Conversations Without Walls: Mina Nishimura & Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez
This CWW is pre-recorded and then broadcast via YouTube.
A link will be sent to registrants via email 30 minutes prior to the event.
Registration closes 30 minutes prior to the event.
Danspace’s signature long-form conversation series presents a virtual conversation between 2021-22 Renewal Residency Artists, Mina Nishimura and Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez with facilitator and 2021-22 Research Fellow, Samita Sinha.
Winter 2022 Conversations Without Walls (CWW) are virtual, pre-recorded, and aim to unpack field-wide structures that dance makers are currently facing, resisting, and navigating creatively.
In this CWW Nishimura and Núñez share their experience as immigrant artists living and working in the US and for whom English is not a first language. Among other unique challenges, they discuss the many layers of translation needed to communicate and write about their work in order to access necessary institutional and foundational support.
Within their discussion, Núñez thinks critically about capitalist notions of “effective” communication and, from his perspective as a visually impaired dance artist, reminds us of the robust range of communication and translation work among disabled, d/Deaf, Immunocompromised, Neurodivergent, and chronically Ill communities. Nishimura identifies divergent cultural intentions and expectations embedded in the Japanese language and American English and the ways in which these cultural and linguistic differences affect her life and work.
With Sinha’s facilitation, they all explore unique challenges in translating dance into language. Together they provoke many questions: What is lost or gained in processes of translation? What refusals and reclamations can be made here? As dance makers, how can communication be honored and celebrated, beyond the making of meaning or unified understanding?
Accessibility: Captioning will be provided for all Conversations Without Walls programs. A phone number will be provided so that the YouTube chat may be accessed audibly. For further inquiry, feedback, or to submit specific access requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mina Nishimura, from Tokyo, was introduced to butoh and improvisational dance through Kota Yamazaki. After studying at Merce Cunningham Studio, she has performed with a number of NY-based choreographers, in most years, such as Yausko Yokoshi, John Jasperse, Dean Moss, Neil Greenburg, Vicky Shick, Nami Yamamoto, and Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener. Her other performance credits includes; MiuMiu/PRADA film directed by Celia-Rowlson Hall; Late Sea’s MV; and for SIA’s “Bird Set Free” “Alive” on Saturday Night Live. Her own choreographic works have been commissioned by NYU Skirball Center, Danspace Project, Gibney Dance, Mount Tremper Arts Center, UC Davis and among other dance organizations. Her latest work “Disappearing Altogether” premiered at Sarah Lawrence College last May. Nishimura is a recipient of Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award 2019, and was a cover artist in the May issue of Dance Magazine 2021. Nishimura completed her MFA at Bennington College in 2021, and currently teaches at the school.
b. Costa Rica, Garífuna descendant) Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez is a Visually Impaired Choreographer and Accessibility Consultant based in NYC. His performances have been presented at The Brooklyn Museum for The Immigrant Artist Biennale, The Kitchen, Movement Research at The Judson Church, The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, Battery Dance Festival, Performance Mix Festival, among others. His work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail and The Dance Enthusiast. He has held residencies at New Dance Alliance, Battery Dance, The Kitchen, Center for Performance Research and Movement Research (2020-2021 Mertz Gilmore Foundation Artist-in-Residence). Recent collaborations include “Dressing Up for Civil Rights” by William Pope L, presented at MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art and “La Procession” by Nacera Belaza presented at Danspace Project. Núñez was invited by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to share his story as a queer, disabled and formally undocumented artist during Immigrant Heritage Week 2020. Núñez received his green card in 2018 but he continues to be an advocate for the rights of undocumented, disabled and queer immigrants. He holds a BFA in Science in Performing Arts from the National University of Costa Rica.
Artist and composer Samita Sinha creates multidisciplinary performance works that investigate origins of voice. She synthesizes Indian vocal traditions and embodied practices to create a decolonized, bodily, multivalent language of vibration and transformation. Sinha’s works have been commissioned and presented by Asia Society, Performance Space 122, Danspace, Rubin Museum, Queens Museum, and Gibney Dance, among others. Sinha teaches voice extensively.