The Struggle in US

Curated and produced by BAX staff/faculty Sara Roer and Diane Tomasi

A fundraiser for BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange

March 18, 2017 | Begins at 5:30pm

Tickets: $10/$20/$30 [BUY]

The Struggle in US brings together BAX faculty, staff, and students to create an evening of community with workshops and performance. The evening will be filled with activities and art pieces in response to the ‘ungrounding’ events presently unfolding in our nation. Intersectional, intergenerational, and interconnected voices will rise up – to connect, to inspire, to advocate and to ground. Join us to pour energy back into a place that has so deeply supported US, and so many more! A donation from the event will also be made to the Center for Anti-Violence Education. CAE previously shared space with BAX at 421 5th Ave, and is still a neighbor after moving one block away to 7th st. They offer free martial arts and self-defense classes for women, young people, and LGBTQIA individuals across NYC.


Schedule of Events

Time WorkshopDescription
5:30-6:30pmRehearsal for the RevolutionRehearsal for the Revolution - This workshop would be an introduction to the work of Augusto Boal and Theatre of the Oppressed, using games and devising-methods to talk about the nature of oppression and build the muscles that are required for resistance.

Led by Casey Hayes-Deats
5:30-6:30pmUpstander/Bystander Training Upstander/Bystander workshops are designed to equip those facing hate and violence with de-escalation skills and basic self-defense techniques. Additionally, this training empowers bystanders with the tools they need to help those facing harassment by choosing intentionally from a continuum of tactics. These two approaches combined offer New Yorkers unique and critical options for keeping our communities as safe as possible and mitigating violence. The workshop involves building mind/body awareness, awareness of gender and race issues when intervening, how to report hate incidents, and how individuals can become involved in a movement to end systemic hate and violence. The training is highly interactive and allows each participant to choose to practice strategies that match their personality and comfort level. We will practice assertive communication skills, some physical moves such as “head blocks” to protect yourself physically, and role play scenarios of harassment and Upstander/Bystander intervention. Because so many people in our workshop are already survivors of harassment or violence, it is important to note that students are 100% in charge of their learning experience and may step out of activities at any time.

Led by Velvet Kensington
6:35-7:35pmThai Massage WorkshopIntended to create community through touch and caring for another individual. Thai Massage is an ancient form of bodywork rooted in Thai medicinal practices. It combines body postures descended from Ayurvedic yoga with acupressure and gentle, passive stretching (though sessions can range in intensity). It can aid greatly in increasing flexibility, joint range of motion, circulation and overall, integrated health. It is intricate work that can be very in-depth and unfold in your body over time. Usually Thai is done on a thick floor mat with the receiver in loose, easily moveable clothing (like pajamas or full-coverage workout clothes).

Led by Sara Roer
6:35-7:35pmSCRAPSA quick, engaging and exciting process generating lots of original performance pieces in a short amount of time. Open to kids, adults, or both together.

Led by Dana O'Brien & Joie Golomb
8:00pm Performances Featuring work by

Adult Tumbling
Alexandra Rose
Andrew Jannetti
Angie Pittman
Diane Tomasi
Kelindah Schuster
Maira Duarte
s.lumbert &
Rachel Sigrid Freeburg
Plain Jane


Can’t make it? Please consider making a donation. Proceeds from the event benefits BAX and Center for Anti-Violence.


Artist Bios

A native of Florence, Italy, Alessia Palanti is a PhD candidate at Columbia University where she is writing her dissertation on contemporary films by Italian female filmmakers. She is also a Graduate Fellow at Columbia’s Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, where she helps organize events related to issues of gender, sexuality, and feminisms. At Columbia she has taught Italian language, Women’s and Gender Studies, and will be teaching writing. One of the most important and eye-opening experiences was teaching literature at Taconic Correctional facility, a women’s medium security prison in Bedford Hills, which continues to inspire her intellectually and artistically. As a mover, she has danced and choreographed modern and contemporary dance through college in the US, presenting her works at dance festivals in Chicago and in the Midwest, and has received awards for outstanding achievement in choreography. In Italy, she pursued experimental dance theatre, and in New York City, she dances, tumbles, and performs at various locations including Lava Studios, and at BAX. More than just pleasure and passion, she moves with a feminist purpose to explore deeper connections within and between bodies.

