#celebratethework PSOH May 2020

Naomi Elena Ramirez, demetries morrow, and Manhattan Special NYC (Abbey McBride and Dakota Bouher) were scheduled to perform in CPR’s Performance Studio Open House […]

Naomi Elena Ramirez, demetries morrow, and Manhattan Special NYC (Abbey McBride and Dakota Bouher) were scheduled to perform in CPR’s Performance Studio Open House on May 19 curated by Remi Harris. Please find below some musings, inspirations and materials shared by the artists and join us in continuing to #celebratethework


PSOH March is curated by Remi Harris

Featuring work by:

Naomi Elena Ramirez

demetries morrow

Manhattan Special NYC


Serving as an incubator for the creation of new work, CPR – Center for Performance Research invites the public into the artistic process through Performance Studio Open House, a monthly series of informal works-in-progress showings held regularly throughout the year. Each installment is curated by a distinct CPR staff member or affiliate, and features a diverse group of choreographers and dancers from CPR’s community of renters. The series is free to the public, who are invited to share feedback in post-show conversations.

Free admission. $5 donation encouraged at the door (cash only).

Photo credit: Naomi Elena Ramirez (courtesy of the artist), Manhattan Special NYC (Shannon Hitchon) and demetries morrow (courtesy of the artist)


Naomi Elena Ramirez


Naomi Elena Ramirez (b. Hermosillo, Mexico) is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist whose work encompasses visual art, video art, performance art, and contemporary dance, and the process by which the different mediums can inform each other. Naomi has an MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a BA in Dance from the University of California at Berkeley. Her work has been exhibited/presented by Gallatin Gallery NYU, the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects, Movement Research at the Judson Church, DoublePlus at Gibney Dance; The Bronx Latin American Art Biennial; Nurture Art Gallery; Wallplay Gallery; The Situation Room, LA; Gallery 107, North Adams, MA; Arte Nuevo InteractivA, Mérida, Mexico; Northwestern University’s Performance Studies Conference In Bodies We Trust; New Voices in Live Performance at The Center for Performance Research; etc.  She is a recipient of the A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship for 2016/2017.  She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.M


Description of work:

Jumping off some of the ideas I explored in an earlier work, Conforming Line (score for one dancer), graphic score and performance, which addressed the interplay of the photographic frame and the dancing body.  In this process, I am revisiting this interaction of frame to figure in the mediums of video and photography.

This is a new development in my practice of graphic scoring for movement and dance which began with my piece, Conforming Line.  This is a look back to find a way forward.  Although in this instance I am not creating a graphic score, I am continuing my consideration of how the mediums inform each other, dance, video, and photography, influencing each other through shifts in materiality and viewer reception.
























demetries morrow

Photo credit: demetries morrow



demetries morrow is a movement explorer, choreographer, and arts administrator forever representing Mississippi no matter where he lives.

Description of work:

NoW & hErE? (working title)
Choreographed by: demetries morrow with a quick cameo from Mei-Mei Butcher
Performed by: demetries morrow
Music Credit (if desired): Dance No. 5 by Philip Glass







Manhattan Special

(Dakota Bouher and Abbey McBride)

Photo Credit: Manhattan Special



In recent years Dakota has been focused on collaboration and through that interest has created a collection of work entitled “A series of duets featuring two women”. Dakota has lived in New York City for four years, and in that time presented three of these such works, though there are in fact five total. She values intimacy in relationships, life experiences that make you say “Huh!”, and the messages that come from the dreamworld. She hopes to continue honoring the process, and living/growing inside the work even outside of the performative state. Dakota has performed in Eugene and Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Missoula, MT, Battle Lake, MN, Washington D.C., New Jersey, and New York, NY.

