luciana achugar

luciana achugar is a two-time Bessie Award recipient choreographer from Uruguay, based in Brooklyn, whose work is concerned with the post-colonial world, searching for an undoing of power structures from the inside out.

After graduating from Cal Arts in 1995 she moved to New York City to work with several influential choreographers including Jeremy Nelson, Will Swanson, Maria Hassabi, Chameckilerner and John Jasperse. She began making work in a close collaborative relationship with Levi Gonzalez, and later began making her own independent work in 2002; since then she has created more than ten dances. One of her Bessie-Award winning works, PURO DESEO, was also chosen as a 2010 TimeOUT NY’s Best of Dance.

Her work has been presented at The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, Abrons Arts Center, Danspace Project, New York Live Arts, The American Realness Festival, The River to River Festival, CANADA Gallery, and Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in New York; at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; at ShowBox LA in Los Angeles; at Le Mouvement-Performing the City Festival in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland; at the Teatro Solís, and the Centro Cultural de España en Montevideo and the Festival Iberoamericano de Danza in Uruguay, and many others. In 2015 she will present The Pleasure Project at the American Realness Festival in NYC and OTRO TEATRO at the Fusebox Festival in Austin, TX. achugar is an internationally lauded and sought after teacher, as well. She regularly teaches at Movement Research (NYC), and on invitation at Zenon (Minneapolis, MN), Swarthmore College (Philadelphia, PA), Universitat Düsseldorf (DEU), and others.

achugar has recently received accolades and support from Creative Capital, Guggenheim Fellowship, NEFA’s National Dance Project Grant, MAP Fund, Jerome Foundation; Dance Magazine’s 2011 “25 to Watch”; Foundation for Contemporary Arts; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council President’s 2009 Liberty Award for Choreography; 2008 New York Foundation for the Arts fellow in Choreography; a BAX10 “Passing it on Award” from Tere O’Connor; a 2009-2011 BAX Artist-in-Residence and a 2001-2003 Movement Research AIR, among others. Currently, she is an LMCC Extended Life Artist in Residence, a program of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, as well as an Artist cohort of The Hatchery Project, a collaborative residency between The Chocolate Factory, Live Arts Brewery/Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University, and Vermont Performance Lab. She recently received a 2015 MAP Fund Award, had OTRO TEATRO selected as "Best Touring Show" by Austin chronicle and was nominated for a 2015 Alpert Award in Choreography- this is her third nomination for this prestigious award.

Hatchery Project Artist | May 16- 27, 2015

An Epilogue for OTRO TEATRO: True Love

Hatchery Project Artist luciana achugar returned to MANCC following her premiere of OTRO TEATRO in spring 2014 to develop her next work, An Epilogue for OTRO TEATRO: True Love. While in residence, she continued the work of searching for another kind of theater, one that gives voice to the bodies’ essential desire to move, to set free a new “post-civilized” self and to resist western assumptions of beauty and order.

In An Epilogue for OTRO TEATRO: True Love, achugar considers the powerful community that developed during the creation and performance of OTRO TEATRO. She asks, if how we live in our bodies creates the world we inhabit, how might we build the bodies and, by extension, the world that we want? Rather than using the bodies of the dancers as more typical manufacturers of an external movement vocabulary, achugar considers how the movement work can be used to transform the body into a new and much-needed ‘“de-colonized” body. She also examines how changing the performers’ bodies potentially changes the bodies of those viewing the work. Her investigation is an attempt to move beyond the rational knowledge of the mind to a place of feeling, bodily experience and pleasure.

achugar used her time at MANCC to research the practice of unearthing the arcane body as the performance. She and her collaborators met with FSU Biology Faculty members Nora Underwood, Ph.D. and Brian Inouye, Ph.D. to discuss the nature of how living organisms influence each others evolution. Additionally, she worked with DJ Peter Jacobs and during a public work -in-progress showing experimented, along with the performers, with ideas related to the audience as a collective body, or an activated spectatorship. She also invited writer Jennifer Krasinski into the studio to witness the early stages of the creative process.

An Epilogue for OTRO TEATRO: True Love will premiere at Gibney Dance Center's  Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, co-presented by the Chocolate Factory, Dec 10-12 & 17-19, 2015.

This residency is part of The Hatchery Project, a collaborative residency initiative with The Chocolate Factory (Long Island City, NY), RED Arts Project (Philadelphia, PA), Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL), and Vermont Performance Lab (Guilford, VT) and is made possible with major funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and additional support by the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • luciana achugar
  • luciana achugar
  • Peter Jacobs and Nikima Jagudajev
  • OTRO TEATRO: The Epilogue showing
  • OTRO TEATRO: The Epilogue showing
  • Oren Barnoy
  • OTRO TEATRO: The Epilogue showing
  • OTRO TEATRO: The Epilogue showing
  • OTRO TEATRO: The Epilogue showing
  • OTRO TEATRO: The Epilogue showing
  • luciana achugar discussion the OTRO TEATRO: The Epilogue showing
  • Michael Mahalchick
  • Molly Lieber
  • Michael Mahalchick
  • Peter Jacobs
  • Oren Barnoy
  • Jennifer Krasinski
  • Molly Lieber
  • luciana achugar talks with her collaborators
  • OTRO TEATRO: The Epilogue
  • luciana achugar talks with her collaborators
  • FSU Biology Faculty members Nora Underwood and Brian Inouye talk with achugar
  • achugar and writer Jennifer Krasinski

Collaborators in Residence: Oren Barnoy, Nikima Jagudajev, Jennifer Kjos, Molly Lieber, Michael Mahalchick, Gillian Walsh [performers}, Peter Jacobs [performer/musician], Jennifer Krasinski [writer]. Slideshow photos by Chris Cameron 

Choreographic Fellow | October 14 – 27, 2007

The Sublime is Us

Achugar explored the ideas of transparency, honesty, humility, and vulnerability. She and her four dancers began shaping entrypoints to garner research about how audience and performers might create a communal dance ritual, where dancing feels like a necessary and unquestionable act and a celebration of sensuality and pleasure. 

"The Sublime is Us" premiered at Dance Theater Workshop in October 21 - November 1, 2008.

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Collaborators in Residence: Hilary Clark, Jennifer Kjos, Melanie Maar, JM Leary [dancers]. Slideshow photos by Kathryn Noletto Felis.

World Premiere

Emily Johnson

Then a Cunning Voice
August 19
PS122 (NYC)

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