PERFORMANCE: WEEKEND 2 > JANUARY 13-14, 2017 > Violeta Luna/David Molina/Roberto Varea, Albert Mathias/McKay Garner/Shree Shyam Das, Sara Shelton Mann

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Project Details
January 13-14, 2017
Project Description

FRESH2017 Sara, Shelton Mann, Violeta Luna, Albert Mathias


Friday-Saturday, January 13-14

8pm | Joe Goode Annex

Visual, sonic, visceral projects investigating empathy, sanctuary, vulnerability and negative spaces by Violeta Luna/Roberto Varea/David Molina, Albert Mathias/McKay Garner/Shree Shyam Das, and Sara Shelton Mann + collaborators.

frame/windows – an experiment in layers
Directed by Sara Shelton Mann in collaboration with soloist Abby Crain
Performers Cookie Harrist, Hannah Wasielewski participants from Sara’s intensive.
Sound Design and Composition by Robbie Beahrs.

Support from FRESH Festival and  Foundation for Contemporary Arts Artist Award 2016.

sanct·u·are (sanc·tu·ar·y)
Concept / Performance / Props & Costumes:  Violeta Luna
Music / Sounds: David Molina
Concept / Direction / Video: Roberto Varea

sanct·u·are / (sanc·tu·ar·y) merges the current concept of “sanctuary city” – a sheltering place for immigrants, with a basic principle of socially engaged performance, that of being a safe space for the expression of the unsafe. At a time of disheartening retrograde language and behavior coming from the most central spaces of institutional power, sanct·u·are casts a horizontal gaze to those particularly under threat by virtue of being “foreign” and ponders if embracing “them” is precisely the act we must engage in to find our very own hearts. Building on previous works addressing immigrant narratives, this work is intended as a reminder of another basic principle in any civil society, that of the inviolability of the other.

by Albert Mathias/McKay Garner/Shree Shyam Das

In their first performance collaboration as a yet unnamed musical group, Albert Mathias, McKay Garner and Shree Shyam Das will be performing live electronic music with eclectic instrumentation, featuring solo, duet, and trio material. All original and all brand new. They will also be presenting an original live score to a short video by Yoann Trellu.


FRESH PERFORMANCES invite cutting-edge dance, music and performance makers to share the stage as a platform for research, experimentation and live testing of new material. FRESH 2017 presents 3 weekends of original works, curating 3 artists each weekend who push the boundaries of form, method and content.


Sara Shelton Mann has been a choreographer, performer, teacher since 1967.  She was a protégé of Alwin Nikolais and Murray Lewis in N.Y.C. before moving to Canada where she met Andrew Harwood and fell in love with contact improvisation. In 1979 she moved to SFCA and started the Company Contraband as a performance group and research ground combining the principles of contact, systems of the body and spiritual practice into a unified system of research.  Among her awards are a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 6 Isadora Duncan Awards,  Djerassi Artist in Residence Awards, Headlands Center for  the Arts Residency 2016,  Lifetime Achievement Bay Guardian Award, Foundation for Contemporary Arts artist award 2016. Her Movement Alchemy training is an ongoing teaching project and is influenced by certifications and studies in the metaphysical and healing traditions. Sara’s performance work is a platform for collaboration and research in consciousness.

Abby Crain is an Oakland, California based artist who makes dances and other structures for performance, most recently in the collaborative creation of the epic feminist, gothic, transformational spectacle aka Snake Talk with Maryanna Lachman and Mara Poliak. She also works in the field as a teacher, performer, writer, and curator. Her solo and collaborative work has been presented in Berlin, Portland, San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and Los Angeles. She teaches annually in FRESH Festival in San Francisco, Drop Your City Armor Retreat in Dos Rios, California, with Jesse Hewit and Sara Shelton Mann, Ponderosa in Stolzenhagen, Germany, and has also taught in New York City through Movement Research. As a performer, Abby has worked extensively with Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People (2001-2009), Sara Shelton Mann (1999-2001 and 2010 present), and also with Jesse Hewit, Guillermo Gomez Peña, Jess Curtis Gravity, Kathleen Hermesdorf and David Dorfman Dance. Her writing and interviews have been published by Itch Performance Journal (LA), PAPER FRONT (Portland), Critical Correspondence (NYC), and the Off Center (SF). Her curatorial projects include the NO THANK YOU SHOW and the NON MAJOR SHOW, as well as ongoing co-curation of FRESH.

Cookie Harrist is a dance artist based in rural Denmark, Maine. Recent collaborations with Delaney McDonough, Hana van der Kolk, Asher Woodworth and others have toured to AUNTS, 3S Artspace, Boston Center for the Arts, School for Contemporary Dance and Thought, SPACE Gallery and more. She is a regular guest teacher at Colby and Bates Colleges and works to strengthen somatic and queer performance throughout Maine. She thanks the New England Foundation for the Arts for supporting her participation in the 2017 Fresh Festival.

Hannah Wasielewski (Lasqueti Island, BC/ San Francisco, CA) shares, teaches, makes, studies and performs experimental dance. Hannah has performed her own creations as a solo artist and in collaborations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Arezzo (Italy), Ponderosa (Germany), and Earthdance (MA). Most notably, Hannah has performed in San Francisco with Sara Shelton Mann and Sara Kraft/KraftyWorks. She has also performed in works by David Dorfman (NYC), Seán Curran (NYC), and Leslie Seiters (San Diego). Hannah is the co-director of Leviathan Studio, Lasqueti Island, BC, Canada with Mark Young, where she teaches Contact Improvisation. She is currently studying Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy with Body Intelligence.

