free the body
Free the Body
Premiering March 2-16, 2024 at the Coachella Valley Art Center in Indio, California, GROUND SERIES dance & social justice collective presents 'Free the Body', an interactive art and sound installation with live dance, music and Mexica/Aztec drumming performances on Saturdays, March 2, 9, 16. Click here for performance tickets.
Created for and with the Coachella Valley Art Center, the 'Free the Body' installation and performances will also provide resources for bodily autonomy, reproductive justice, health care and human rights, and will engage extended members of the community as part of GROUND SERIES’ commitment to practice place-based accountability.
Exploring themes of liberation and using the text Abolition. Feminism. Now as a framework and inspiration, the exhibition offers a portal for possibility, a refuge for reflection, and a space for sensation.
Conceived and choreographed by GROUND SERIES co-director and choreographer Brittany Delany, the project includes creative collaborator Lauren Bright, visual art installations by Brittany North, live music by Jordan Lewis and Gabriela Armenta, movement by local dancers of the Coachella Valley, sound installations by Jordan Lewis and composer/human rights educator Pete DiGennaro, and community partner engagement with Danza Azteca Citlaltonac and Wyld Womxn.
The artists share their research on the GROUND SERIES Blog.
What does it mean to free the body, within personal, cultural, social and political settings?
How to free the body? Where do you find freedom in the body? What are the sensations and relations to free the body?
CONCEIVED AND CHOREOGRAPHED by Brittany Delany
CREATIVE COLLABORATION by Lauren Bright
SOUND INSTALLATION by Peter DiGennaro and Jordan Lewis
LIVE MUSIC by Jordan Lewis and Gabriela Armenta
PERFORMANCE by Faisal Alateeg, Claudia Armenta, Lauren Bright, Brittany Delany, Alex Lopez
VISUAL ART by Brittany North
PHOTOGRAPHY by Monica Morones, Labkhand Olfatmanesh and Brian Pescador
CREATED for/with Coachella Valley Art Center, Indio, CA
COMMUNITY PARTNERS with Danza Azteca Citlaltonac and Wyld Womxn
PERFORMANCES March 2, 9, 16: Tickets
Exhibition & Events
Exhibition Dates: March 2 - 16, 2024
Coachella Valley Art Center
41540 Towne Ave., Indio, CA 92201
Gallery Hours Daily except Saturdays: 9:00am to 1:00pm
Gallery Hours on Saturdays: 9:00am to 12:00pm & 3:00pm to 5:00pm
~ Performances held on each Saturday ~
Matinee Shows 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Evening Shows 6:00pm to 7:00pm
March 2 Opening - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
March 16 Closing - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
DJ Dance Party - 8:00pm to 9:00pm
Gallery admission is free.
Performance and Events require ticket reservations.
contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
Free the Body artist bios
Brittany Delany Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Brittany Delany (she/her) is a choreographer, dancer, writer, event producer and community organizer based in Los Angeles, California. Dance helps her make sense of the world. As she grew up playing sports and learning dance moves from Janet Jackson music videos, she developed her pursuit of movement, finding artistic homes studying, practicing and performing in several communities including hip hop, jazz, contact improvisation, modern and postmodern dance. In addition to practicing a variety of sports and training in theater, her movement background includes: hip hop dance - east coast, west coast, new style, bgirl, house--classical modern Isadora Duncan dance, modern and postmodern, jazz, Afro Brazilian, contact improvisation, ensemble improvisation, somatics and site-specific dance. This training underscores her aim to cultivate a playful, present, athletic, resilient body--capable of shape-shifting characters and perspectives. Hip hop aesthetics such as the break, satire, remix, cypher, one-upmanship, and innovation are key values in her choreography and movement. She has learned from some of the pioneers at hip hop events around the world. Postmodern sensibilities of abstract composition and quirky, gestural movement also underscore her approach and design. Hip hop cyphers and contact improvisation jams inspire her to participate in and cultivate inclusive spaces for creative experimentation and dialogues. She earned a B.A. in Dance from Wesleyan University (Middletown, Connecticut) where she studied with Pedro Alejandro and Ronald Burton, and was influenced by visiting artists including Eiko Otake, Bill T. Jones, Brian Brooks, Liz Lerman and Ronald K. Brown. In 2012, while growing as an artist and administrator/grant writer in the San Francisco Bay Area, she co-founded GROUND SERIES dance & social justice collective with Wesleyan alumna Sarah Ashkin, a choreographer, dancer, scholar, and co-founder of Practice Progress. GROUND SERIES uses performance to practice place-based justice to cultivate accountability to land, body and history. Performing in spaces not usually activated by dance, creating opportunities for unexpected witnessing and radical accessibility, Brittany and her collaborators are committed to curiosity, care and equity. Performances often move resources to historically marginalized site stewards, community partners or collective