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Tuesday, December 5, 2023 | 4-10 PM

Rubenstein Arts Center | von der Heyden Studio Theater


Production Credits:

Choreography: Michael Kliën
Concept: Michael Kliën and Alexander Strecker
Sound: Volkmar Kliën
Lighting Design: James Clotfelter
Stage Manager: Brooks Emanuel
Assistant Stage Manager: Savanna Woods

Ruby Lounge Space

Design: Marika Niko
Live music: Michael Grigoni
Refreshments: Duke CommuniTEA; Brandwein’s Bagels; Ninth Street Bakery

Core Research Group

Kate Alexandrite, Simone Barros, Barbara Dickinson, Lightsey Darst, Michael Kliën, David Malone, Marika Niko, Julia Piper, Alexander Strecker

Extended Research Group

Brooks Emanuel, Kathryn Kennedy, David Landes, Johann Montozzi-Wood, Rebecca Patterson-Markowitz

The “11th Organ I” draws from the communicational practices Raw Thinking Matrix (S. Valk), Social Dreaming (G. Lawrence), as well as Personal Cosmologies and Parliament (M. Kliën)

The 11th Organ was commissioned by Duke Arts at Duke University and co-sponsored by the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University and the Duke Dance Program.



Michael Kliën

Professor of the Practice of Dance

Michael Kliën is a choreographer and artist whose work has been situated worldwide. Kliën’s artistic practice encompasses interdisciplinary thinking, critical writing, curatorial projects, and, centrally, choreographic works equally at home in the Performing and Fine Arts. He has been commissioned by leading institutions such as Ballett Frankfurt, Martha Graham Dance Company, New Museum, PS122, Volksoper Wien, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Hayward Gallery, and ZKM. As Artistic Director/CEO of Daghdha (2003—2011, Ireland), Kliën developed a distinct movement aesthetic in correspondence with influential concepts of politically engaged choreography, performance, and dance. He received a Ph.D. from the Edinburgh College of Art in 2009. After living and working in Greece, he was appointed Professor at Duke University in 2017, inaugural director of the MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis in 2018, and director of the Laboratory for Social Choreography at the Kenan Institute of Ethics in 2020.





Akhil Sharma

Adele Schiff Professor of the Practice
Akhil Sharma is the author of the novels FAMILY LIFE and AN OBEDIENT FATHER. His short stories have appeared in The New YorkerThe Atlantic, and The Paris Review. They have been collected in the book A LIFE OF ADVENTURE AND DELIGHT. He has won a Guggenheim, the Folio Prize, and the International Dublin Literary Award. He teaches at Duke University.


Ara Wilson

Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies
Ara Wilson is an anthropologist and Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies at Duke University. She has conducted long-term fieldwork in Thailand and is the author of an ethnography, The Intimate Economies of Bangkok, and articles on a range of topics. While committed to the cool logic of empirical scholarship, Prof. Wilson is also a child of the downtown art world scene of late-mid-century New York City, with a youth spent around interdisciplinary experiments like assemblage and performance art. This Spring term she is teaching a mixed-level course on “The Feminist 1970s.”


Barbara Dickinson

Professor of the Practice Emerita of Dance and 11th Organ Research Group Member
Professor Emerita of the Practice of Dance at Duke University, served as Dance Program Director for eighteen years, and faculty member for 34 years. Founder and Artistic Director of the Ways and Means Dance Company from 1986-2002, and of Three For All from 1981-87, she has performed, taught and presented her choreography in schools, colleges, private studios and dance festivals throughout the United States. She has also created many full-length collaborative works. Her research in age and the dance artist produced a chapter in Staging Age, eds. Marshall and Lipscomb by Palgrave Macmillan, 2010; and “Margie Gillis: The Indelible Art of an Integrated Artist” in Dance Chronicle, 41:2, 2018. Currently, she works closely with Michael Kliën as part of his Laboratory for Social Choreography at Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics.


Corina Stan

Associate Professor of English
Corina Stan (BA, Sorbonne; MA, Denis Diderot; PhD, Duke University) is Associate Professor of comparative literature at Duke University. She works at the intersection of European history, arts, and literatures in English, French, German, Romanian, Spanish, and Dutch. She also has interests in continental philosophy and the history of ideas. She is the author of The Art of Distances: Ethical Thinking in Twentieth-Century Literature (Northwestern University Press, 2018) and co-editor, with Charlotte Sussman, of The Palgrave Handbook of European Migration in Literature and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023). She teaches courses on Modernism across the Arts, Political Theater, Nobel Literature, Community and Migration, Laws of Love and Obedience: Parents, Children, Rebels, History of Criticism, among others. She is an avid runner and enjoys playing the piano.


