Welcome to the Queerly Contemporary Festival 2020, a celebration of the diversity of emerging and established LGBTQ+ dance makers.Thank you and I hope you enjoy the work of these artists as much as I do. 

Choreography by Seán Curran
Performed by Seán Curran Company and Third Coast Percussion
Music by Third Coast Percussion and David Skidmore, "Reaction Yield" and "Torched & Wrecked"
Visual Design by Mark Randall
Lighting Design by Robert Wierzel
Costume Design by Liz Prince

Seán Curran Company:
Jack Blackmon, Dwayne Brown, Elizabeth Coker, Evan Copeland, Maurice Dowell, Benjamin Freedman, David Gonsier, Mariel Harris, Lauren Kravitz, Jin Ju Song-Begin

Third Coast Percussion:
Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, David Skidmore

This performance was part of a program commissioned by Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center at the University of Alabama. It was recorded at the BAM Harvey Theater on October 25, 2018.

"Abstract Concrete" was commissioned by Central Park Summerstage and premiered in 2000 with an original score by Tigger Benford. This 20th anniversary reimagining, performed as part of the BAM 2018 Next Wave Festival, includes music by Third Coast Percussion and David Skidmore, along with new costume, lighting, and visual designs. The expanded choreography incorporates signature material from Seán Curran Company’s repertory.

"Reaction Yield" was commissioned for Third Coast Percussion by Glenn D. Prestwich and the Sounds of Science Commissioning Club for the Ear Taxi Chicago Festival of New Music in 2016.

“Why keep time traveling if it doesn’t get better on the second time around?”

Mia J Martelli

Sound: “My Mistakes” by Eleanor Friedberger

I do not own the rights to this sound.

Filming, dancing, and editing by Mia Martelli

Filmed around Marblehead, Salem, and Swampscott, MA

a preview from process memoir 5: The indigo kid. 
Created and performed by Johnnie Cruise Mercer 
Music: Cocomotion by El Coco, Change is Everything by Son Lux, O Lord I'm Your Child by Elder Otis Jones. 

"insignificant others"

Zullo/RawMovement Movement

 John J Zullo

Performers: Maria Breza, Colleen Cintron, Mary Madsen, Marcus Phillips, Sandra Passarani, John J Zullo

Music: P Cline/Andy Roda, P. Vasks, The Tractors Revenge

City Center Studio 5 June 3, 2010


Seán Curran Company promotes contemporary dance through innovative performances of impeccably crafted work. Artistic Director Seán Curran offers audiences a richly poetic experience that includes the artistic vision of contemporary composers and visual artists as core collaborators. Founded in 1997, the company has toured to nearly 100 venues in the U.S., Europe and Asia and has presented home seasons in New York City at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dance Theater Workshop, The Joyce Theater, The Guggenheim Museum, New Victory Theater, 92nd Street Y/Harkness Dance Project, Danspace Project, Symphony Space, Central Park Summerstage and Celebrate Brooklyn. Artistic excellence has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project; New Music USA, O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and several private foundations. The company’s highly regarded service to the field includes donation of performances and classes to the American Civil Liberties Union NYC Chapter, Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Residence (a safe house for LGBTQ youth), Dancers Responding to AIDS and the Hetrick-Martin Institute.

Third Coast Percussion is a Grammy-winning, artist-run quartet of classically-trained percussionists from Chicago. For over ten years, the ensemble has forged a unique path in the musical landscape with performances that celebrate the extraordinary depth and breadth of musical possibilities in percussion. The ensemble has been praised for “commandingly elegant” (New York Times) performances, the “rare power” (Washington Post) of their recordings, and “an inspirational sense of fun and curiosity” (Minnesota Star-Tribune). The four members of Third Coast are also accomplished teachers, and since 2013, have served as ensemble-in-residence at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Third Coast Percussion maintains a busy touring schedule, with past performances in 33 of the 50 states plus Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Poland. The ensemble has collaborated with engineers at the University of Notre Dame, architects at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, dancers at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and musicians from traditions ranging from the mbira music of Zimbabwe’s Shona people, to indie rockers, to some of the world’s leading concert musicians. Third Coast Percussion has commissioned and premiered works from Philip Glass, Devonté Hynes, Donnacha Dennehy, Glenn Kotche, Lei Liang, Gavin Bryars, Christopher Cerrone, Marcos Balter, and today’s leading up-and-coming composers through their Emerging Composers Partnership Program.

