Out-Front! Series

Curated by Pioneers Go East Collective

at Chez Bushwick

January 17 - 18 @ 7pm 

January 19 @ 3pm

Out-Front! is a series of movement-based new works curated by Pioneers Go East Collective. 

Presented as part of The Exponential Festival 2020 - the series will debut at Chez Bushwick venue (January 17-19, 2020). Out-Front! brings together 9 thought-provoking artists – choreographers, dancers, in collaboration with visual artists - over three-night (3 works each evening/ 3 evening/ 9 lead artists). 


Curated and hosted by Pioneers Go East Collective lead artists - Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte, Beth Graczyk, Philip Treviño and Daniel Diaz who currently curate a cross-disciplinary series at Judson Church titled Crossroads - Out-Front! empowers LGBTQ and Feminist choreographers and art-makers.

Each evening we witness different generations of artists dealing with actual, day-to-day, contemporary challenges to further discussion and to activate a network of exchange and inclusion with social and artistic intervention.

Most artists featured in Out-Front! Series are new immigrant or first-generation American citizens - who share their journey to build meaningful dialogues to excite and energize our communities. The intent with Out-Front! is to create a safe space for thought-provoking artists to explore new works and to share their creative practices with multigenerational and cross-cultural audiences.  


As part of The Exponential Festival 2020 - Out-Front! by Pioneers Go East Collective features: 


Friday January 17th at 7pm Out-Front! Series features:

Shape-shifting femme queer artist and choreographer Beth Graczyk whose work addresses gender fluidity and women’s empowerment;

cross-disciplinary choreographer and writer Kymani Kahlil Queen whose generative process has been developed through collaborations with youth and young artists at art centers such as Youth Performance Company (Minneapolis);

Pioneers Go East Collective and Daniel Diaz who create performance from a queer male perspective to inform audiences and bring clarity on social-political injustices through storytelling, burlesque, choreography and video projects. 


Saturday January 18th at 7pm Out-Front! Series features: 

Choreographer Valerie Green /Dance Entropy whose work Intersects mortal and transcendent, and visceral self-awareness;

India-born, U.S.-raised choreographer Parijat Desai who creates hybrids of contemporary and Indian classical dance, theater, and other movement forms yielding a “seamless blending of the new and old” (New York Times).


Sunday January 19th at 3pm Out-Front! Series features:

Argentinian choreographer Anabella Lenzu whose work addresses motherhood and femininity and has been widely presented in Argentina, Chile, Italy and the USA;

Bosnian-born artist Mersiha Messiha who addresses gender fluidity intertwined with Muslim tradition and Bosnian music;

Proteo Media + Performance led by choreographers Bree Breeden and Kathleen Kelley whose work explores rich intersections between technology and the body to address relationships between women. 


Since 2010, the mission of Pioneers Go East Collective (the collective) is to empower LGBTQ and Feminist cross-disciplinary and movement-based artists to present and share stories of vulnerability, courage, and pride. We are dedicated to the next generation choreographers, performance artists and social practitioners with programs and curricula designed especially for young adults, to deepen understanding on social justice, and connect our community’s shared history.  Pioneers Go East Collective builds a vibrant, engaged, and inclusive community of multigenerational and cross-cultural artists, curators and educators. The collective yields opportunities for artists and curators to present original work that shape social frameworks that are both inclusive and welcoming. By ensuring equitable access to professional and learning opportunities in contemporary performance, dance and art-making, the collective creates spaces of integration for artists and local communities to invest in social sustainability through reciprocity, and civic engagement.


In residence at Judson Church and La MaMa, Pioneers Go East Collective has been widely presented in NYC. Our collective values the leadership, knowledge and imagination of people of color in all of our work and operations. Under the leadership of LGBTQ and Feminist advocates Daniel Diaz (dancer/ performance artist featured at Brooklyn Museum, and PS1 Moma), Beth Graczyk (choreographer/ curator featured at Center for Performance Research, and Gibney, Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte (artist / curator at La MaMa; Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and NYSCA Individual Artist recipient) and BESSIE recipient Philip Treviño, (see bios attached) - the collective has emerged as a vital part of the fabric of cultural life in New York City, with ongoing programs that support cross-disciplinary dance-makers that are at the forefront of artistic experimentation and supporting a collective of multigenerational artists at all career stages.



Daniel Diaz joined Pioneers Go East Collective in 2013. Daniel creates performance works from a queer male perspective to inform audiences and bring clarity on social-political injustices through storytelling, burlesque, choreography and video projects.. With a focus on modern and interpretive dance, Daniel has performed at various New York City venues including La MaMa, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, PS1 MoMa, Brooklyn Museum, The Coney Island Sideshow, Joe’s Pub, Dixon Place and Performance Mix/New Dance Alliance.

Kymani Kahlil Queen is a Twin-Cities based generative artist, writer and musician.  She has spent over a decade honing her skills as a generative artist through work with Youth Performance Company, Minnesota spoken-word artist Desdemona, hop-hop artist Dessa and most recently Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts. Theatre credits include productions with The Children’s Theatre Company (Iron Ring, Tommy De Paola’s Mother Goose, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Treasure Island), Chanhassen Dinner Theatre (Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), The Great American History Theatre (1968: The Year that Rocked the World, Snapshots: Life in the City), Ten Thousand Things Theatre (Once on this Island, The Seven) and Theatre Latte Da (A Christmas Carol Peterson, Evita). 