members. She is a founding member of Wyld Womxn, intersectional feminist creative collective of the Coachella Valley, California, and serves as Secretary for the Arts & Planning Division of the American Planning Association. Brittany has performed with dance companies Unyted Stylz, Rainbow Tribe, de la femme, Pedro Alejandro Dance & Dancers, Mary Sano and Isadora Duncan Dancers, and a constellation of artists and choreographers at venues such as Furstworld, Highways Performance Space, Hotel Cafe, Movement Research at the Judson Church, ODC Theater, Temescal Arts Center, among other sites including Building Bridges Art Exchange Gallery, Joshua Tree National Park, Los Angeles State Historic Park, Palm Springs Art Museum Palm Desert and San Francisco Grace Cathedral. Additional artistic influences include Pina Bausch, Anna Halprin, Rennie Harris, Keith Hennessy, Amara Tabor-Smith and Reggie Wilson. With over a decade of experience, Brittany values the power of imagination and teamwork. She loves to research and perform around the world.
Lauren Bright Born in Anaheim, CA to nomadic parents, spending her early life living in a traveling renovated school bus, she never lacked wonder or adventure. Once landing eventually in southern Orange County, she began dancing at the age of three. She started in theater arts with Children’s Theater experience, Advanced theater in Middle School, and attended four years at the South Orange County School of the Arts (SOCSA) for Theater, Set Design, Dance Production and Photography. She attended Saddleback College for dance studies and found her way into Social Dance. Modern, Salsa and Latin dances bring the most joy to her life. She moved to the High Desert in 2014 and has since relocated to the Coachella Valley to operate local businesses, create intentional communities, and empower women. She had the privilege to be Set Designer in 2018 for spring productions of Desert Ensemble Theatre Company a non-profit organization that supports high school students to get on the job experience in working in professional productions. She is currently studying Shamanism at the Shamanism Foundation, and seeks to help heal what can’t be seen by the limitations of physical sight. Integrating ancient practices to a modern era.
Brittany North Brittany North is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Southern California. After earning her Bachelor’s degree at the University of California Riverside, North returned to the Coachella Valley as an arts educator. Deeply inspired by the desert, her work explores ideas of metamorphosis, mysticism, place, and process.
Peter DiGennaro M.A. is a writer, musician, sound designer, and international human rights and peace educator with over twenty-five years of experience in the fields of music performance, composition, education, and program development. An alum of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Arts Politics graduate program, he is the founding director of A New Heroism: International Human Rights and Peace Education, LLC, and its flagship program UROCK!. His sound compositions have been on exhibit at the Skirball Center at NYU and Site Projects New Haven, among others. Since 1999, Peter has been a contributing composer to the Wesleyan University Dance Department where he has composed extensively for faculty dance scores. Composing and producing extensively for theater, film, and dance, his theater work includes full scores for Shakespeare’s Richard III and Macbeth; works for Trinity College, Temple University, Springfield College, and Bessie Award winner Doug Elkins; and the Emmy nominated Understanding the Divide (Connecticut Public Television 2001). While focusing his research, scholarship, teaching, and artistic practice on cultural and social psychologies related to power, identity, and violence – against both oneself, as well as the “other” - special attention is given to external expressions of the intrapsychic, inter-relationality, and the frameworks of traumatology in order to address existential crises and social inequality, with somatic memory and haptic, expressive practices playing central roles in the awareness of, resilience to, and recovery from shame as the root of violence. Peter has performed and taught nationally and internationally, notably in Cape Verde, Africa and Paris, France. As a program director, he founded the NMS Rocks! and NMS Summer Rocks! contemporary music programs in New Haven, CT, centered on Human Rights pedagogies and performance-as-research, while his current priority program - URock! – is an interdisciplinary, student-led, arts, culture, technology, and business program that dovetails in discreet Human Rights and Peace Education frameworks while offering participants the experience of building sustainable, creative, personal and community capacities and economies from their most authentic voices. Believing in the ability of the audience member as a “witness-participant” (Sontag) to and within the work, and the dialogic classroom as a respectful co-learning environment, his work is designed to honor authentic experience and knowledge in one’s own life while increasing the field of vision and skills necessary to live full, productive, and positive lives as oneself, with full imagination, in community with the rest of the world.
