Emily Johnson / Catalyst
Niicugni—the word—is a directive to pay attention, to listen. Housed within a light/sound installation of handmade fish-skin lanterns, Emily Johnson's Niicugni quietly compels attentiveness, layering multiple dances, live music, stories, and histories into a space occupied by past, present, and future.
Emily Johnson and her company, Catalyst, are co-presented by Performace Space 122 as part of COIL 2013, an annual mid-winter festival of contemporary performance from across the U.S. and around the globe. Niicugni is the second in a trilogy of works drawing from the choreographer's Yup’ik Alaskan heritage. The first work in the series, The Thank-you Bar, which premiered in New York in fall 2011, received a 2012 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance.
Niicugni is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by Performance Space 122 in partnership with Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC), Northrop, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), Tigertail Productions and NPN. For more information: www.npnweb.org.
In the video below, Emily Johnson talks about developing Niicugni, which has been touring the country and bringing with it a unique ritual which engages communities and the land: