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New Works! / Pioneers Go East Collective

at Vital Joint

January 24 @ 8pm

January 25 @ 8:30pm

New Works! / Pioneers Go East Collective

6 works + 6 artists!  

A series dedicated to LGBTQ and feminist artists curated by Pioneers Go East Collective!


January 24 at 8pm

Marisa Tornello

Mike Cotayo

Erick Montes


January 25 at 830pm

Marisa Tornello

Regina Nejman

Bree Breeden – Proteo


Descriptions and Credits

Original song cycle 

by Marisa Tornello 

Includes original songs featured in Cowboyscowgirls by Pioneers Go East Collective. 

Marisa Tornello (performance artist, songwriter) is an interdisciplinary performance artist born and raised in NYC. Studying music in college, Marisa's passion in the performing arts is widespread, dabbling in a variety of genres, including early music, musical theater, minimalism, songwriting, bodypainting, durational performance art, and improvisational movement. Musically, Marisa is a member of the New York Choral Society, and has performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, the Prudential Center, and Palau de la Musica. She has had the opportunity to perform with many artists, including Peter Yarrow, Andrea Bocelli, Renee Fleming, Anna Netrebko, and the Met Orchestra. Marisa is an alumna of the Trinity/La MaMa Program and made her New York debut performing the ensemble piece Searching for Home at La MaMa in 2012. In 2015, Marisa composed, wrote, choreographed, and directed an original musical called Keeping Perfect Time, a piece that shines a spotlight on the relationship between music therapy, dementia, and caregiving. Marisa has been an active model in the NYC bodypainting community since 2015 and had the opportunity to model in an episode of Project Runway in 2014. Her piece blank premiered at the Baumann in June of 2018.


Stand-up Comedian Mike Cotayo

Mike Cotayo (performer, writer). At the age of eighteen months old, a near fatal car crash turned life around for Mike. He was severely injured due to a drunk driving accident. He had a Traumatic Brain Injury receiving a diagnosis of acquired cerebral palsy. Now an adult living with a physical disability Mike realizes that the best medicine is laughter, and his goal is to medicate the whole world (or at least three of his family members). Mike was asked to perform on The Cringe Humor Show at The Laugh Factory in Times Square, and as a result of this show his work has been sold on iTunes, he was asked to co-write a screenplay based on a stand-up comedian with a disability. He also garnered many other opportunities such as performing on Shock Jock Radio Shows "Opie & Anthony" and "Howard Stern TV" He was featured on Comcast "Your Morning Philadelphia." His Jokes have been featured in Love's Funny That Way; Squeaky Clean Comedy; Filthy, Funny and Totally Offensive. Featured in an article in "Advance Magazine," alongside Josh Blue. @funnymanmike76 

My name is… by Erick Montes

Dance/Performance/Installation by Erick Montes

Duration: 15 minutes
My name is... is a one of a kind dance improvisation/performance. A poetic landscape of a 39 years old dance maker which speaks of intimacy lost in the middle of a social crisis and personal realization: Refugees, evil presidents, transphobia, “role play” and protectionism!  Is Intimacy lost? Come on! Come on just give me a break and let me dance tonight for you. 

Spoken Text by The Shortfellow

Art Installation by M.O.H.

Erick Montes and Danceable Projects Artistic Director


Beautiful Figure 

Choreography by Regina Nejman

Performers: Marion Helfenstein and Regina Nejman

Original music by Ryan Tully

Dealing with women's issues in her work, Regina Nejman presents an excerpt of Beautiful Figure where two dancers explore various ideas of "beauty" raging from the late Renaissance period until contemporary times when beauty is merely defined by our culture as "hot" and often distorted, and merely exploiting and objectifying women. 


Fire Bree

installation/movement by Bree Breeden and Proteo Media + Performance.

A new video/dance work that has multiple elements dealing with space. As we know living in NYC, space is a very limiting concept in terms of how close in proximity everything is: housing, transit space, space in reference to time, literal breathing space. I am exploring in this solo or duet an abstraction of the concept of space and how that word relates to me in 2018. My current situation is very minimalistic when I talk about space and most of my "stuff", belongings even memories exist in the digital world as does this dance. 

Proteo Media + Performance produces creative experiences that engage live performers, film, projections, installations and other forms of visual/digital data. Headed by Kathleen Kelley and a team of collaborators across art forms, our work explores rich intersections between technology and the the body.  We value collective ways of making and alternative support structures for art practices.  You can find our work in galleries, dance performance venues, video festivals, and online literary magazines. Recent venues include: Gowanus Loft,  the Center for Performance Research, Triskelion Arts, Green Space, the SOAK Festival, the CURRENT SESSIONS, Nimbus OFFLINE series, the HATCH series, TriQuarterly Literary Journal, Philly FringeArts Digital Fringe Festival, Moving Poems blog, Small Po[r]tions Intermedia Literary Journal, and the Rutgers University Momentum Technology Videos Festival.


Bree Breeden is from Cheraw, S.C. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from Montclair State in 2016 where she performed works by Bill T.Jones, Jose Limon, Larry Keigwin, and Martha Graham. Currently, she is a dancer and the Managing Director for Proteo Media + Performance,  the Operations Associate at Movement Research, Production Manager for Sidra Bell Dance New York, and dances with VON HOWARD PROJECT and Michiyaya DANCE. She also choreographs and performs her own work which has been presented at Embodied Spaces Festival 1 and 2 in 2018, Montclair State University in 2015 in Danceworks and ACDFA and at Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts dance talk series in 2016. She was awarded the Choreographic Excellence Award in 2015 and Outstanding Performer Award in 2016 from Montclair State University.


Pioneers Go East Collective is an ensemble of multigenerational artists and LGBTQ activists in residence at La MaMa and Judson Church. The collective’s creative platforms include original performance, curated series and educational programs for social change. Since 2010, the collective has developed 11 original works, collaborated with over 400 art-makers, and through performance, video, and curated series, the collective creates platforms of inclusion which link audiences throughout all of New York to celebrate LGBTQ and Feminist artists. The collective merges storytelling and interview-based documentary to expose the realities of queer identity and otherness to provoke understanding and promote social justice. Inspired by Walt Whitman’s poem “O Pioneers!”, an homage to the pioneers' search for a brighter future – the collective is comprised of artists who explore stories of collective courage and conviction. Under the leadership of Daniel Diaz, Julia Dobner-Pereira, Philip Treviño, and GianMarco LoForte, the collective presents original works at LaMaMa, Judson Church, JACK, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, The Tank, Dixon Place, HERE/Performance Mix (NDA), Astor Alive, Chashama, Goethe Institute, A.R.T./New York, Triskelion, Exponential Festival, St Ann’s Warehouse, Process Space at Governors Island/LMCC, The LGBT Center.

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