Daniel W. McShea

Professor of Biology
Dan McShea received his PhD in evolutionary biology from the University of Chicago, and in the years after that worked mainly on empirical projects having to do with large-scale trends in evolution, especially the putative trend in the complexity of organisms. In recent years, his research has turned to purpose, or teleology, where his focus is on developing a unified theory that explains how all goal-directed systems work. He has three books: 1) a philosophy of biology textbook with Alex Rosenberg (Duke), The Philosophy of Biology: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge); 2) Biology’s First Law (U. Chicago Press, with Robert Brandon, Duke) proposing a new law of biology; and 3) a sequel called The Missing Two Thirds of Evolutionary Theory (Cambridge U. Press, also with Robert Brandon). He has taught courses on the history of life, philosophy of biology, evolutionary trends, emotion, ethics, happiness, and purpose. When he’s not teaching or thinking about evolution and purpose, look for him on the tennis court.


David Benjamin Landes

Assistant Professor of the Practice, Thompson Writing Program and 11th Organ Research Group Member
David Landes is Assistant Professor of the Practice in Duke’s Thompson Writing Program. His multidisciplinary scholarship in communication draws upon the fields of rhetoric, media, cultural studies, performance studies, and musicology. As many fields have turned to “attention” as a useful methodological term for studying indeterminate phenomena, Landes’ research builds ways of tracking ongoing changes in “attention” itself—its constituting conditions, its infinite types, its situational dynamics, its strategic remakings—to service a changing world that outpaces our attentional practices.

Additionally, Landes is an ongoing collaborator for multiple editions of the New York Times Bestseller Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion, a book on rhetoric and argument taught in over 3000 college courses and published in 15 languages. Landes made its official Penguin Random House teacher’s guides for classroom integration.


David M. Malone

Professor of the Practice of Education and 11th Organ Research Group Member
David Malone is Professor of the Practice in the Program in Education, Arts & Sciences, Duke University. While at Duke he has taught courses in educational psychology, school psychology, service-learning/community-engaged pedagogies, educational research methods, and re-imagining education through the lens of justice and equity. In close collaboration with faculty colleagues, teachers in the Durham Public Schools, and local neighborhood community leaders, Professor Malone lead the  development a service-learning program that annually matches approximately five-hundred undergraduates as mentors/tutors to children and youth. This program evolved over time to become part of  a University-wide service-learning program that now supports more than 100 community-based academic courses across 35 academic departments – annually engaging more than 1300 undergraduates with local communities. Professor Malone served as the inaugural faculty director the Duke Service Learning Program. His scholarship focuses on student development in both K-12 schools and college. He is particularly interested in creating transformative learning experiences utilizing non-traditional experiential pedagogies such as immersive placed-based experiences, project-based learning, and service-learning. Professor Malone is currently working with colleagues across the Duke campus to re-imagine undergraduate education and to re-design the undergraduate curriculum in ways that move away from transactional instrumental models of learning – towards approaches that give greater focus to the development of desired student learning outcomes such as creativity, empathy, humility, joy in learning, perspective-taking, social equity, racial justice, personal meaning, civic responsibility, and the discovery of purpose.


David Toole

Director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics and Associate Professor of the Practice of Theology, Ethics, and Global Health
David Toole is director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics and Associate Professor of the Practice of Theology, Ethics, and Global Health. His teaching has included courses on ethics and global health, ethics and humanitarianism, ethics and Native America, and an introductory ethics course titled Challenges of Living an Ethical Life. He is the author of Waiting for Godot in Sarajevo: Theological Reflections on Nihilism, Tragedy, and Apocalypse and has been working for years on a book he may never finish titled What Are People For? Questions Concerning What It Means to be Human.