Jordan Lewis Jordan is an LA based media composer and multi-instrumentalist. In addition to pursuing his own creative endeavors with 5k Music, he collaborates regularly with such composers as Tyler Bates, Didier Lean Rachou, Dino Meneghin, Anton Sanko, and David Robbins. Jordan’s work as a composer, orchestrator, sound designer, session player, and mixer can be heard on HBO, ABC, Shudder, Paramount+, USA, Discovery, FOX, FX, National Geographic, MTV, YouTube Premium, History, Netflix, PBS, Pivot, and more. Notable projects in recent years include the all acoustic/americana score Jordan composed for the Civil War documentary "When to Die," and “G Funk” (YouTube Premium), a documentary examining the musical, social, and cultural circumstances which gave birth to a new era of hip-hop. As an "additional music composer", Jordan has written and produced music for “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” (Universal), "Stumptown" (ABC), "The Purge" (USA), "Creepshow" (AMC/Shudder), "Day Shift" (Netflix), "Five Nights at Freddy's" (Blumhouse), "Teen Wolf: The Movie" (Paramount+), "Wolf Pack" (Paramount+), and the "Guardians of the Galaxy" themed rollercoaster: "Cosmic Rewind" (Marvel/Disney/Epcot). As an artist/multi-instrumentalist, Jordan has toured, performed, and recorded with various bands and solo artists including Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains), Warren G, David Hasselhoff, Chamberlin, Super Doppler Wars, and The Friendly Males. In 2024 Jordan plans to begin releasing a series of EP's which collectively highlight his stylistic interests. When not working on music, Jordan enjoys spending time with his wife and cats and being out in nature as much as possible. Jordan holds a BA in English and Jazz Piano/Composition from the University of Vermont and an MFA in Film Composition from Columbia College Chicago.
Gabriela Armenta Gabriela Armenta or Gabby is the founder and instructor of Danza Azteca Citlaltonac. Gabby is a Mexica dancer, community organizer, activist and culture bearer. She is a first generation College student, earning an AA in Political Science from College of the Desert (2023), an AA in Social Behavioral Science from California Indian Nations College (2023), and a Certificate of Social Entrepreneurship, Engagement, & Development from the Center for Social Innovation at University of California, Riverside. She is currently studying Public Policy at UC Riverside. Her work includes, Immigrant Justice, Women's Rights, Mental Health, Affordable Housing, Missing Murdered & Indigenous Women. She is an Organizer for the Coachella Valley Women’s March, Executive Board Member for Inland Equity Community Land Trust, Public Art Commissioner for the City of Indio, Volunteer Field Public Policy Advocate for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and volunteer for Coachella Valley Immigrant Coalition.
Claudia “Citlali” Armenta Claudia “Citlali” Armenta is a co-founder, instructor and President of Danza Azteca Citlaltonac and a Mexica dancer, community organizer, activist and culture bearer. She is a first generation College student, earning an AA in Political Science from College of the Desert (2023), an AA in Social Behavioral Science from California Indian Nations College (2023), and a Certificate of Social Entrepreneurship, Engagement, & Development from the Center for Social Innovation at University of California, Riverside. She is currently studying Public Policy and Behavioral Science at UC Riverside and is working towards her accreditation with the Department of Justice. Claudia is a strong community leader and dancer who has been directly involved in regional and local politics, building relationships with various community and social organizations, and holds strong ties with regional and local religious groups. Her work includes, Immigrant Justice, Women's Rights, Missing Murdered & Indigenous Women. She is an Organizer for the Coachella Valley Women’s March.