Robbie Beahrs is an ethnomusicologist, sound artist, and filmmaker. His fieldwork in Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and the United States links archival research with multi-sensory ethnography, voice-driven performance practice, filmmaking, and soundscapes. His current research projects explore genealogies of throat-singing in the Altai Mountains, interspecies listening and voicing in Western Mongolia, and vibrational sensing with Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts during long-duration space flight. Robbie has collaborated with performance-makers at FlyTrap Studios (Oakland), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Z-Space (San Francisco), Los Angeles Live Arts, and Dock 11 (Berlin). He holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from U.C. Berkeley. For more information, please visit

Violeta Luna’s (Actress/Performance Artist/Activist) work explores the relationship between theatre, performance art and community engagement.  Working within a multidimensional space that allows for the crossing of aesthetic and conceptual borders, Luna uses her body as a territory to question and comment on social and political phenomena.  Born in Mexico City, Luna obtained her graduate degree in Acting from the Centro Universitario de Teatro (UNAM,) and La Casa del Teatro. She has performed and taught workshops extensively throughout Latin America and Europe, as well as in Rwanda, Egypt, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and USA. While primarily working as a solo performer, she is also an associate artist of the San Francisco-based performance collectives La Pocha Nostra (LPN) and Secos Y Mojados. She is a Creative Capital and National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) Fellow, and a member of The Magdalena Project: International Network of Women in Contemporary Theatre. Significant works include: Requiem for a Lost Land, Frida, NK603: Action for Performer and e-Maiz, Apuntes sobre la Frontera and a series of collaborations with LPN.

Roberto Varea’s creative work and writing focuses on live performance as means of resistance and peacebuilding in the context of social conflict and state violence.  His stage work and writing includes direction and dramaturgy in community-based projects, publishing in journals and two books Acting Together, Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict (New Village Press, 2011-2012), as well as regular collaborations with Violeta Luna and David Molina, primarily as part of the performance collective Secos Y Mojados.

David Molina (composer) is an award winning composer, multi-instrumentalist, sound artist/designer and recording engineer. He has created music and sound for theatre, video, film, dance, performance art, radio, television, installation, and multimedia productions for the past 18 years. Recently he has been inventing and building instruments from salvaged materials, which become part of interactive, multimedia installations displayed at galleries and festivals, including a solo exhibit Transience: The Work of David Molina, at Asterisk Gallery SF (2013,) He has worked with numerous bay area theatre companies, performing arts venues, educational institutions, museums, and with several regional companies and organizations throughout the U.S., and has performed and had his music featured internationally. He is a founding member of the interdisciplinary troupe Secos Y Mojados (2009 Creative Capital grantees). David just returned from an extensive European tour with Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids. His music and bands: Ghosts and Strings, Transient, Earthlike, and Impuritan are available on Resting Bell (Berlin,) Dorog Records (Peru,) Black Note Music (USA,) Distant Spore (USA,) or through his own D.I.Y. releases.

Albert Mathias (Audio/Video artist) has been performing in San Francisco and abroad since 1991.  He is a multi-disciplinary musician who creates live composition and recorded sound design for dance, theater, film, video, and audio media(s). He also produces and performs his own solo music under the name StRiCtLy AlBeRt. Mathias is Music Director of ALTERNATIVA and works independently with choreographers, improvisers, musicians and visual artists.  In 2000, he was nominated for an IZZIE Award for Original Sound Score for BLUE 2000, and in 2006, received a BESSIE Award for Bebe Miller’s Landing/Place. He was also featured in Miller’s Necessary Beauty. Mathias was a member of the multi-disciplinary performance group Contraband from 1995-97, and is the drummer/percussionist for LiveHuman, the internationally acclaimed improvisation-based trio with DJ Quest and Jazz upright bassist Andrew Kushin.  Albert attended California Institute for the Arts, training in tabla, voice and accompaniment with masters Amiya Dasgupta, John Bergamo and Leonice Shinneman, and has had the honor of private Tabla study with Pandit Swapan Chauduri, Sri Ravi Bellare, and snare drum technique with Tony Williams. He is currently investing his energies into his mobile solar music studio, creating live sound scores for all types of motion and continues his daily practice, since 1995, as live electronic music accompanist for dance classes. | | |

McKay Garner is a relentless explorer of sound and music. To help shape his personal perspective of music, McKay has hacked existing instruments and musical interfaces to make new ways of creating or controlling sound through countless trips to the hardware store. His live shows often include warping traditional ways of playing drums, keyboard, and wind instruments, as well as using his own custom-built hardware or software instruments to create or manipulate notes, effects, and more. Some audience favorites are the drumbot, The Wheel, and soon will surely be the Sousafauxn! McKay studied music at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and plays several instruments. He is a veteran recording and mixing engineer, producer, composer, and sound designer. McKay often combines field recordings, found sounds, and his own personal acoustic recordings with synthesizers, samplers, live or programmed beats, and processed sounds. He uses this palette to make pieces of music or sound collages that keep ears and emotions engaged. His live and recorded music can contain both planned and randomly generated musical events in varying degrees. McKay lives in San Francisco and is very active in the SF music scene.

Shree Shyam Das’s quest for ultimate fulfillment through sound, words, and spirituality has taken him all over the world, from a commune in Tennessee and a boarding school near the Taj Mahal to the New York offices of Rolling Stone, Vibe, and Guitar World. Shyam (“shee-yahm”) has been a roadie for swordsmen from the Burmese border, a cook for a Miami Beach ashram, a kirtan bassist in South Africa and Australia, a producer of folk-music sessions in China, a drummer for a Polish Hare Krishna reggae band with a French lead singer, a studio musician on a Grammy-nominated album of Sanskrit chants, a musical midwife for childbirth and for the dying, and a composer for theater by William Shakespeare and about Thurgood Marshall. Say hello at


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