Beth Graczyk (choreographer) is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, performer and a scientist. Graczyk has performed throughout the United States and internationally in Japan, Ecuador, France and India for the past 17 years. Since 2018 Graczyk collaborates with Pioneers Go East Collective as a choreographer and curator. Since 2016, her work has been produced or presented in NYC by Gibney, Movement Research, CPR, La MaMa, Oye Group, Movement Research, Jack and EstroGenius Festival. In addition to working as a solo artist, Graczyk works with John Gutierrez (G^2), Rachel Pritzlaff (LezTwirl), and with BAIRA | MVMNT PHLSPHY. She currently is building a dance work with Interact Theater, a Minneapolis-based radical inclusion theater group.


India-born, U.S.-raised choreographer/dancer Parijat Desai creates hybrids of contemporary, Indian classical and folk dance, theater, and other forms, crossing boundaries of nation, language, and identity through performance. The NYT wrote that Parijat “moves with lush attack,” and called her work “a seamless blending of new and old” . . . “a rejoinder, both physical and verbal, to the sentiment” of xenophobia. Parijat is a recipient of the 2019–20 LMCC Creative Engagement grant, and a finalist for the NYFA Artist Fellowship in Choreography. Parijat was also a member of Gibney’s 2018–19 Moving Toward Justice Cohort and an artist-in-residence through CUNY Dance Initiative. She also leads Dance In The Round—collective movement experiences based on circle dances from Gujarat, India—offering workshops for all ages and abilities. Parijat’s work has been performed at venues including: Danspace Project, Harlem Stage, and Asia Society (NYC); Skirball Cultural Center and the J. Paul Getty Center (LA); ODC Theater (SF), The Dance Centre (Vancouver), and National Centre for the Performing Arts (Mumbai).

Founded in 1998, Valerie Green/Dance Entropy believes in humanizing movement, both in Ms. Green’s critically acclaimed choreographic work and the company’s mission to plant creative seeds in communities across the world. Intersecting mortal and transcendent, sensual and sophisticated, visceral and self-aware, VG/DE invites the artist, the audience—the human—into a compelling, physical experience. Based out of its home studio, Green Space in Queens, NY, VG/DE combines performance and specialized outreach programs to inspire communities in cultural institutions throughout the world. As a professional nonprofit dance company, the communities we engage with have included at risk youth, adolescents, trauma survivors, the disabled, senior citizens and aspiring/professional dancers. To date, Green has created 39 dances including 9 evening-length works, all of which incorporate forms of original production, musical composition, innovative set design or new media. Her choreography has been presented extensively throughout New York City at venues and events including: Danspace Project, Pioneer Works, Queens Museum, La Mama Moves Festival, Museum of the City of New York, Joyce Soho, Movement Research at Judson Church, Chashama, Dance Now at Dance Theater Workshop, Center for Performance Research, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, the 92nd St. Y, Hunter College, Context, LaGuardia Performing Art Center, Jamaica Performing Arts Center, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Flux Factory, Queens Botanical Garden, Voelker Orth Museum, Mannes College, Dance New Amsterdam, St. Sava Cathedral, and Green Space.

Mersiha Messiha is a Bosnian/Swedish/American choreographer/performance artist & the artistic director of Brooklyn based CIRCITDEBRS -a platform for experimentation in dance & interdisciplinary collaboration she initiated in 2008 to formally conceptualize her collaboration with artists across disciplines and passion for community engagement. Her work has been presented internationally and received support from New Dance Alliance and New York Foundation for the Arts. messiha has collaborated closely with the performance artist Karen Bernard, choreographer Reggie Wilson, pianist Visnja Krzic, performance artist/poet Jaamil Oawale Kosoko and Saxophonist/Composer James Brandon Lewis.


Bree Breeden is from Cheraw, S.C. She choreographs and performs her own work which has been presented at Vital Joint Festival in 2019, Embodied Spaces Festival I and II in 2018, Movement Research’s Fall Festival at Danspace in 2018, and the Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts dance talk series in 2016. Currently she performs with VON HOWARD PROJECT and Michiyaya DANCE.  

Kathleen Kelley is an Associate Professor of Dance + Technology at Montclair State University. She is a 2019 Gibney Work Up resident artist, Chez Bushwick Artist in Residence in 2018 and a 2015-2016 LEIMAY Fellow, and her choreographic work has been shown at venues such as Theaterlab, Gowanus Loft, Triskelion Arts, Center for Performance Research, Chez Bushwick, Movement Research and others. Together they direct Proteo Media + Performance, an intermedia company that produces creative experiences that engage live performers, film, projections, installations and other forms of visual/digital data to explore the rich intersections between technology and the body. 


Anabella Lenzu (choreographer & performer) Originally from Argentina, Anabella is a dancer, choreographer and teacher with 25 years working in Argentina, Chile, Italy and the USA. Her choreography has been commissioned all over the world, for opera, TV programs, theatre productions, and by many dance companies. Lenzu has written for various dance and arts magazines, and published her first book in 2013, entitled Unveiling Motion and Emotion. The book contains writings in Spanish and English on the importance of dance, choreography, and dance pedagogy. Currently, Lenzu conducts classes at Peridance Center and NYU Gallatin, and is Artist-in-Residence at CUNY Dance Initiative, 2019-2020. 

The Exponential Festival is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), and producers Charles and Candace Wait.

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© 2018 by The Exponential Festival.

Art by Mark Toneff.