Alexandra Rose is a freelance artist in dance based in Brooklyn, NY. She currently teaches for Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), works in arts administration for On Stage at Kingsborough, and is focused on showcasing her choreographic work in the city. Holding a B.A. in Dance and Economics from Denison University, her experience in the field includes performance, education, dance creation, and administrative work. Alexandra has performed as a member of Fusionworks Modern Dance Company (RI), the State Ballet of Rhode Island, and as a freelance artist with ACW Dances in Arlington, VA. During that time, she had the opportunity to dance the works of Abigail Wallace, Stafford C. Berry Jr., Sandra Mathern-Smith, Keith Thompson, Amalia Schelhorn, Molly Shanahan, Terry Creach, Mark Harootian, and Deb Meunier. She recently completed a choreography mentorship with Doug Varone whereby her choreography was presented at Gibney Dance Center. Additionally, her work has been shown at the idance festival 2014 in Hong Kong, by Fusionworks, Sans Limites Dance, and at multiple schools in the Northeast United States. She has taught for schools such as Mercersburg Academy, Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy, the Festival Ballet Providence School, Fusionworks Academy, Providence Country Day, and Chadwick International in Incheon, South Korea, where she created, launched, and ran the dance program for three years. She has also returned to the Festival Ballet Providence School for several summers as part of their Summer Intensive Faculty. Alexandra has worked administratively for Festival Ballet Providence, as well as for Dance/USA.

Andrew Jannetti, MA is based in New York City and has had a distinguished career as a choreographer, dancer, educator, fitness instructor, and producer. Throughout his career he has presented work at DTW, St. Marks’s Danspace, 92nd Street Y, Alvin Ailey Center, The Duke, DIA, BAX, Cunningham, DUMBO Dance Festival, CoolNY Festival, ADG Festival, NY International Dance Festival, as well as venues throughout the U.S. and Europe. He’s been awarded grants from NYSCA, NJSCA, MCAF, Meet The Composers, the Field, and Harkness Center as well as a BAXten award, aPASEtter award, and the Dani Nikas Excellence in Teaching Award for his work with NYC youth. He has been an adjunct professor at Montclair State University and NYU Gallatin and is currently employed full time as a Dance Educator by the NYC Department of Education and at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange as the Director of their school breaks programs. He is a facilitator for the new NYC DOE borough-wide Arts Mondays for Queens North and is on the DELTA team of dance facilitators for the citywide professional development for dance educators. He is an Adjunct Professor at St. Francis College in Brooklyn and is the current President of the New York State Dance Education Association. Website:

Angie Pittman is a dance artist, educator, and choreographer. Angie has had the pleasure of dancing in work by Ralph Lemon, Jennifer Lacey and Wally Cordona, Tere O’Connor, Jennifer Monson, Johanna S. Meyer, Kyli Kleven, Anna Sperber, and others. Angie has performed her work at BAAD!, Movement Research at Judson Church, Triskelion Arts, and STooPS. She holds a MFA in Dance and Choreography from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a graduate minor in African American Studies and a BA in Dance from Old Dominion University. She was a 2015 DanceWEB scholar for Impulstanz Dance Festival in Vienna, Austria and is a 2016 Artist-in-Residence with Movement Research. Angie’s work resides in a space that investigates how her body moves through ballad, groove, sparkle, spirit, spirituals, ancestry, vulnerability, and power.

Dana O’Brien is a first grade teacher at P.S. 503 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Her current work in education developed out of a background in theater education and performance for very young audiences, as well as community-based theater. As a performer and teaching artist, Dana has worked with BAX | Brooklyn Arts Exchange as well as with Story Pirates, Spellbound Theatre, Rady & Bloom, Purple Crayon Players and in public schools around New York City and Chicago. She is a co-founder and director of Drawing Room, a community-based arts company that experiments with low-barrier production formats in social settings. Dana holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Northwestern University and is currently working on a Masters of Science in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages at City College.

Diane Tomasi performs both on the ground and in the air, as a dancer and aerialist. She has performed at Galapagos, The Slipper Room, Jacob’s Pillow, The Wild Project, Dance New Amsterdam, The Muse Brooklyn and with Phaedra’s Cabaret. Diane has received certifications in Simonson Method of Teacher Training, Thai Massage Adv Studies Sen Theory & Application, & Thai Massage Basic Studies Level I & II, and she also holds a BA (Hons) Performing Arts (Dance), from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

Helen Fourness has a BFA in Dance from George Mason University, which she now uses to create Burlesque acts as more widely know personas Velvet Kensington, Felon Whoreness & Plain Jane. She has performed burlesque for over 11 years for all on both coasts and holds the title of Master of Tassels in New York for three years.

