Meena & Anjali Vemuri will present a Jathiswaram, a piece in Kuchipudi that showcases the dancer’s skill in nritta, or pure dance. It is a combination of complex rhythmic sequences called jathis that reflect the skill, coordination, and endurance of the dancer. This Jathiswaram is a set choreography that particularly exemplifies the graceful, intricate, fast-paced movements of Kuchipudi.



“long for breath,” a new dance work by Rhea Speights, uses ideas and images of Persephone in the Underworld to examine sensations of isolation, displacement, and adaptation.




Pulling from Jungian archetypal mythology and queer theory, Unruly Body Tanztheater will create “Descent,” which crosses the threshold between the living and dead, grapples with love, loss, and queer desire in the shadows of the soul. “Descent” is a queer telling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth.



Amelia Bonvento is collaborating with Boston-based musician Steven Moreno for a new solo dance. The original recorded sound score acts as a blueprint for choreographic transitions between set and improvised material. The concept of how language can manifest itself in the moving body is explored through direct to abstract physical narratives.



In their newest collaboration, dancer Scott McPheeters and musician Kip Kipperman employ deep listening practices to expand notions of empathy. How are we constantly affecting and being affected? How can we honor the permeability of our skin, expand our sensory perception, and perform both the influence AND the action?



Artist Biographies


Meena and Anjali Vemuri studied the Indian classical dance form Kuchipudi from Ms. Jyothi Lakkaraju for over 15 years. They have participated in many ballets and productions with Natyalaya Kuchipudi School of Dance, at venues such as the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, Yuva Bharathi, and Sangam Arts. Individually, they have rendered various solo and group dance performances and won prizes in competitions. They have been performing as a duet for nearly 6 years.


Rhea Speights is an artist and teacher, working primarily in dance and video. Her work has been presented in various venues in the United States, Colombia, and New Zealand. Rhea's creative practice is influenced by her experiences with artists she admires including Jennifer Monson, Jessie Young, Angie Pittman, and Sycamore Toffel. In making her work, Rhea uses ballet and contemporary dance forms, video, cinema theory, and her desire to fully integrate the imagination with the body.


Unruly Body Tanztheater is a project of Artistic Director KJ Dahlaw. UBT is designed to disrupt the logic of hegemony in the Body and is oriented towards queer futurity. UBT is an inter-disciplinary, eco-somatic dance theater project of an embodiment. KJ Dahlaw is a dance artist, newly implanted in the Bay area from Chicago, via Reno, Nevada. KJ graduated with their MFA in Dance from Saint Mary's College of California in May of 2018. They conceived of Unruly Body Tanztheater in graduate school, through their research-based thesis-making process. KJ has been dance making for ten years, from their first dance project, the Prairieland Movement Project, to the Great Basin Movement Project in Reno, NV, and as a guest choreographer for the University of Nevada Reno and Saint Mary's College of California and presently with their own dance company Unruly Body Tanztheater.


Amelia Bonvento is a freelance dancer residing in San Francisco. She has performed works by Twisted Oak Dance Theater and Amy Lewis and presented her own solo work during West Wave 26. She is a New York native and holds a BFA in Dance from Rutgers University. Amelia is a PMA-certified Pilates instructor and teaches in the Bay Area. Steven Moreno is a composer/guitarist who specializes in amplification of instruments and strives for a loud, dense, and abrasive sound world. Recently, Steven was the recipient of the 2018 Ben Johnston Microtonal Scholarship while in the master’s degree program at Boston Conservatory and had his music performed at the latest New Music Gathering.


Scott McPheeters is an Oakland/Philadelphia-based performer, choreographer, and educator. He co-directs the dance and video installation company subcircle (www.subcircle.org) and is currently pursuing an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Sierra Nevada College.