Maya Soto (Pacific Northwest Choreographer/Dance Educator) + Nico Tower (Cuban-American Queer Composer/Multidisciplinary Artist) blend dance, music and theater to create a candid, thought provoking ensemble performance. Nine contemporary dancers (ages 18-36) bring their experiences as Queer, Cis, Hispanic, African American, Asian American and first generation womxn to the community. The Beautiful Carcass Project examines the complexities of being seen as female through a series of dance performances, open showings + community discussions, youth dance workshops and an online story sharing forum.
In response to the open disrespect of womxn’s bodies and experiences, and attacks on reproductive rights in the current political climate, this work is an act of resistance and a course of healing. We are creating visibility for womxn as well as facilitating challenging dialogue through creative process. We reflect this work back to the wider world through live performance and community dialogue.
Beautiful Carcass is a bewitching world where everything is on display. Hyper-glamorized imagery juxtaposed with the mundane explores a tangled web of shame, pride, humor, despair, isolation and camaraderie. The performers reflect the interplay between objectification and empowerment through strength and resiliency as they navigate an insidious desire to capture and own beauty. In a culture driven by youth, money and competition, glamour is a source of power that quickly becomes distorted. The pursuit of the beautiful body becomes relentless and internalized, an object to be squeezed, sculpted, hacked at and zipped up. Through centuries of subjugation across many cultures the female assigned form has been revered, hoarded, cherished and abused. A dark, alluring carnival for the senses, Beautiful Carcass shines light on womxn’s issues through lenses of intersectional feminism and surrealist fantasy.
Open Showings + Community Discussion
A facilitated sharing of the work in progress and community discussion around gender, race, sexuality, and body shaming/body positivity.
Youth Dance Workshops
Mighty Chix: A body positive movement workshop exploring self-image, relationships, assertiveness, empowerment, and solidarity among girls and womxn. We address the challenges girls face today in a fun, safe and creative environment. Through movement, theater games, writing and discussion we navigate self-image and body positivity. Activities inspire resilience, reflection and self-expression through the power of dance.
Beautiful Carcass was developed within the Cornish Playhouse Arts Incubator Residency Program.
This project is supported, in part, by an award from 4Culture and funding by Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.
We are supported/sponsored by and partnering with the following organizations:
For more than a decade, creative team - Maya Soto (choreographer) + Nico Tower (musician/multidisciplinary artist) have cultivated successful careers in dance and music. Soto is a celebrated performer/choreographer, teaching artist and award winning arts educator. Tower is a seasoned music educator, visual designer, arts outreach advocate and touring composer/performer. Since 2014, the duo have staged four works, three installations, and delivered more than 150 classes to the Seattle dance community. Their most recent evening length work, Inner Galactic, was created through Artistic Residencies at Velocity Dance Center in partnership with 10degrees and eXit SPACE. This interactive multimedia performance was featured in CityArts Magazine and on the cover of The Stranger's fall arts guide.
About Beautiful Carcass
Angel Alviar (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 include “WHAT’S POPPIN’ LADIEZ?!” an ethnographic research project and community event series focused on the female popping experience and BASTOS (2017) -- meaning "rude" or "disrespectful" sa tagalog, is an archipelago/collection of experiences exploring Filipinx diaspora, ancestral memory, kapwa , and circumstance, walang hiya.
Moonyeka is also a choreographer and dancer of Au Collective – a dance collective that puts women, queer folks, and POC at the forefront. As a street dancer, Moonyeka participates in local and national dance battle competitions and exhibitions and was recently an invitee to MEMPHIS vs EVERYBODY battle and QUEEN OF THE HILL exhibition. When not battling, Angel is a teaching artist for Arts Corps + Spectrum Dance Theater, helps runs an open dance session (VIBE) for immigrant youth at Yesler Terrace, and coaches REMIX – a young brown girl competition team.
Also, 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 DANCE CRUSH selected by Seattle Dances, the 2017 Tina La Padula Fellowship recipient, Ubunye Project 2017 contributor, Mary Gates Leadership awardee and George Newsome Humanitarian scholar.
Instagram: @m00nyeka, @aucollectiveseattle, @mokshaseattle, @remixdancet
Facebook: WPL?! - https://www.facebook.com/whatspoppinladiez/
Angel "Moonyeka" Alviar
Meghan Courtney, originally from Lusby, MD graduated magna cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College with a BFA in Dance with a concentration in choreography. Meghan danced professionally for many years in the greater Maryland/Virginia/DC area, and since relocating to Seattle a year ago has had the opportunity to perform works by Maya Soto, Karen O'Branovich, Bryon Carr, and Lauren Linder.
Rebecca Barney graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornish College of the Arts with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance and is a certified Pilates instructor. She has a performance career including over ten years with Blacken Dance Dance under the direction of Danielle Brosco, one season with 127th ST Dance under directors Barbara Caioli and Rochelle Rapaszky and she is currently a member of Michele Miller/Catapult Dance.
