// mayfield brooks + Karen Nelson //

Improvising in the Break

FEB 10 / 7:30PM

Velocity 1621 12th Ave
$20 ($25 at the door) / $17 MVP-Friend / $15 under 25 (w/ ID) / $50 Patron



“The death rattle of all that sits between real love and the end of love is purely a mistake, and any injustice knows this about itself.” (mayfield and karen)

Come to Velocity on Sunday, February 10 for Improvising in the Break, a one-night only collaborative, improvisational performance by NYC-based artist mayfield brooks and Vashon Island’s own Karen Nelson. Showing at Velocity on Sunday, February 10 at 7:30PM, Improvising in the Break will mark brooks’ Seattle debut, and will give audiences a window into the research they will bring to the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation in August 2019 at Velocity.

“The design of brooks’s Improvising While Black…breaks the framework for presentation. It is not one thing; it is different things. People gather not to just watch people do stuff but possibly do stuff themselves. Anything originally planned for one point in time might easily show up in another. And we all bring ourselves to it because it can’t exist without us.” Eva Yaa Asantewaa

The performance, which explores creative interventions into racial justice and dance improvisation, will be brooks’ and Nelson’s second live performance together in a collaboration that began years ago when the two met on Lasqueti Island in BC. Weaving together brooks’ research practice “Improvising While Black” with Nelson’s own work with dance as a place to unravel narrative, personal identity, and whiteness, the piece offers a very special and rare opportunity to witness a cross-continental collaboration between two of dance improvisation’s most innovative and radical practitioners.


mayfield brooks improvises while black, and is currently based in Brooklyn, NY. mayfield is a movement-based performance artist, urban farmer, writer, and wanderer. They studied contemporary dance at the School for New Dance in Amsterdam, moving on centre in Oakland, CA, and hold an MFA in interdisciplinary performance from UC Davis and a Masters in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. Mayfield was a 2017 artist in residence at Movement Research, NYC, and was a 2018 WOW/UNY artist in residence at Governor’s Island New York.
Karen Nelson based in Vashon Island/Seattle is a dancer/choreographer, performer, teacher and organizer, who co-founded Joint Forces Dance Co, Breitenbush Jam, Dance Ability, Diverse Dance Research Retreat, and the performance group Image Lab, among other projects. She explores dance history and currency that centers intersections of practitioner experience. She interrogates whiteness within her own embodiment and larger community, often collaborating with artists around the world. Since 1980 Karen has taught and performed at festivals and venues in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. She has received awards for choreography and research from National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, National Performance Network, Wild Woods Foundation, Vashon Allied Arts, On the Boards NW New Works and private supporters.


mayfield and Karen first met in 2014 on Lasqueti Island in BC. They have researched together since that time creating videos, articles and workshops. This will be their second public performance.