Gray canvas fabric shaped into wings and mounted on a white wall.

Native Intelligence / Innate Intelligence

Christopher K. Morgan
Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 7PM
Studio 1—Goodman

Contemporary-dance choreographer Christopher K. Morgan is artistic director of his namesake Washington, DC–based dance company, as well as Executive Artistic Director of Dance Place in DC and Director of the Dance Omi International Dance Collective in Ghent, NY. For his last work, Pōhaku (2016), Morgan diverged from his principal roll as choreographer of a contemporary-dance ensemble to create a personal solo that addressed his indigenous Hawaiian heritage and separation from his ancestral land. In Pōhaku, the choreographer explored the aesthetic and social complexities between Morgan’s Western modern and Indigenous Hawaiian dance lineages. Now continuing similar investigations with his company, Morgan’s new work Native Intelligence / Innate Intelligence incorporates modern dance, hula, Hawaiian chant, and live music to examine the location and meaning of home and belonging.

Morgan is at EMPAC to develop and build the set for Native Intelligence / Innate Intelligence by collaborating with mixed-media sculpture artist Brenda Mallory. Mallory uses cloth, fibers, beeswax, and found objects together with what she identifies as “crude hardware” to create works that imply tenuous connections or evidence of repair.

While Morgan and Mallory will be at work with EMPAC’s crew to construct the set of Native Intelligence / Innate Intelligence during the days of this residency, Morgan’s company dancers will work in the studio at night to develop a movement vocabulary from the materials designed for the stage set. These explorations  between the sculptural materials of the set in relationship to movement are the focus of this event.

In addition to the work-in-progress event, Morgan will be hosting a workshop for students. Space is limited, please contact the box office for more information.

Work-in-progress events offer a window into the research, development, and production of new works by artists in residence at EMPAC. These free events open up a dialogue between our audiences, artists, and EMPAC staff.

A public reception will follow the performance. Refreshments will be served.

Main Image: Brenda Mallory, Firehose Experiment #13 (bioform), (2019). Linen firehoses, paint, threaded rods, washers and bolts. Photo: Mario Gallucci.


Dates + Tickets

Work in Progress
Work in Progress: Native Intelligence / Innate Intelligence
Christopher K. Morgan
Thursday 20
7:00 PM
February 2020
Presented By

EMPAC Spring 2020



Native Intelligence / Innate Intelligence was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Native Intelligence / Innate Intelligence is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund and Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Maui Arts & Cultural Center and PA’I Foundation in partnership with Dance Place and NPN

Additional support from the Western Arts Alliance’s Native Launchpad Program.

EMPAC Spring 2020 presentations, residencies, and commissions are made possible by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts; and Vlaamse Gemeenschap, department of Culture, Youth, and Media.