Seán Curran’s (Choreographer, Artistic Director) career in the arts spans 30 years, beginning with traditional Irish step dancing as a child in Boston. Curran is known for his early performance work with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, receiving a “Bessie” award for his role in Secret Pastures, and as an original New York City cast member of STOMP! His 30 works for Seán Curran Company are characterized by collaborations across artistic genres and have toured to nearly 100 venues in the U.S., Europe and Asia. A sought-after choreographer and director for opera and theatre, notable projects include Salome (Opera Theatre of St. Louis, San Francisco Opera, Opera Montreal, San Diego Opera); Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night's Dream for The Shakespeare Theater; Shalimar the Clown, Ariadne on Naxos, Nixon in China, and Daughter of the Regiment at Opera Theater of St. Louis; NYC Opera productions of L'Etoile, Alcina, Turandot, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Capriccio, and Acis and Galetea; Shakespeare in the Park's As You Like It; the Metropolitan Opera's Romeo and Juliette; and Broadway’s James Joyce's The Dead, Cymbeline, and The Rivals at Lincoln Center Theater. A graduate and faculty member of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Curran now serves as Arts Professor and Chair of the Department of Dance.

Mia Martelli - Making dances provides me with the opportunity to listen to what sparks visceral responses in me. I'm drawn to the teamwork, power, and utilitarian physicality that exists in sports. I'm touched by the familiarity and tenderness that occurs within less-heroic physical acts of everyday life. I seek out the catharsis that comes from moving in a way only reserved for clubs or parties: unabashedly, joyously, rigorously. I curate these moments into abstract experiences where collaboration and curiosity live at the forefront and mood is highly considered. Dance, like theory, is my way of imagining the future. My dances are collages of futures that feel earnest, eclectic, and queer.

Johnnie Cruise Mercer - A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with BFA in Dance and Choreography, Johnnie has had the privilege of performing for, and collaborating with Monstah Black, Andre Zachery, Yon Tande, Ishmael Houston Jones (2018 remount of THEM), Netta Yerushalmy, Charles O. Andeson (Dance Theater X), Edisa Weeks (Delirious Dances), Antonio Ramos, and was a part of Ishmael Houston-Jones' and Miguel Gutierrez’s Bessie Award winning reconstruction/reimaging; Variations on Themes of Lost and Found; Scene from a Life and other works by John Bernd.


As a maker and artistic entrepreneur, Mercer is the Choreographic/Company Director of Johnnie Cruise Mercer/TheREDprojectNYC.

Previous process-memoirs, happenings, and material  have been commissioned/shared at the 92Y Harkness Dance Center, BAX- Brooklyn Arts Exchange, AUNTS @NYU Skirball, The NADA Conference, Abrons Arts Center, The Fusebox Festival (which received the 2018 Austin Critics Table Award for Best Toured Performance),  The 14streetY (presented by Zullo Raw Movement),  Danspace Project’s Winter 2019 Season (commissioned in partnership between The Stephen Petronio Residency Center, Danspace Project’s Commissioning Program, and New York State Danceforce), and at The Dixon Place (as a part of HOT! Festival 2019), 


Mercer is currently a 2019-2020 Artist in Residence at Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX). Follow him and his work on instagram: @jcruisem

John J Zullo, Artistic Director originally from the Bronx, New York and currently resides in NYC. He graduated from American University in 1996 with a Bachelors in Anthropology and 1999 with a Masters of Arts in Dance. Zullo/RawMovement has been performing at various venues in NYC since January 2010. Zullo/RawMovement was selected for the CUNY Dance Initiative Residency and is the artist-in-residence at City College for the creation of the new evening length work "Liable to Change" premiering fall 2017. RawMovement was presented at the 92nd Street Y, BAM for the Everybooty Festival June 2015 & 2016 and was selected for FLICfest 2015 at the Irondale Center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. RawMovement was co-presented at the Dance Complex in Cambridge, MA, and was presented at the American Dance Institute in Rockville, MD. RawMovement presented 3 seasons in New York City at the 14th Street Y October 2015 with the evening length "The Architecture of Proximity", "The Memory Suite" evening of three works at Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church 2013 and the evening length "How Brief Eternity" at Theater for the New City 2011. RawMovement has performed for the LaMaMa MOVES! festival 2013, as well as multiple evening presentations of works at Dixon Place and has shown work at Eden's Expressway at Movement Research, the Dumbo Dance Festival and the CoolNYC Festival at the John Ryan Theater in Dumbo, the Ailey Center, City Center Studio 5, Green Space, The LES Festival 2011 through 2016 at Theater for the New City. Zullo was selected for the LaMaMa Spoleto Open in Spoleto, Italy.

 In 2018 Zullo initiated the Queerly Contemporary Festival, which celebrates the diversity of LGBTQ+ artists. The 2020 iteration of the Festival will be presented virtually throughout the month of June.