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river, river, river (2023)

A very hard conversation takes place between family members at a Panera Bread and it turns into a dance that turns into an experimental memoir and back into a dance using the structure of Trisha Brown’s Set And Reset—or what’s been gleaned about the dance’s structure from

YouTube and rumors.


Writer/Performer: Shannon Stewart

Dramaturgs: Iris McCloughan & Jody Kuehner

Co-director for full length version - Jody Kuehner

Text editors: Amy Lawless & Iris McCloughan

Sound & video editing support - Adam Sekuler

Photographs: Ian Douglas (Judson Church) 

Works cited: 

Brown, Trisha “Set & Reset/Reset” uploaded by Shawn Brush, 5 Sep. 2016. 


Set and Reset/Reset (2013) - Trisha Brown

Work Set by Keith Thompson 

Rutgers University


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. Both of her parents worked at Hanford as part of the massive effort to clean up the Superfund site. 


river, river, river was created within the container of re:FRAME, a collective of five choreographers who were based in the south working together to support artistic practice and disrupt US funding structures. 


re:FRAME has received support through the Contemporary Arts Center 2020-21 Commissioning Initiative with a grant from South Arts In partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. re:FRAME was a 2022 finalist for the National Dance Project and received a National Performance Network Creation Fund grant, and support from the Platforms Fund, a collaborative effort of Antenna, Ashé Cultural Art Center, Junebug Productions, The Black School and the Andy Warhol Foundation. A portion of artist fees and donations are shared with Columbia Riverkeeper to support the effort to clean up Hanford.


Hanford is located on the ancestral lands of the Wanapum, Nez Perce, Yakama, and Umatilla Nations who continue to work to restore and preserve its vitality. Trisha Brown was born in Aberdeen, WA approximately 260 miles from Hanford. 


Audience responses to river, river, river Part 1 (2023) 

river, river, river is quite extraordinary and beautiful and brutal, smart, raw, and crafted. There are so many inlets for the audience while at the same time being rigorously inside an experimental dance form.”


river, river, river somehow manages to make complexity exquisitely accessible.” 

“Thank you for staying with it. All of us lifers are emboldened by this work.”


“Funny, touching, virtuosic, weird, and delightful.” 

“There is an economy to the language that manages to put a lot into the bare minimum of words.” 


WIP Excerpt at Movement Research at Judson Church

Versions of river, river, river have been presented by:

December 11 & 12, 2019 - Jonathan Ferrara Gallery during the NPN Annual Conference (New Orleans, LA)

January 6, 2020 - Movement Research at the Judson Memorial Church (New York City. NY)

December 11, 2021 - January 2, 2022 - The Front Gallery (New Orleans, LA)

October 10, 2022 - Improspekcije Festival (Zagreb, Croatia)

November 17 & 18, 2022 - Conarté Queering Space (Monterrey, Mexico)

June 23 - 25, 2023 - Risk/Reward Festival (Portland, OR) 


Related Works:

Involuntary Park (2021)- Installation and one-on-one performance

river, river, river - a solo dance text (2022) - Print object/chapbook

river, river, river - looping studio (2022) - audio installation


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