Eileen Chengyin Chow

Associate Professor of the Practice of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Eileen Cheng-yin Chow has worked as a cram school English teacher, literary translator, book designer, fudge and candy maker, conference interpreter, short order cook, magazine photographer, film subtitler, and lowly PA on set for Warner Brothers and Beijing Film Studios. Eileen is Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and Director of Graduate Studies of the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute at Duke University. Additionally at Duke, Eileen is a founding/core faculty member in the Asian American Diaspora Studies Program, the first such program in the U.S. South; and is the founding director of Duke Story Lab, a humanities lab dedicated to the study of stories and the communities that coalesce around them. Elsewhere, she is also director of the Shewo Institute of Chinese Journalism at Shih Hsin University in Taipei, Taiwan, and serves on the editorial boards of Biographical Literature, the LA Review of Books, Asia Society’s China Book Review, and with Carlos Rojas, is co-editor of the Sinotheory book series at Duke University Press.
Eileen’s teaching and research interests include literature, film and visual studies, popular culture (anime/manga, fandoms, media technologies), diaspora studies, and the history and cultures of Chinatowns around the world.
More academic details at; or find her @chowleen on socials.


Erika Weiberg

Assistant Professor of Classical Studies
Dr. Erika L. Weiberg researches and teaches Greek language and literature, with a focus on Greek poetry, gender and sexuality, and theory and reception. She received her PhD in Classics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016 and taught at Florida State University from 2016 to 2020, when she joined the faculty at Duke. Their first book, which is forthcoming from Oxford University Press, is titled Demanding Witness: Women and the Trauma of Homecoming in Greek Tragedy. In addition to multiple articles on Greek tragedy, Dr. Weiberg has also published on Ovid’s Ars Amatoria, Anne Carson’s translations of Euripides, and Sappho.


Gustavo M. Silva

Assistant Professor of Biology
The Silva lab ( investigates the underlying mechanisms by which gene expression is regulated at the transcriptional and translational levels in response to stress. We are also interested in understanding how the small protein modifier ubiquitin controls the dynamics of protein synthesis and degradation during stress, which are critical for physiology as proteins are the molecular effectors of the cell. Finally, we are elucidating mechanisms by which mutations to ubiquitin enzymes impair mitochondria function, energy metabolism, and cause cellular dysfunction and intellectual disabilities. We have received several awards from federal and private foundations, including being recognized as part of the inaugural cohort of the Science Diversity and Leadership Award from the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative.

In addition to research, Dr. Silva is an advocate for diversity, inclusion, and transformation in higher education, serving as a member of the Maximizing Access Committee from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), as a Discipline leader and ambassador for the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Scientists (ABRCMS), and as the co-founder and director of the Black Think Tank (, a Provost-sponsored initiative to promote the advancement of Black faculty at Duke. Dr. Silva is also the recipient of the 2023 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring at Duke University.


Jingqiu Guan

Assistant Professor of the Practice of Dance
Originally from Chengdu, China, Jingqiu Guan is a filmmaker, choreographer, scholar and dancer. Jingqiu has presented her dance films and documentaries in a number of film festivals in the US, the UK, India, Norway, Spain, Austria, Italy, Turkey, Mexico, mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. Centering voices and expressions of women, immigrants, people of color, as well as people of disabilities, her works engage with the exploration of cultural identities, motherhood, and address issues of racial justice and disability justice. Jingqiu’s most recent dance film First Dance 2.0 (2023) was selected as a winner at the Dance in Focus Film Festival: Reflections and was presented at the Music Center in downtown LA. Her dance film The Weight of Sugar (2021) won the “Outstanding Direction Award” from Manifest Dance-Film Festival in India and “Best Dance Film Award” from Black Lives Rising Dance Film Festival. Her dance documentary Family Portrait (2019) received the “Chinese Screendance Maker Award” from Hong Kong’s Jumping Frames International Video Dance Festival, a major award from San Francisco Dance Film Festival and the “Grand Jury Award”from Chicago’s In Motion Dance Film Festival. She is currently in post-production of a feature documentary that explores the intersection of dance and motherhood.

As a scholar, Jingqiu has published her research in the International Journal of Screendance Studies, Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies, The Journal of Media Practice and Education and Dialogs com a arte. Jingqiu has earned a PhD in Culture and Performance from UCLA, an MFA in Dance Performance from the University of Iowa, an Ed.M from Harvard, and a B.A in Economics and French from Saint Mary’s College (IN).