Adriana Lopez-Ospina Adriana Lopez-Ospina is a Colombian American mixed media artist currently working on a new woven wool installation series titled fiber. After receiving her BA in Studio Art with an emphasis in sculpture at Saint Louis University she moved back to the Coachella Valley. Adriana is inspired by her family’s Colombian heritage and culture. Lopez-Ospina has been working in golf leaf for the past five years that culminated in her series titled All that Glitters is Fools Gold. She has since moved into working with fiber that she naturally dies to create large scale installations. She continues to explore new ways to weave texture and pattern to communicate various issues and life moments.
Faisal Alateeg Faisal is a Saudi creative making his debut with Free the Body as a movement performer. His love of photography, design and aesthetics make him open to exploring experimental art through various mediums.
Josefina Armenta Sra. Josefina Armenta is a medicine woman & owner of Del Jardin De Mi Nantlil.
Free the Body collaborator bios
Danza Azteca Citlaltonac Danza Azteca Citlaltonac's mission is to provide a safe, healing and sacred space through the introduction of the Mexica/Aztec culture and traditional ceremonial dance, songs, prayer and the healing power of communication provided by talking circles. www.circulocitlaltonac.com
William Schinsky, Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Art Center Subsequent to returning from a tour in VietNam in 1968-69, Schinsky returned to school and eventually graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a BA in Art, and a MA in Museum Studies and Installation Design. His professional career has included positions as: Gallery Director, Ruth S. Schaffner Gallery, Los Angeles; Visual Arts Program Director for the Southern Arts Federation, Atlanta, Georgia; Curator, Atlanta International Museum of Art and Design; Visual Arts Director, Arts Festival of Atlanta; co-founder/Executive Director, Visual Arts Center, Charlotte, North Carolina and continues as an independent curator. He has been a consultant for the Temecula Valley Historical Museum. Schinsky is an adjunct instructor, College of the Desert, teaching Art101, Introduction to Art. Schinsky is the current Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Arts Alliance, a service oriented cultural arts organization focusing on the small to mid-sized cultural organizations in the Coachella Valley. Schinsky is responsible for initiating the establishment of the Coachella Valley Art Center, a regional cultural center in downtown Indio offering artist’s workspace, exhibit spaces, exhibition programs and classroom/workshop space. He has conducted Art classes at two Riverside County Juvenile Halls in Indio and Murrieta. The More Than Art program received an individual achievement/appreciation award from the Riverside County Probation Department in 2010. In 2009, the More Than Art program was contracted by the Los Angeles County Department of Education to design and conduct an 11 week Visual Art/Creative Writing/Performance program for the minors at the Los Angeles Central Juvenile Detention Facility. Schinsky has presented Art related lectures and programs at local, state and national gatherings. He has participated as a member of Grants Review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts. Schinsky also acts as Consultant for the city of Rancho Mirage’s Art Affaire, and has judged for the La Quinta Arts Festival and the Southwest Arts Festival, Indio. He serves on the Board of the Indio Performing Arts Center, Coachella Valley Symphony and Advisory Council for the Dr. Carreon Foundation and coordinator of the Old Town Indio Shopping District business association.
Wyld Womxn Founded in 2016, Wyld Womxn is an intersectional feminist creative collective based in the Coachella Valley comprised of womxn and non-binary artists in various mediums who empower all womxn and non-binary artists through activism and the arts. They believe in fostering gender equality, critical dialogue, creative skill sharing, community building, wellness, community care, collaboration, and social & political change. Wyld Womxn provides safe and inclusive spaces for womxn and non-binary folx to express and be themselves. They run accessible monthly intersectional feminist programming and events for feminist creatives including a Feminist Book Club, Creative Writing Group, Supper Club, Hiking & Nature Club, Wyld Womxn Singers, All Things Queer, Moon Cycle Bike Ride, and Sisters in Studio. Their programming fosters community by addressing access to art, nature, queer identity, self-care, body literacy, and mental health resources. Wyld Womxn curates feminist public community art programs from artist talks, workshops, panels, performances, full moon gatherings, and art happenings. https://wyldwomxn.wixsite.com/website