Jessica Lee is a dance artist, arts educator, arts organizer who sometimes prefers cartwheeling to walking. Jessica grew up studying ballet at Connecticut Dance School in Fairfield, Connecticut, and graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont with a joint major in Dance and Environmental Studies. Her artistic work and teaching practice are grounded in rigorous play, fueled by the joy of movement, and dedicated to inclusive community building. Although she has always loved to tumble, this is her first tumbling performance. Here in Park Slope, Jessica teaches dance and creative movement to children ages 18 months to 6 years at BAX|Brooklyn Arts Exchange, as well as ballet for 4-6 year-olds at Brooklyn Center Stage Dance. Jessica is also a PURPOSE-full Organizer for PURPOSE Productions, supporting the work of Angela’s Pulse and other arts organizations with marketing & communications strategy as well as event and production management. Since 2010, she has danced for Paloma McGregor in ongoing iterations of Building a Better Fishtrap. Jessica is the Co-Director of The Sable Project, an alternative off-grid artist residency in Vermont which brings emerging artists together each summer to collaborate, work in and eat from the organic garden, and share their creations with the local community. (

Joanna Stone is a Brooklyn based performer and teaching artist and currently works with Dance to the People as a dancer and writer. Recently Joanna published a paper with the World Dance Alliance and from that research presented work titled, Evolution is not Anthropocentric with Dance to the People. In Brooklyn she also teaches at Dancewave and has performed with LEIMAY. Joanna graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in theater and dance. She holds an MA in dance and a graduate certificate in women’s studies from Texas Woman’s University. Before settling in Brooklyn Joanna lived in Mexico City and performed and toured the US, Mexico, Cuba, and Ecuador with Contradanza, a dance theater company. She’s a contact improviser and advocates for the integration of non-hierarchal ideas into society. Joanna was the editorial assistant for CONTACT QUARTERLY and has trained with Nancy Stark Smith, Sarah Gamblin, Jordan Fuchs, Chris Aiken, and many more CI teachers.

Joie Golomb is currently the Programs Outreach Liaison at ENACT, Inc. a partner project of Fund for the City of New York. ENACT delivers transformative programs through creative drama and drama therapy techniques, providing students the tools and support they need to take responsibility for their own learning and find positive alternatives to the behaviors that stand in the way of success. In this role, Joie manages programs outreach, communications, marketing, development and engagement. Prior to working with ENACT, Joie worked as the Education Manager for BAX | Brooklyn Arts Exchange, a community arts collaborative in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She has worked as a manager and teacher for after-school youth programs, in-school residencies, festivals and special events, school break programming and adult education. Joie is a co-founder and director of Drawing Room, a community-based, performing arts company, experimenting with low-barrier production formats in social settings. She has trained, performed, taught and worked with numerous organizations including the American Repertory Ballet Company, McCarter Theatre, TADA! Youth Theater, New Victory Theater, Emerson Stage and Ocean Beach Youth Group and is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Nonprofit Management at The New School’s Milano School for Public Engagement.

Kelindah Schuster is an emerging performance artist, lighting designer, and teaching artist bumbling around Brooklyn. Having grown up (but don’t dare call her a “grown-up”…) in Indonesia and Singapore, she searches for “home” and cultural belonging through clowning that asks her to reckon with queer whiteness//boundaries and bodies. As “lady bedbug” she fuses puppetry, burlesque, animal work, and tumbling to explode femininity and unsettle traditional drag. Keli teaches drama at BAX, and puppetry in public schools through Marquis Studios. She whole-heartedly believes in the power of artful PLAY to radically reshape education and heal communities of survivors; her work with children deeply influences her clown. In lady bedbug, a joyfully lonely inner child, a sexually-enraged queen, and a rabid creature meet, make love, and grasp at wholeness.

In 2008, Maira Duarte, originally from Mexico, moved to New York City to pursue her career in dance. In 2011 she obtained an M.A. in Dance Education by New York University, supported by the Mexican Fund for Arts and Culture. After moving back to Mexico in 2012 to work as a full time professor at the University of The Americas Puebla, and then moving to Pittsburgh to work with Tanz Theater Andre Koslowski, Maira came back to NYC in 2014 to found and direct the collective Dance To The People, with which she has choreographed and performed the works Narrentanz (CUNY Dance Initiative, 2015) and #alloftheabove (2016). Maira’s interests in film and movement took her in 2014 to direct a documentary on an Amazon biological expedition titled The Scientist’s Search, which is now on view at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, in Pittsburgh. Apart form directing her own work with Dance To The People, she currently dances with Da-On Dance, directed by Jin Ju Song Begin.

