A Gardener is a new performance created by Ayano Elson in collaboration with composer Matt Evans, writer and dancer Lydia Okrent, and lighting designer LD DeArmon. From a position at the center of the world’s oppressive imperial power, the piece explores a new future we can reach through democratic and egalitarian collaboration, through active participation and consensus-building. Elson and her co-creators examine the specifics and potentialities—colors, textures, sounds, and shapes—that exist when the hierarchy between maker and performer disappears, revealing pieces of textures, patterns, and rhythms that are deeply human and connected. They work to construct a new language from these fragments, generating a whole that celebrates desire, pleasure, and conflict.
Ayano Elson is an Okinawan–American artist based in New York. Her choreography has been presented by Art Cake, The Chocolate Factory, Gibney Dance, Knockdown Center, Movement Research, and Roulette, among others. She has performed in works by Kim Brandt, Jessica Cook, Simone Forti, Kyli Kleven, Abigail Levine, and Haegue Yang at Danspace, ISSUE Project Room, MCA Chicago, MoMA, MoMA PS1, Movement Research at Judson Memorial Church, Pioneer Works, Roulette, and the Shed. She has developed her work through artist residencies at ArtCake, Gibney Dance, AUNTS at Mount Tremper Arts, and Movement Research’s Van Lier Emerging Artist of Color Fellowship. Elson is currently an artist-in-residence at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council at Governors Island and Abrons Arts Center.
A Gardener is presented as part of DANCEROULETTE and is supported in part by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and through Roulette’s GENERATE program, providing over 30 artists each year with in-depth creative and technical support.