Dance Innovators Series:

river, river, river + ANIMIST

two new works by

Shannon Stewart + Haruko Crow Nishimura

Aug 9  | 7:30 PM

12th Ave Arts | 1620 12th Ave


Run Time: 70 mins

Individual Tickets: $20-50 | DI Series: $45-150

On this night of Dance Innovators, Shannon Stewart will perform her 30 minute work entitled river, river, river and Haruko Crow Nishimura will perform a new 30 minute work entitled “Animist”


river, river, river is a body of work that encapsulates a print publication, multiple installations and a series of performances. The solo performance – part 1 (28 minutes)  was created as a succinct evening length work to be paired with local artists and water stewards to hold multi-layered conversations about place, belonging, relationship to colonial history, art lineages, and mental health. Shannon grew up in what is referred to as Richland, Washington and graduated from Richland High School, home of the “Bombers.” Both of her parents worked at Hanford as part of the massive effort to clean up the Superfund site.


ANIMIST | This work under development  is part of a larger work entitled Anima Mundi. an exploration of our connection to the rest of the natural world and to each other, and challenges our human centric perceptions. The work is being devised through listening to our deep sensorial skin in order to change the way we care for the world around us. It works with the internal battles of our perceptions that obscure the actions needed to connect and heal. At the same time it  is inspired by the ways that human beings have been able to cultivate interconnectedness with each other and to nature through ceremony, ritual and finding connection to our animal senses. This ongoing work channels these connective practices through play, embodied movement, feminine power, vibrational sound and shadows to summon supernatural beings and reveal other dimensions.



Dance Innovators is a festival-style performance series that provides a glimpse into the current explorative work of celebrated faculty from Seattle Festival of Dance + Improvisation 2024. Each work will be presented in a low tech, low stakes format with the goal of sharing performative research with SFD+I’s Participants and Seattle’s contemporary performance community. This year the artists of Physical Education (keyon gaskin, Lu Yim, Allie Hankins, Takahiro Yamamoto) will perform on Thursday, August 8, Crow Nishimura from Degenerate Art Ensemble and Shannon Stewart will share work on Friday, August 9, Makisig Akin and Anya Cloud will perform an evening length work on Saturday, August 10.

Tickets to all three performances of Dance Innovators are included in full Research Week packages. Audience members outside of SFD+I can purchase individual show tickets.


HARUKO CROW NISHIMURA is a dancer, vocalist and artistic director of Degenerate Art Ensemble (DAE). Her unique style of movement is informed by her somatic practices of embodiment and imagery rooted in physical theater and Butoh dance. In her work, she combines projected imagery with movement and live sound to create new mythologies, revealing other dimensions, challenging reality in a multi-dimensional storytelling experience. Highlights of her work include a residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, a commission from director Robert Wilson, a solo dance with Kronos Quartet and a performance for choreographer Anna Halprin’s 95th birthday celebration. Her recent work Skeleton Flower was shown at the International Festival of Contemporary Dance in Mexico City, the Hans Christian Andersen Festival in Denmark and premiered in San Francisco at ODC Theater 2024. Her collaboration with sculptor Senga Nengudi and musician Yuniya Kwon and DAE had its premier at NY Live Arts in November of 2023 and will be presented in Seattle at On the Boards, and her newest work Anima Mundi will be shown in-part at the Seattle Symphony’s space Octave 9.

She is a Guggenheim Fellow, a recipient of Dale Chihully / Artist Trust Innovators Award and a Creative Capital Awardee.

Born in the South and raised in the mountains and DIY music scenes of the Pacific Northwest, shannon stewart | screaming traps explores the intersection of dance with embodied identities and social choreographies.  Shannon’s choreographic research approaches the creative process as a way to understand what is constructed, erased, and reconstituted–revealing subtext, embodied archives, and working for a more active engagement with systemic exclusionary choreographies that exist inside and beyond the studio. This influences the form and feeling of her/their work as it often takes place in unconventional settings, brings dance into conversation with other issues and modalities, and uses choreographic thinking to imagine new possibilities of meaning making. In 2022-23, Shannon’s work was presented by the Wasserman Projects (Detroit), Risk/Reward (PDX), Improspekcije Festival (Zagreb), and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Art (Monterrey, Mexico), the Carrol Gallery at Tulane University, and the Front Gallery (New Orleans). Shannon has been the recipient of funding awards from the New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project Production (Finalist), National Performance Network, Foundation for Contemporary Art, and residencies from the UCROSS Foundation, Art Omi, and the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, among others.

As a performer and collaborator, shannon has worked with Cherdonna Shinatra, Matty Davis Williams, Aurora Nealand, Deborah Hay, Christopher Matthews, tEEth performance/Angelle Hebert, tahini holt, zoe | juniper, salt horse, Dayna Hanson, Pat Graney and has also performed the work of visual artists Tino Sehgal and Joan Jonas. They co-founded the Vera Project in Seattle and wrote  a book documenting underground music culture nationally. 

shannon has a Masters of Fine Arts from Tulane University in Interdisciplinary Dance Performance and a BA in Urban Design from the University of Washington. She is an Assistant Professor of Contemporary Dance at the University of Kansas and lives part- time in Detroit, Michigan (Waawiyatanong) with her partner and dog.


12th Avenue Arts is fully accessible for wheelchairs and walkers. The lobby, bathrooms and theater spaces are at street level, and seating is available without the need for an elevator or stairs. ASL interpretation will be provided at one of the performances. Bathrooms will be gender neutral.

For specific questions and accommodations, please contact Shirley at operations@velocitydancecenter.or


The Seattle Festival of Dance + Improvisation is made possible with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, ArtsFund, and 4Culture. It is also supported by our community of individual donors, community partners, and arts advocates. 


The Seattle Festival of Dance + Improvisation is made possible with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, ArtsFund, and 4Culture. It is also supported by our community of individual donors, community partners, and arts advocates.