Michelle Applebaum is an Italian Modern and Contemporary dancer. She concluded her training with a Ballet Degree at the age of 19 from Balleto di Roma. She then won a one year Contemporary Dance Scholarship with Spellbound Dance Company. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree by Sapienza University in Rome and a Master’s Degree by Roma Tre, both in Performing Arts. Her theses were about the choreographers Vaslav Nijinskij (Bachelor’s) and Sasha Waltz (Master’s). She recently moved to New York City and is working on Fundraising, Marketing and Administrative Organization for two New York City based dance companies. ​She presented her work in progress “Not in a Hurry” at Gibney Dance on April 2016 and at The Woods Cooperative on December 2016.

Nicole Touzien, a dance artist, educator, advocate, and administrator, came to practice Assisted Thai Yoga through her work with Contact Improvisation and interest in sustainable bodywork practices. She has taught a Thai Massage for Dancers workshop for the Texas Dance Improvisation Festival and NYC Dance Week, and is currently developing The Healing Lab, an improvisation-based healing group practice. She trained under the direction of Al Turner, II, completing Levels I and II Nuad Boran Basic Certification and Advanced Sen Sumana Therapy. Nicole currently serves Dancewave as Director of Education and is on the Board of Directors for NYC Dance Week. She earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Texas Woman’s University in 2009, and has served as Adjunct Dance Faculty at Glendale Community College in Arizona and has been a Guest Teaching Artist in Queens, New York, and Seoul, South Korea. She has performed across the US, in Mexico, and in Ireland.

Rachel Sigrid Freeburg, is a dance artist and educator based in Brooklyn. She has performed internationally with Johan Amselem’s Compagnie de Danse La Halte-Garderie and professionally with Mathew Janczewski’s Arena Dances, in addition to works by Angharad Davies, Pat Graney, Tania Isaac, Bebe Miller, and Susan Rethorst. She’s currently choreographing and performing in collaborative works with s.lumbert. Their work has been shown at the PA / / 2016 queer performance art series with the newest work being shown as a part of the Work Up series at Gibney Dance Center this upcoming April. She holds a BFA in dance from the University of Minnesota and a MFA in dance from The Ohio State University.

s.lumbert is a queer, transgender dance artist who recently relocated back to NYC after receiving their MFA in dance from The Ohio State University in May, 2016. s. graduated from Skidmore College in 2012 with a degree in both Dance and Exercise Science. They have recently performed in works by Bebe Miller, Susan Rethorst, Ani Javian, and Brandon S. Whited. Through recent health concerns and experiences as a genderqueer individual, s. looks forward to continuing to navigate their dancing and choreography in relation to their forever transitioning body. Most recently, s. collaborated with Rachel Sigrid Freeburg in still life, back there, for PA 2016 // LGBTQ Performance Art Series in Columbus, OH.

Samsam Yung was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Japan. She attended Universite de Lumiere in Lyon, France. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MS from Carnegie Mellon. Her dance education has been self-tailored. She studied Simonson Technique at Dance New Amsterdam, aka, Dance Space and holds a teacher’s certificate in Simonson Technique. Her personal practice and exploration is strongly influenced by somatic post-modern approaches with attention to weight and sensation. Her dancing shows interest in details, technical precision, clarity, dynamic and qualitative range. She is interested in relationships, relationship of the body to itself, to space, to the ground, to other bodies. Since returning to training in 2012, Samsam has performed for Stephanie Landouer , DanceAction, Nimbus Dance Works, Pavel Zustiak, Jacklyn Buglisi and Pascal Lambert. She graduated from DNA’s CIC program in 2013. Since then, she has presented her work at DNA, Brooklyn Music School, Aileys, the Graham studio, and the Brick. Some of these works were made in collaboration with her dear friend and mentor Talli Jackson. She is currently also a member of Estado Flotante and Not For Retail. In 2016, she will be presenting her work at Gibney dance center in New York and CHI movement and arts center in Philadelphia.

Sara Roer is certified in both Thai Massage and Sen Theory (advanced practice) through Two Souls Thai Massage and is a registered member of the Thai Healing Alliance International. She has assisted Al Turner II in classes at Two Souls and the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and substituted at Dance New Amsterdam. Sara Roer got an early start dancing in North Carolina and became the youngest member of the Wilmington Independent Choreographers as well as a competitive gymnast before defecting to the North to earn her B.F.A., suma cum laude, at George Mason University. After moving to New York, she has had the pleasure of working as a founding dancer with b3w (Emily Berry) and the rehearsal director/dancer for danceTactics by Keith Thompson. She has also worked on projects with Susan Vencl, Heather McArdle, Karen Malpede and many others. She has presented her own work at various venues throughout NYC and NC.


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