Selfdom is a new work by choreographer Mercedes Searer and artist Roland Gebhardt that invites the audience to experience an intimate exploration of identity. Our identities are perceivable through nonverbal means including our adornment and the ways in which we encompass space and our bodies. Masks are devices used to alter identity, perceived and projected. In Selfdom performers employ various families of abstract masks to obscure, reveal and highlight faceless identities in a journey through different personal landscapes.
Performers Emma Cohen, Emily Giovine, Maya Orchin and Mercedes Searer
Emma Cohen is from New York City where she began her dance training at an early age. Emma graduated summa cum laude from SUNY The College at Brockport with her BFA in dance. While at Brockport she danced the works of Trisha Brown, Doug Varone, Julia Burrer, Mariah Maloney and Tammy Carrasco/WILD BEAST DANCE. There she earned the Dawn and Jacques Lipson Award in Performance Scholarship as well as the Bill Evans Award for Embodied Scholarship. In NYC she has performed the work of Monica Bill Barnes, The Median Movement, Faye Driscoll, Shannon Gillen, Doug Varone and Jillian Peña. Emma studies with Janet Panetta and assists her Ballet for Professional Contemporary Dancers class at Gibney Dance Center.
Emily Giovine is a New York-based dancer. She also has a private yoga practice in Brooklyn. A Barnard College alum (2010), she’s performed with Bill Young, Jody Oberfelder, Shandoah Goldman, Stefanie Nelson, and others. She will be performing in upcoming work with Colleen Thomas at New York Live Arts in 2019. She’s honored to be a part of this work with Mercedes and Roland at Whitebox.
Maya Orchin has shown her work at Festival Quartier Danses (Montreal, Canada), The Olga Sawicka International Dance Festival (Ladek Zdroj, Poland), The Moscow Theater Art School (Moscow, Russia), Dance Italia (Lucca, Italy), Dock 11 (Berlin, Germany), and all over the United States. She has had artistic residencies at PAF (France) and S.P.A.M. (Italy). Maya was a choreographer and performer in the live podcast tour of ‘Israel Story’ that toured all over the U.S. and Israel. In New York her work has been shown at the 92nd St Y, Judson Church, Center for Performance Research, The Williamsburg Art and Historical Society, The Dumbo Dance Festival, Art Helix and more. As a performer she has worked with artists such as Luis Lara Malvacias, Davis Freeman, Zoe Scofield, Madeline Hollander, Reut Shemesh, Lynn Neuman, Jody Oberfelder, Columbine Macher and more. She performed in ‘Room 29’ on a European tour with musicians Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales. Maya has led choreographic projects with MOMAPS1 and NIKE.