 Fresh Tracks artist), The Kitchen (NYC, Emily Roysdon’s A Gay Bar Called Everywhere), the Chen Dance Center (NYC, 2010 Newsteps artist-in-residence), the Firehall Arts Centre (Vancouver, BC), AUNTS (Brooklyn, NY), the 92nd St. Y (NYC), and Studio 303 (Montreal, QC, 2007 Vernissage-danse artist in residence). She was the Dance Consultant for the theater production, Babette’s Feast (2018), which premiered at Portland Stage (ME) and had an Off-Broadway run at the Theater at St. Clement’s. Aoki was an artist with the inaugural Seed Program (2015/2016), a residency exchange with Vermont Performance Lab and Studio 303. She has received funding through the New England Foundation for the Arts (2016/2017), Northampton Council for the Arts (2014) and the National Association of Japanese Canadians (2006).

Aretha was a dancer and collaborating performer with Emily Johnson/Catalyst Dance for seven years (Terrible Things, the New York performances of The Thank-you Bar, Niicugni, SHORE, and Then a cunning voice and a night spent gazing at stars). Since 2016, Aoki has held the position of Assistant Professor of Dance at Bowdoin College. Since 2014, she has been leading the workshop, The Dancer is a Haunted House, based on her choreographic and performance research throughout the country. Aoki holds a BFA from Simon Fraser University and an MFA from Smith College. Ryan MacDonald (‘08 Painting & Creative Writing) earned a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, an MFA in Studio Art and an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (where he was a University Fellow). MacDonald has worked in sound, text, video and dramaturgy with choreographers Aretha Aoki, Sara Juli, devynn emory and Vanessa Anspaugh. He was nominated for a 2017 Bessie Award in & Outstanding Composition and Sound Design & MacDonald is the author of the story collection The Observable Characteristics of Organisms (FC2) and the winner of the 2012 American Short(er) Fiction Award. He taught New Media in the art department at UMass, Amherst for several years until moving to Maine to teach Advanced Design: Media in the theater and dance department at Bowdoin College. MacDonald is the 2020 Western New England University MFA Visiting Writer.


October 25, 2019 @ 7:30 pm
November 27, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Event Category:


KCAI Crossroads Gallery
1819 Grand Blvd.
Kansas City , MO 66216 United States
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