Johann Montozzi-Wood

Assistant Professor of the Practice of Theater Studies and 11th Organ Research Group Member
After graduating with a BFA in Musical Theatre, Johann (he/they) has performed over a decade in regional theaters, dance companies, amusement parks, and cruise lines around the world. They hold both an MA in Theatre Studies and an MFA in Physical Acting & Devised Performance. Johann’s most recent Actors’ Equity credit was performing the title role in the musical, Jelly’s Last Jam at Hatilloo Theatre and was awarded Memphis’ 2020 Ostrander’s Award for “Best Leading Actor in a Musical.” Johann is coming to Durham with his lovely husband, Bryan, and two cheeky felines from the University of Vermont where he was most recently an artist-in-residence directing and devising, what he calls, a “jazz queering” of the radio play version of It’s a Wonderful Life.

Currently, Johann continues to develop their creative research practice through a devised project called Grandfathered In based on the migration of two great grandfathers from different sides of his estranged, bi-racial family. In this piece, Johann is constructing a “queer re(mix)ology” that transposes uncanny lineages of migration and posits “mixedness as a queer epistemology” always in tension with a Black imaginary and a colonial past. Being brought up in Mississippi, Johann is returning home to the South but more fully realized as a Black queer artist-scholar, a creative midwife for emergent artists, and a slightly witchy facilitator of embodied story-weaving through queer performance, worldbuilding, and folk songs.


Joseph Richard Winters II

Alexander F. Hehmeyer Associate Professor of Religious Studies and African and African American Studies
My name is Joseph Winters and I am an associate professor at Duke University in Religious Studies and African and African American Studies. I hold secondary appointments in English and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. My interests lie at the intersection of black religious thought, black studies, and critical theory. My research examines the ways black literature and aesthetics develop alternative configurations of the sacred, profanation, piety, (black) spirit, and secularity in response to the religious underpinnings of anti-black violence and coloniality.

My first book, Hope Draped in Black: Race, Melancholy, and the Agony of Progress (Duke University Press, June 2016) examines how black literature and aesthetic practices challenge post-racial fantasies and triumphant accounts of freedom. The book shows how authors like WEB Du Bois and Toni Morrison link hope and possibility to melancholy, remembrance, and a recalcitrant sense of the tragic. My second book project (under contract with Duke University Press) is called Disturbing Profanity: Hip Hop, Black Aesthetics, and the Volatile Sacred.


Kay Jowers

Director for Just Environments at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability and the Kenan Institute for Ethics
Kay Jowers is Director for Just Environments at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability and the Kenan Institute for Ethics. Her work focuses on analyzing state regulatory and policy approaches to addressing environmental issues and engages with environmental equity, ethics, and justice in particular. She co-directs the Environmental Justice Lab, a collaboration with the Duke Economics Department.

Before joining the Nicholas Institute, Jowers worked as an environmental attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center and the University of Denver’s Environmental Law Clinic. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a J.D. with a concentration in environmental law from Tulane University Law School, a master’s degree in environmental health sciences from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of South Carolina.


Leah Torrey

Director for Special Initiatives at Duke Chapel
As director of special Initiatives at the Duke Chapel, the Rev. Leah Torrey is responsible for the design and implementation of Say the Thing: a rad experiment in storytelling as moral agency. This visionary experiment in collaboration with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, invites members of the Duke community to wrestle questions that ask: who have you been? who are you now? who do you hope to be?

Leah joined the Chapel after many years of working at Dartmouth College as the assistant director of social impact leadership at the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact, and before that as the multi-faith advisor at the Dartmouth Tucker Center for Spiritual and Ethical Living. Prior to working in higher education, she was a community organizer and worked for close to a decade on creating systemic change and building grassroots power in poor and rural communities. She earned a master of divinity from Harvard Divinity School and a bachelor of arts from Oberlin College. She is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church, and often finds herself called into working in liminal spaces and in roles of accompaniment.


