Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Some pop inspiration unearthed from Sam in response to being asked to cover Elvis.

The song and stage of Elvis that feels closest to my experience of growing up in an exported southern debutante pageant culture.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The idea: A writing, movement, music memory salon.

It has been a fortunate fall for A Better Container. The project has been chosen for a residency at Studio Current as well as for the Northwest New Works Festival in 2011.

And this weekend, I get to spend three days learning about tuning scores from Karen Nelson.

Armed with these fortunes, A Better Container moves forward.

To kick off it's next phase, I'm hosting a series of memory salons for anyone interested in exploring and grappling with memory/forgetting/identity. Please get in touch for more information. shannon k stewart at gmail dot com.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A work in progress excerpt of A Better Container will be part of MOVE! in Tacoma this weekend!
Joining Mimi and I will be Neil Coffey and Yuki Enomoto. We'll miss Allie and Sam.

October 1st 7pm October 2nd 2&7pm

Performers of MOVE! #17 include: The MOVE!NG Company, Tacoma City Ballet, Coriolis Dance Collective, Mia Monteabaro, Shannon K Stewart

MOVE! is coming faster and fiercer every time, don't miss out. Performers joining us from Seattle and Tacoma and if you're not a dance fan MOVE! will make you one.

Proceeds from the show benefit the tuition-free ballet program at MLKBallet

Click here to:
Get your MOVE! tickets today

A Better Container. On location in Brooklyn. On a roof. With graffiti.

I know it's never been done before.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Artist Bios for A Better Container:

Allie Hankins has yet to give me a bio. Things I know. . . She moved to Seattle from New Mexico. She spent the month of July choreographing a dance every day. She is almost unnervingly clear and exacting in her movement.

Sam Mickens has, since his teen years, recorded and toured the world
extensively in groups The Dead Science, Degenerate Art Ensemble, Xiu
Xiu, and Parenthetical Girls. At present, among other projects, Sam is
leading his NYC-based Ecstatic Showband & Revue, a large hardcore soul
ensemble. He is also presently making preparations for "Kayfabe: Game
of Death," a large-scale performance work to be staged in Brooklyn
November 2010.

Mary Margaret Moore came to Seattle nearly five months ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She holds a BA from Cornell University in Art History and Visual Culture, completed in 2003. Those college years were also marked by competitive sports and intense physical training—MM was captain of the women’s volleyball program. Following university, she moved to Paris, France and placed herself amongst the throngs of Parisian dancers, awkwardly barefoot and muscle-bound…the study of dancing ensued… Most recently, her movement investigation led her into improvisation, which eventually led her to the heavy door of the Grande Salle at physical theatre school, Jacques Lecoq (2007). MM is now working on a solo adaptation of Deborah Hay’s 2009 Solo Project choreopgraphy, At Once.

PRESS CONTACT: Paige Barnes – Co-founder/Resident Artist, Open Flight Studio
TELEPHONE: (206) 419-5481
KILL DATE: August 23, 2010

When: Saturday August 21 at 7:00pm / Sunday, August 22 at 4:00pm
Who: Flight Deck recipient SHANNON STEWART with invited guests KRISTIN HAPKE (tin dance) and MARISA HAGA.
Where: Open Flight Studio /4205 University Way NE/University District
Tickets: $8 suggested donation
Info: /

Open Flight Studio is thrilled to announce the eighth annual installation of Flight Deck, a residency program that awards studio time to Seattle dance artists from May to August and culminates in a performance. This year’s performance will show the work created by Flight Deck recipient SHANNON STEWART with invited guests artists KRISTIN HAPKE (tindance) and MARISA HAGA at Open Flight Studio on August 21 at 7pm & August 22 at 4pm.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Where do we begin?

We are about to begin.

Memory - where our stories lie. Where smell is a vehicle that shuttles us to a familiar feeling and trauma seeds itself in a shoulder blade or sacrum or large intestine.

Memory - a cage of identifiers: girl, pretty, poor, educated, lacking a deep plie, introverted, good at multi-tasking, gets dates easily but doesn't keep them.

This book on dementia that I bought talks about the liberation from painful memories as one thing to celebrate when looking for reasons to appreciate memory loss. I wonder about what this means for my grandmother who doesn't seem to know how old she is or even that she is confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home. Does she feel freedom from not being cognizant of these limitations? what memories do I want to lose?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Anne Michaels offered another sentence where I have to pause and breathe at every word to ponder the weight of its choice.

In particular, these eleven:

". . . the distress evoked by the futility of objects that outlast us."

Monday, July 05, 2010

Yesterday (the fourth of july) I went to the alter/installation that Monica Mata Gilliam and Vanessa DeWolf have created. Monica is reconstructing memories carefully, piece by piece, photo by photo and trying to ease the heartbreak of losing her mother with the copper in pennies minted before 1982. Vanessa, on the other hand is focused on "trying to remember" periods of her life that she has very little recollection of, memories that are documented but don't feel like hers.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

December - San Francisco Yerba Buena, no holidays, press through to...

January - APAP in New York - American Realness Festival, on to. . .

. . Some bottom in me fell out or maybe rose up and things had to shift for me and dance.

I switched to writing more personal journal style in this blog with an unfortunate name that I haven't changed:

Though my grandmother's transition out of her house and into dementia is propelling me forward in making some. . . "thing" about memory, I hesitate to go so personal narrative here. This new piece A Better Container is coming from my grandmother's mind and I want to protect her from my selfish wish to put it on a stage and have people look at it as art. The line is so fine that it is almost inevitable to cross, and arbitrary.

Memory. . . these are things I have read about memory in the last four days:

"In dementia, what is unknown encompasses not just the future (what will happen tomorrow) but what is the present (what is that thing? why am i feeling this way). . . "

"shifting sands"

"We have come to see our memories as things we have, collect, and build on to to create a unique sense of self. . . "

"Memory is a story, and storytelling is a process through which we know and grow ourselves and communities."

"I imagined that if each owner of each pair of shoes could be named, then they would be brought back to life. A cloning from intimate belongings, a mystical pangram."

"How can one man take on the memories of even one other man, let alone five or ten or a thousand or ten thousand? how can they be sanctified each?"

"Human memory is encoded in air currents and river sediment. Eskers of ash wait to be scooped up, lives reconstituted."

Tomorrow Night - Not rotated from The Real Shannon Stewart on Vimeo.