Abbey is a queer, bi-coastal movement artist researching the fusion of philosophical study and live performance art. Abbey’s work focuses on the ways we think about and engage with live performance. Her work uses improvisation, chance procedure, game and physical theater as tools to create an authentic and “lived” experience. Abbey believes  After graduating from the University of Oregon she traveled to Brussels to study at Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker’s school P.A.R.T.S. She focused on a range of contemporary techniques including improvisational study, movement thinking, FlyingLow, ballet and Rosas Repertory. She has been researching improvisation, physical theater and choreography in Brooklyn and since October 2018. Abbey has performed in Portland and Eugene OR, Boulder and Greeley, CO, Laramie WY, New York City, NY, Lewiston, ME and Brussels Belgium. 


Description of Work: 

“The butter ain’t burnt yet” is Manhattan Special’s first installation of an evening length work. This work takes shape while the choreographers, Dakota Bouher and Abbey McBride, consider the idea of physical monologue – how can, as movers, we tell our histories through movement monologues, or vignettes? Where do these two choreographers’ personal histories meet, and where do they differentiate? Abbey and Dakota are working on the analysis and distillation of their shared (and unshared) human experiences. Together, they are searching for the moments in the everyday that are specific and memorable. Using real life interactions as a springboard for the process. This work involves improvisation, chance procedure, and choreography. From this process, they hope to discover a way to transmit the essence of a single moment to the viewer. Utilizing physical humor, speech and play, the work deals with the question of how two people connect. The goal is to create a living and malleable work – we are always changing, and so is the dance. This work has been performed three times and will be the groundwork for further investigation. Each performance is research, and each rehearsal is a performance. Abbey and Dakota aren’t sure if the dance is only happening inside of the studio. When does life end and the dance begin? 


  • Histories: our personal experiences and lived research
  • Shared History: experiences two people have had with one another
  • Common History: separate, yet similar experiences that two people have in common with one another
  • Transmitting: energetic shared thought process


Photo Credit: Manhattan Special






Photo Credit: Manhattan Special












Thoughts on creating/collaborating during a worldwide pandemic – or, how physical distance in time and space are part of this work before and during quarantine: 


Overlapping experiences

Shared experiences

Sharing experiences near and far

Considering how we can take prior research and apply it to our new practices

A malleable work is one in which we can harvest nuggets of information and apply it to new practices and experiences

Focusing on the ways we can continue our lived works without a live audience? acknowledging that this is a challenge!

Photo Credit: Manhattan Special


Building a work by starting at the beginning:


Chronological ideas

Theme and variation

Life lived, time keeps passing

Living the same experiences more than once, or two people living the same experience (together or separate)



Collaborative Word Landscape: 

Words and phrases pulled form our process to develop dialogue, titles and material for the work. Some are derived from conversation, improvisations or writings.
























Photo Credit: Manhattan Special


How are we feeling right now? 


Feeling trapped and having to feed the creative process in new ways

Questioning how to find a sensation similar to live performance

How do we create a lived, authentic improvisational score via video? 



Improv Rehearsal description: Prompt – how does improvisation influence the development and solidification of material? 

Improvisation is a tool we use to fluidly and organically develop material that is personal and interpersonal. To get started we tend to dance freely, and develop a movement monologue or conversation between us. With this improvisation exercise we allow ourselves to accept what we like, or whatever is sticking with us, and hold on to that idea. In other words, we try to be nonjudgmental so that we can develop material that can later be edited, variated, and eventually solidified. (Sound: Monster Rally “Lovely You” & Romare “All Night”)


Quotes and thoughts from Gramma Carrie: 

“So I’ve been following your Instagram posts and I’ve had two recurring thoughts:

Tie me down so I don’t fly to NYC tonight…

And, am I not quite getting the title “the butter’s not burnt yet”. I get the precision of browning butter and catching it in that instant before it burns. But I thought it might be a meme or some cultural reference that I don’t know.

So I googled the phrase and the first thing that came up was your YouTube! I was transfixed!

Someone will have to tie me down so I don’t hop on a plane.”


Instagram Links:




****In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Performance Studio Open House: May has been postponed. CPR – Center for Performance Research will continue to actively and closely monitor this evolving situation. Updates will be shared on this page or can be found on our website: www.cprnyc.org****