M. Ronen Plesser

Professor of Physics
My research is in String Theory, the most ambitious attempt yet at a comprehensive theory of the fundamental structure of the universe. In some (rather imprecise) sense, string theory replaces the particles that form the fundamental building blocks for conventional theories (the fields, or wave phenomena, we observe are obtained starting from particles when we apply the principles of quantum mechanics) with objects that are not point-like but extended in one dimension – strings. At present, the theory is not precisely formulated, as we still seek the conceptual and technical tools needed. The structures we do have in hand suggest that, when formulated precisely, the theory will provide a consistent framework encompassing the two greatest achievements of twentieth century theoretical physics: Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which describes gravitational forces objects in terms of deformations of the geometry of spacetime; and quantum mechanics, a model of fundamental physics in which microscopic objects exhibit the properties of particles under some circumstances and those of waves under others. My own research centers on the crucial role played in the theory by geometric structures. There is an obvious role for geometry in a theory that incorporates gravitation, which as discussed above is tantamount to the geometry of spacetime. Related to this are several other, less obvious, geometric structures that play an important role in determining the physics of the theory. Indeed, advances in mathematics and in the physics of string theory have often been closely linked. An example of how the two fields have interacted in a surprising way is the ongoing story of mirror symmetry.


Marcia Rego

Associate Professor of the Practice, Thompson Writing Program
Marcia Rego holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, and teaches anthropology-themed, writing-intensive courses at Duke, where she is Director for Faculty Development and Assessment for the Thompson Writing Program. She is interested in performance studies, anthropology of the body, and the ethnography of language—written, spoken or otherwise performed.


Negar Mottahedeh

Professor of Literature
Negar Mottahedeh teaches media studies in the Program in Literature at Duke University. Her research on film, social media, and social movements in the Middle East has been published by Stanford University Press, Syracuse University Press, Duke University Press and in WIRED magazine, The Hill,, The Observer and The Wall Street Journal. She holds a PhD in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society from the University of Minnesota and a BA in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College.


Taylor Black

Assistant Professor of English
Taylor Black is Assistant Professor of English, specializing in 20th Century American Literature, Popular Music Studies, and Queer Theory.  He is currently working on two new projects: Cult of Personality: An American Romance, on the American fascination with cults and cult leaders and Butterfly on the Wheel, a critical biography of Quentin Crisp and cultural history of New York’s Downtown Arts scene during the 1980s. Black is the author of the 2023 book Style: A Queer Cosmology (NYU Press)

As a scholarly intervention, Style participates in the critical work of revival and attunement, revitalizing figures, terms, and ideas that have become too familiar. Returning to viewing the critic as a stylist, Style: A Queer Cosmology leans into the study of things and qualities that are immanent and elude paraphrase or social scientific categorization. Style is about the possible rather than the probable, singularity over universals, personality instead of identity, the emergent and not the new―the mystery of becoming.


Quran Karriem

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Quran is an experimental musician, media artist and theorist working primarily with electronic and algorithmic media. His research is concerned with human improvisation and automated decision, particularly insofar as they reproduce sovereign power and racial hierarchy through semi-autonomous knowledge systems. His work examines the power relations and ideologies that inhere in the design of digital systems, processes and interfaces, and is motivated by a concern with the operative and recursive nature of computational, racialized capital in postmodern sociotechnical assemblages.

A multiple award-winning software designer and former product executive, Quran has led development teams for a number of media and technology companies and applies a decade of direct experience with systems design, data management and organizational structure in the context of ‘start-up culture’ to social critique. His product initiatives have been recognized by such global research and trade bodies as Gartner Research, the Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association (GSMA), the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) and Frost & Sullivan.


Additional Participants

The following participants were unavailable to participate this time due to a last-minute conflict.

Anne-Gaelle Saliot

Associate Professor of Romance Studies

Anne-Gaëlle Saliot, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Romance Studies and Core Faculty of the Arts of the Moving Image program. A French native, she was first educated in France at the Lycée Henri IV (Paris) and the Sorbonne, before receiving her DPhil. from Oxford University in the U.K. She then went on to lead an academic career in French Studies in the U.S. She previously taught at the University of York (UK) and the Johns Hopkins University before coming to Duke.


Felwine Sarr

Anne-Marie Bryan Distinguished Professor of French and Francophone Studies

Felwine Sarr—a Senegalese writer, scholar, composer, and musician—is the Anne-Marie Bryan Distinguished Professor of Romance Studies at Duke University. His academic writings focus on the ecology of knowledges, contemporary African philosophy, political economics, and the history of religious ideas.