Kaitlyn Dye (KJ) is an educator, performer, and truth seeker that lives by one life rule, momentum. Originally from the mountains of Maryland, KJ graduated magna cum laude from Slippery Rock University of PA with a BA in Dance.
She has had the privilege to perform the works of Doug Varone, Robert Battle, Chad Hall, Jennifer Keller, Ursula Payne, Ellie Sandstrom, Marlo Martin and Paige Barnes, among others. KJ's work has been presented in San Francisco, La Rouche College, (PA), The BOOST Dance Festival (SEA), and the National American College Dance Festival at the JFK Center for Performing Arts, (DC.).
KJ has danced for Seattle based companies, The Three Yells and Badmarmar Dance and currently creates with Michelle Miller’s company, Catapult and is excited to be in creative process with this empowering group of individuals for Beautiful Carcass. KJ takes deep pride in being a dance educator, as she fosters empowerment and develops artistic agency in her classroom. She currently teaches a range of levels and styles at Bainbridge Dance Center, Dance Fremont and Velocity Dance Center, where she also assists as a Stage and House Manager for local artists.
KAITLYN DYE (KJ)
Born in Southern California Adriana grew up in Tijuana, Mexico. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornish College of the Arts with a BFA in Dance. She has worked with Iyun Ashani Harrison, Mary Sheldon Scott, Anna Conner, Ktisk Contemporary Dance, Alyza DelPan-Monley, Alicia Mullikin, and other artists in Seattle, San Diego, and Mexico.
Her choreographic work has been presented through On the Boards' NorthWest New Works, Velocity Dance Center's Bridge Project, Seattle International Dance Festival, Cornish College of the Arts and at Southwestern Community College where she also received the Outstanding Dancer/Choreographer Scholarship.
Currently, Adriana works as a Teaching Artist for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Community Education Programs where she teaches creative movement in public schools as well as being a preschool teacher.
She researches and experiments with movement through choreography, literature, and teaching creative movement.
Adriana likes indoor climbing, hikes with waterfalls, and falling as she slides down a snowy hill on a snowboard. :: http://adrianahdance.wixsite.com/movementartist
Emma Hreljanovic is a dancer, choreographer, and film artist from Mount Vernon, NY. In May 2015, she graduated from Bard College with a BA in Dance. She currently lives in Seattle, WA training in tai chi and kung-fu with Seattle Sil Lum, dancing with Michele Miller/ Catapult Company, and performing her improvisational work at locations such as Velocity Dance Center, Studio Seven, and local Open Mics (http://ehreljanovic.weebly.com/)
Noelle Price, native Detroiter, is an independent artist who moved to Seattle in 2015, shortly after receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Western Michigan University. Before leaving she developed community dance projects in the Kalamazoo area including the establishment of the Art for Change Scholarship through the Black Arts and Cultural Center. In Seattle, Noelle has set work in festivals Full Tilt (Evoke Productions) and the Men in Dance Adjudicating Showcase, both in 2017. She self-produced an evening length work titled “An Ode to Marlin” in 2016 and danced as a 2016-17 member of Karin Stevens Dance Company.
Noelle is currently dancing for Maya Soto and Nico Tower in their upcoming work Beautiful Carcass. She is the Artistic Director of PRICEarts N.E.W. ensemble. She loves spreading the joy of dance by teaching youth and adult classes at eXitSPACE School of Dance as well as Washington School of Dance.
Elizabeth relocated to the PNW in 2016. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in History of Art and Visual Culture and a minor in Dance. Elizabeth developed an undeniable passion as an artist while performing for Tandy Beal & Co. After her undergraduate studies, she continued to explore improvisation and movement in Denmark at Copenhagen Contemporary School of Dance where she was a performer for Neves Contemporary Dance Theatre. Since moving to Seattle, Elizabeth has participated in Converge Dance Festival and Seattle International Dance Festival and worked with choreographers such as Bryon Carr, Angelica DeLashmette, Paula Peters, Austin Sexton, and Hayley Shannon. She is currently a company member of The Three Yells and working on dance projects with Alicia Mullikin and Markeith Wiley.
Sonam Tshedzom Tingkhye is a Tibetan homeschooler, born and raised in Seattle. She started dancing and playing music at age 3, and now at 20 she still enjoys them. She trained at the Creative Dance Center under Anne Green Gilbert and was apart of Kaleidoscope Dance Company for 7 years. She is grateful to have her dancing roots come from an eclectic studio, where the curriculum was holistic and all dancers were accepted. Tshedzom is a member of The Three Yells lead by director Veronica Lee Baik, and has worked with choreographers such as Wade Madsen, Marlayna Lockear, Jim Coleman, Terese Freedman, Daniel Cruz, and Ellie Sandstrom.
This fall of 2018, Tshedzom will be pursuing a BFA in dance. She’s been accepted to a variety of schools including Boston Conservatory at Berklee and New York University Tisch School of the Arts. She is now in the final decision process.