Lewis Center for the Arts announces Hodder Fellows for the 2022-2023 academic year



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Sidony O’Neal PHOTO COURTESY OF SIDONY O’NEAL

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Jamil Jan Kochai PHOTO COURTESY OF JALIL KOCHAI

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Virginia Grise PHOTO COURTESY OF NETZA MORENO

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Malena Dayen PHOTO COURTESY OF SHARAN KAUR

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Mayfield Brooks PHOTO COURTESY OF BRETT DOUGLAS DAVIS


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Sidony O’Neal PHOTO COURTESY OF SIDONY O’NEAL

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Jamil Jan Kochai PHOTO COURTESY OF JALIL KOCHAI

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Virginia Grise PHOTO COURTESY OF NETZA MORENO

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Malena Dayen PHOTO COURTESY OF SHARAN KAUR

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Mayfield Brooks PHOTO COURTESY OF BRETT DOUGLAS DAVIS


The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University has announced the selection of five Mary Mackall Gwinn Hodder Fellows for the 2022-2023 academic year.

This year’s recipients include choreographer and performance artist Mayfield Brooks, opera singer and director Malena Dayen, playwright Virginia Grise, author Jamil Jan Kochai and artist and writer Sidony O’Neal.

In the announcement, Michael Cadden, Acting President of the Lewis Center, said: “Each year we find ourselves in awe of the quality of our Hodder candidates and the projects they come up with. This year was no different. We are delighted to invite this year’s fellows into the academic community and have confidence that their year of “studious leisure” will lead, as Ms. Hodder hoped, to work that broadens the human community’s understanding of us- themselves and the world we all have. to share.”

Hodder Fellows can be writers, composers, choreographers, visual artists, performance artists, or other types of artists or humanists who demonstrate, as the program describes, “much more than gifts. ordinary intellectual and literary “, according to information provided by the Lewis Center. for the Arts.

Artists from all over the world can apply in early fall each year for the following academic year.

Former Hodder Fellows included novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; painter Mario Moore; poet Natalie Diaz; choreographer Okwui Okpokwasili; playwright Lauren Yee; and Zimbabwean gwenyambira (mbira player), composer and singer Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa.

streams noted that they “improvise in black and are based in Lenapehoking, the unceded land of the Lenape people, also known as Brooklyn, New York,” the statement said.

Brooks describes himself as a movement-based performance artist, singer, urban farmer, writer, and wanderer. They teach and perform a practice they call Improvising While Black (IWB), an interdisciplinary dance methodology that explores the decomposed matter of black life and engages in dance improvisation, disorientation, dissent and disorientation. ancestral healing.

Brooks received a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College, a Master of Arts in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California at Davis.

They also studied contemporary dance at The School for New Dance and somatic practices at Moving on Center: The School for Participatory Arts and Somatic Research.

They are chief editors of “Journal of Movement Research Performance” and are part of the teaching faculty of Movement Research.

They are the 2021 recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ biennial Merce Cunningham Award and a nominee for the 2021 New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for their dance film, “Whale fall “, produced in collaboration with filmmaker Suzi Sadler.

Their plans for the scholarship year are to expand their research into decomposition as a generative and embodied process that can expose the destabilizing societal practices of human excess, industrial contamination, and anti-darkness, according to the press release. They are working on a series of choreographic provocations related to the composting process and the whale fall phenomenon, the process of a whale breaking down when it dies and falls to the bottom of the ocean while feeding thousands of sea creatures. in its wake. Their research will focus on decomposition as an ancestral and earthly healing.

Dayen is an Argentinian opera singer and director. In 2020, she won first place in the Catapult Opera Acceleration Competition for Opera Innovation for her video of Errollyn Wallen’s opera “The Silent Twins”. She directed the Teatro Grattacielo video productions of “Fedora” and “Mefistofele” in 2020, as well as “El Amor Brujo” and “L’Amico Fritz” at LaMama in 2021.

Additionally, Dayen co-created ‘The Presence of Odradek’, a new opera performed live online in May 2020.

She is the Creative Director of Bare Opera, where she directed “Maria de Buenos Aires”, an opera by Piazzolla; Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”; “Heroes of New York”, an opera by Dina Pruzhansky; and “The Late Walk,” a video of which was inducted into the Library of Congress’ Performing Arts COVID-19 Response Collection.

During her Hodder Fellowship year, Dayen will work to create innovative lyrical performances with new and interactive technologies that explore ways to make live opera more accessible to everyone, according to the statement.

Grey published works include “Your Healing is Killing Me” (Plays Inverse Press), “blu” (Yale University Press), “The Panza Monologues” co-authored with Irma Mayorga (University of Texas Press) and an edited volume of Zapatista Communiqués titled “Conversations with Don Durito” (Autonomedia Press).

Grise is the recipient of the Yale Drama Award, the Whiting Writers’ Award, the Princess Grace Award in Stage Directing, and the Jerome Fellowship from the Playwrights Center.

She is an alumnus of the Soho Rep Writer / Director Lab, the Women’s Project Theater Lab, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Leadership Institute.

In addition to plays, Grise has created an interdisciplinary body of work that includes multimedia performances, dance theater, performance installations, guerrilla theater, site-specific interventions and community gatherings, according to the release. .

She has taught performance writing at the university level, as a teacher in public schools, community centers, women’s prisons, and in the juvenile correctional system.

She holds an MA in Performance Writing from the California Institute of the Arts, is the Mellon Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at the Cara Mía Theater in Dallas, and a Matakyev Fellow at the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands in the Arizona State University. .

During her scholarship year, she will work on rasgos asiáticos, a transmedia project that traces diasporic journeys and the hidden stories of Chinese communities in Greater Mexico. Through a hybrid and multidisciplinary approach to storytelling that includes a performance installation, joint dinners, writing workshops and digital archives, rasgos asiáticos not only explores how space and place affect identity formation , but the very way we tell stories, according to the statement.

Kochai is thethor from “99 Nights in Logar” (Viking, 2019), which was a finalist for the Pen / Hemingway Prize for First Novel and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.

He was born in an Afghan refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan, and is originally from Logar, Afghanistan.

His short stories have appeared in “The New Yorker”, “Plowshares”, “The O. Henry Prize Stories” and “The Best American Short Stories 2021”.

He is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

His second book, “The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories” (Viking), will be published next summer. He will complete his second novel as a Hodder Fellow, the statement said.

O’neal was borborn in South Sacramento, California, and is an artist and writer based in Portland, Oregon. O’neal’s work was recently shown to Veronica in Seattle; SculptureCenter in New York; and Fourteen30 Contemporary in Portland.

Performances as part of Dead Thoroughbred without a group have been shared at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), Kunstverein Düsseldorf, Performance Space New York and If I Can’t Dance in Amsterdam.

O’neal has published essays in “Arts.Black” and the “Journal of Women and Performance”.

O’Neal has completed residencies at MASS MoCA, Arteles Creative Center in Finland and Banff Center for Arts & Creativity in Canada.

As a 2022-2023 Hodder Fellow, O’neal will expand his research on constructivist movements in art and mathematics to methods on objects made real through synthesis and interface, according to the release.

In addition to creating new works, Hodder Fellows may participate in lectures, readings, performances, exhibitions, and other events at the Lewis Center for the Arts, most of which are free and open to the public.

To learn more about the Hodder Fellows, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and the more than 100 public performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts and lectures presented each year, most of them free, visit arts.princeton.edu.


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