mayfield brooks, Karen Nelson, + more
curated by Tonya Lockyer
AUG 1 / NOON-6:30PM

Locations vary throughout the day. Please check the schedule. 
$20 for the whole day in advance / $10 per event at the door


We’re dedicating an entire day of the festival of leading dance innovators who gather at SFDI to share their work in performances. Various locations + artists will perform through out the day, so check back in mid-July for the updated, full schedule!

NOON / Research in Performance I 

Velocity 1621 12th Ave


2:30 – 4PM / Research in Performance II
Broadway Performance Hall 1625 Broadway
SIX (Brenton Cheng, Olivia Shaffer, Rachael Lincoln, Tamin Totzke, Ezra LeBank)
5:00 – 6:30PM / Research in Performance III
Broadway Performance Hall 1625 Broadway
KAREN DALY (with Corrie Befort + Tonya Lockyer)
8PM / Research in Performance IV

Velocity 1621 12th Ave


A lect-dem participatory event facilitated by Karen Nelson with SFDI faculty and participants
PHOTO – Amar Puri, of mayfield brooks


AVID is a Seattle-based dance company committed to interweaving art and life. Founded in 2014, the five co-creators meet regularly in an unwavering practice of ensemble improvisation. AVID’s members (Scott Davis, Aiko Kinoshita, Rachael Lincoln, Aaron Swartzman, and Tamin Totzke) perform and teach regularly, with a recurring investigation of how to bring the “all” of who we are, individually and collectively, into our practice and back into our lives.

MICHELLE BOULE is a choreographer, dancer, teacher, and healer. For 20+ years she has studied techniques and philosophies of traditional and contemporary healing practices to understand the physical expression of consciousness made manifest through the body. She finds ways to share this information with delight, mystery, and humor. Recent awards include a Distinguished Legacy Award from the University of Illinois, New York Foundation for the Arts Choreography Fellowship, and a second MacDowell Fellowship. Her dances have received commissions/presentations from Triple Canopy, The Chocolate Factory, Danspace Project, Summer Stages Dance @ ICA/Boston, and Met Breuer (with Okkyung Lee), amongst others. michelleboule.com

improvises while black, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. mayfield is a movement-based performance artist, urban farmer, writer, and wanderer. they studied contemporary dance at the School for New Dance (SNDO) 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 is currently a 2017 Artist-in-Residence at Movement Research NYC, was a 2018 WOW/UNY Artist in Residence at Governors Island.

SHERI COHEN (Asst. Feldenkrais Trainer, RYT, she/her) has been researching the movement arts for over 30 years in the fields of dance, yoga and the Feldenkrais Method®. Sheri maintains a lively private practice in the Seattle area, teaches classes, retreats and workshops, and supports both yoga and Feldenkrais trainings with her experienced teaching. Sheri presented dance performances for over twenty years in Seattle and abroad, including deeply researched historical works and on-the-spot improvisations. Her training in dance includes a wide variety of techniques and somatic practices (contact improvisation, tuning, Deep Listening, Skinner Releasing, body-mind centering, Alexander technique, Cunningham technique, and more). Sheri has facilitated Contemplative Dance Practice groups and created introductory workshops in CDP since 2008. Sheri’s teaching creates a creative, playful environment in which all individuals are dancers and learners.

EMMA HRELJANOVIC (she/her) is a contemporary modern dancer, dance improviser, and martial artist from Mount Vernon, NY. 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 dance improvisational practice at local spots in the area. In May 2015, Emma graduated from Bard College with a BA in Dance. At Bard College. Her dance education includes contact improvisation with Amii LeGendre and modern technique with Bard’s New York Live Arts Partnership. Since arriving in Seattle, she has researched with Nita Little and performed works by Michele Miller, Stephanie Liapis, Maya Soto + Nico Tower, Corrie Befort, and Christian Swenson.

RYUTA (pronounced “dew-tah”) IWASHITA lives and improvises in New Orleans as a facilitator/educator, visual artist and performance artist after living in Japan for over 25 years. Contact Improvisation also lives in their life as a base for their creative processes and pedagogy. While hosting CI jams and workshops in New Orleans, they have been invited to facilitate workshops in Japan, China and the U.S. including Tulane University, WCCI Jam and CI programs at Earthdance. As an educator, they have been involved in Wolftrap Institute where they incorporate CI and other movement forms in early childhood education. Their current interest is to witness different speeds of ceiling fans in Treme Café while feeling their bladder shrink.

HEATHER KRAVAS (she/her) is a choreographer and performing artist. Since 1995, she has investigated choreographic, improvisation and collaborative practices in contemporary dance to explore the limits of choreography as a form and her abilities as an artist. Combining recognizable traditions, tasks and somatic practices her dances grapple with structural idealism and uncontainable emotions. In a renunciation of the spectacular, she strives to illuminate actions such as labor, listening, concentration, failure and presence. Kravas has received support from numerous national and international foundations and institutions in support of her presentations throughout the US and in Canada, France, Greece, Slovenia and Russia. She is currently working on the ongoing performance project solid objects, in collaboration with visual artist Victoria Haven. Heather currently lives in Seattle, Washington with her family.

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.

OLIVIA SHAFFER (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher from Vancouver, BC. Olivia’s movement philosophy is shaped by her extensive background in Contact Improvisation (CI), contemporary dance, improvisation, Bartenieff Fundamentals, and Pilates. Olivia has trained daily in CI since 2011 as a dedicated student of Peter Bingham, and has been performing with his company EDAM Dance since 2014. She has also trained with international CI teachers such as Andrew Harwood, Ray Chung, Chris Aiken, Karen Nelson, Alicia Grayson, and Martin Keogh. Olivia has taught CI in North America and internationally. www.oliviashaffer.ca 

RAPHAEL XAVIER, originally from Wilmington, Delaware, is an award-winning artist and alumnus of the world renowned Hip Hop dance company, Rennie Harris Puremovement. A 2013 Pew Fellowship Grantee, 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and 2016 United States Artist Fellow, Xavier has been a professional breaker/dancer for the last 20 years, working in a variety of fields including music, photography and film. A self taught Hip Hop dancer and Breaking practitioner since 1983, Xavier continues to learn and recreate new ways to expand the vocabulary of the dance form through constant research of the culture, performance, practice and by staying present in the community.

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