With Support from the 11th Organ Research Group

Alexander Strecker

PhD Candidate, Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Alexander Strecker is pursuing a PhD in Art, Art History and Visual Studies. His dissertation project, tentatively titled “Athens in Pieces: Toward a Reparative Art History,” uses a reparative framework to think about the effervescence of visual culture in the Greek capital since 2008 and its relationship to the city’s rich past and charged present. His work is committed to the fragmentary and the liquid, seeking to assemble new wholes while recognizing this process as ongoing and incomplete. He received a BA in English from Amherst College in 2013. Before coming to Duke, he lived in Paris and Athens for several years while working as a magazine editor and photography critic.

At Duke, he is part of the Laboratory for Social Choreography and S-1 Lab (Speculative Sensation). He has presented his research at transmediale (Berlin), the École normale supérieure (Paris), the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies (Birmingham), and the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts (USA). He has collaborated with various arts organizations across Europe: Onassis Stegi, ARTWORKS, Onassis AiR, Athens Photo Festival, VOID, Kunst Haus Wien, Paris Photo, Art Basel, as well as Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach Project.


Julia Piper

MFA | EIP ‘24
Julia Piper is an MFA Candidate in Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis with a focus on dance and ecology. She is an intersectional environmentalist and researches the connections between art making and ecological awareness. Julia is a current Climate Communications Fellow at Duke University and is working on her thesis performance for Spring 2024.


Kate Alexandrite

PhD Candidate, Computational Media, Arts & Cultures
Kate Alexandrite is an artist and theorist currently working toward a doctorate in Duke University’s interdisciplinary Computational Media, Arts & Cultures program. Alexandrite collaborates with choreographers, dancers and composer in multimedia installations and performances towards researching algorithmic processes as emergent in social being, and the resulting power of memory and ritual practices that long have organized larger intelligences and may continue to, if we understand their power is ours and at risk of being appropriated or forgotten.


Lightsey Darst

Poet, Program Director for the Arts and Humanities, Trinity College
Lightsey Darst is a poet, an arts writer, and a development strategist. Her fourth book of poetry, The Heiress/Ghost Acres (Coffee House Press, 2023) works towards an ethical mothering in America against political strife, pandemic, and the underlying injustices of racism and sexism. Her poetry has been praised by The New York Times and The Paris Review. Her arts and culture journalism has been published in the INDY Week, the Minneapolis City Pages, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and other publications. Currently, you can find her writing at her own newsletter, Now*ing. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, one for poetry and one for dance criticism. With three friends, she started and ran the dance service organization Durham Independent Dance Artists (DIDA; 2014-2020). She is a master’s student in Duke’s Graduate Liberal Studies program and works for Duke on the Trinity College development team.


Marika Niko

MFA | EIP ‘23
Marika Niko (she/they) is a choreographer, mover, and thinker from Japan. After being a nomad for most of her life ‒ Thailand, UK, the Netherlands, UAE, Japan ‒ she is currently based in the US. She graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi with a BA in Theater and Duke University’s Dance: Embodied interdisciplinary Praxis with an MFA in Dance. They are interested in using choreography as a tool to imagine, rehearse, and experience alternative forms of social organization. As a choreographer, curator, facilitator, and community-organizer, she creates situations that weave different relationships among humans, non-humans, space, and time. Their ongoing work Meshroom (2022 to present) proposes alternative and interdisciplinary ways of relating and thinking through dance by drawing upon two movement disciplines: social choreography and Japanese butoh. Duke Arts Admin Fellow 2023-24.


Simone Barros

MFA | EDA ‘23
Simone Barros creates films, plays, soundscapes and installations which breach the boundaries of solipsism to embark upon a symbiosis between the self and the other, between the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious to shatter these superficial binaries. In her filmmaking practice, distance and time become the material in the passing of temporal moments and traversal of spatial movements.

The 8th Floor by Shelley and Donald Rubin (2023), MONO XVI Cinematic Arts Festival (2022), Cosmic Rays Film Festival (2023), Cleveland International Film Festival (2019) and Chagrin Documentary Film Festival (2019) have screened Simone’s short experimental films. Third Coast International Audio Festival featured Simone’s soundscape in their 2020 Third Place Audio Festival Workshop and On Air Festival 2021 Official Selections included Simone’s audio drama. Cleveland Public Theatre produced Simone’s devised 10-minutes play, “Fail,” one act play, “The Forest Court,” staged a reading of her full length play, “Dating Godfrey,” and commissioned Simone to direct the short documentary film, “Station Hope: A Conversation.”