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Apr 21, 2023 at 10:00 am – Apr 23, 2023 at 4:30 pm

Spaces of Interdependency: Performance and Movements in Non Fiction Practices

With Lucy Kerr, Yara Travieso, Georden West, Xavier Cha & Derek Howard. This workshop is presented with support from Pageant.

Please note: This workshop will be held in UnionDocs’ new space in Ridgewood!
We’re now at: 352 Onderdonk Ave, Ridgewood,  NY – 11385

How can we use the body and gestures for conceptual and narrative purposes? What is bodily and archival memory? How do we interact with the camera and between frames? What makes performance powerful?

Join former dancer and choreographer/filmmaker Lucy Kerr (Family Portrait, Site of Passage, Four Girl Trick) along with other acclaimed filmmakers, choreographers, to explore and think through the tensions surrounding the representation of the body in the process of image making. 

This workshop will take participants on a journey to investigate the gap between the body and its representation, its materiality and its image, to explore how movements can be translated/ transformed into choreography in film and live performance.

On Friday, filmmaker and choreographer Yara Travieso (Director, Third Trinity, La Medea) will share her experiences with performance and live filming.  On Saturday,  director of photography and director Derek Howard (Venda Los O jos (Blindfold), Cannibalizing The Conductor) will discuss the relation between the camera and the performers. Multimedia artist Georden West (Multimedia Artist, Playland) will discuss the use of gestures and their combination with archival material. On Sunday,  Xavier Cha (Artist and Movement Director, Ruthless Logic, Body Drama), will explore the production of the image and the apparatus attached to the body. Interested participants will also have the option to share a work in progress or discuss a current project.

Come spend a weekend exploring movements and choreographic processes to enrich or evolve your film and performance practice, and come away with inspiration, and connections that will help to guide your own work!

No dance or choreographic experience is required. Seats are limited, so sign up today!

NOTE: This workshop will require in-person participation from all participants. Each participant must present proof of vaccination. Any and all questions, please reach out to [email protected].


Open to everyone, though the workshop setting is best suited for filmmakers, film producers, choreographers, dancers, performance and media artists looking to develop the cinematic languages with which they can represent and incorporate movement.

$350 early bird registration by April 14th, 2023 at 11:59PM.

$400 regular registration.

For each workshop, UnionDocs will offer the equivalent of 2 full scholarships for participants from historically marginalized backgrounds, who are BIPOC,  living with disabilities, or NYC artists earning under 30% AMI (Area Median Income).

Applicants should reach out to [email protected] in order to fill out a scholarship inquiry by April 3rd, 2023.

The deposit is non-refundable. Should you need to cancel, you’ll receive half of your registration fee back until March 3rd. After March 3rd, the fee is non-refundable.

In order to keep costs down, this workshop is a BYOL, i.e. bring your own laptop. Students must be fully proficient using and operating their computers.

NOTE: To register for a workshop, students must pay in full via card, check, or cash.  After the early bird registration deadline of March 3rd, course fees are not refundable or transferable and any withdrawals or deadlines will result in the full cost of the class being forfeit. There will be no exceptions. To withdraw from a course please email info-at-uniondocs.org.

In the event that a workshop does not receive sufficient enrollment, it may be canceled. Students will be notified at least 48 hours prior to the start of a cancelled workshop and will be refunded within 5 business days. If we reschedule a workshop to another date, students are also entitled to a full refund. UnionDocs reserves the right to change instructors without prior notification, and to change class location and meeting times by up to an hour with 48 hours prior notice.

Please note: Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Friday, April 21: 10:00am - 4:30pm

10:00am – 10:30am Welcome & intros
10:30am – 12:30pm Intro by Lucy Kerr
12:30am – 2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm – 4:00pm Yara Travieso
4:00pm – 4:30pm Wrap up, additional exercises / discussion

Saturday, April 22: 10:00am - 4:30pm

10:00am – 10:30am Warm up, inspiring references, case study, review of previous day
10:30am – 12:30pm Derek Howard
12:30am – 2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm – 4:00pm Georden West (remote)
4:00pm – 4:30pm Wrap up, additional exercises / discussion

Sunday, April 23: 10:00am - 4:30pm

10:00am – 10:30am Warm up, inspiring references, case study, review of previous day
10:30am – 12:30pm Participant Work-in-Progress
12:30am – 2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm – 4:00pm Xavier Cha
4:00pm – 4:30pm Wrap up, additional exercises / discussion

Each day follows this general structure, with some minor variations and substitutions:


First Workshop Session




Second Workshop Session


Wrap Up


Lucy Kerr is a New York-based filmmaker, artist, choreographer, educator, and curator. Her work explores performance, whether it be performances of family, gender, class, labor, and identity or performance in cinema or the every day. In 2022, she was named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film in Filmmaker Magazine. Kerr received a dual MFA in Film/Video and Art from California Institute of the Arts on the Lillian Disney Scholarship.. Her feature film in progress, Family Portrait, garnered her the feature film grant from Austin Film Society, the AirFrance Prize from FIDLab, and the New Horizons Award from US in Progress. . Kerr’s projects have been presented by International Film Festival Rotterdam, FIDMarseille, San Sebastian International Film Festival, Reykjavik International Film Festival, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, REDCAT, Anthology Film Archives, Francois Ghebaly Gallery, The McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, The MAK Center Los Angeles, and others.

Georden West (b. 1992) is a multimedia artist of limit-experiences and speculative openings living in the American West. They are committed to curiosity and have no answers.
Georden’s first feature, PLAYLAND, is a recipient of the 2021 LEF Moving Image Fund and 2022 Frameline Completion Fund. It is executive produced by Nick Knight and Peter Luo and produced by Artless Media and Starlight Entertainment as a member of Starlight Entertainment’s Stars Collective. PLAYLAND was selected as one of the US features in post-production at the 2022 Gotham Week (formerly IFP) and the American Film Festival Poland’s US in Progress program. PLAYLAND premiered in the Tiger Competition at 2023 IFFR,
Named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” Georden was a 2021-22 Fine Arts Work Center Visual Arts Fellow and an alum of the 2022 Zurich Film Festival Academy. They are a 2021 Academy Gold Women’s Fellowship Finalist and won gold at the 46th Annual Student Academy Awards.

Yara Travieso is a Brooklyn based Cuban-Venezuelan-American artist, writer, director, filmmaker, & choreographer. Her films, performances, & protests are informed by a hyper-feminist telenovela-queeralism. VICE describes La Medea, Travieso’s touring production as “A modern-day Medea is mythology’s ‘Nasty Woman’.” She is a 2023 Resident Artist with NYC’s Chelsea Factory, a 2021 New York State Council For The Arts Individual Artist in Film & Media grant recipient, a 2019 United States Artist Fellow, a 2016 Creative Capital recipient, and a 2014 winner of The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Grant via The Ford Foundation. She is currently on faculty at The Juilliard School, where she also received a Dance BFA. Her productions have been featured in NYC’s Park Avenue Armory, Lincoln Center, Performance Space NY, The Public Theater, The Knockdown Center, The High Line, Opéra National de Lorraine France, New World Symphony Center, & The Experimental Media Performing Arts Center among others.

Xavier Cha‘s performance-based works and videos grapple with architectures of subjectivity, illusions of agency, what it means to be human with a physical body in a capitalistic-digital age where we exist as consumer and product. Collaboration is central to the work. Specialized participants, generally performers in fields outside of the contemporary art world, play prominent roles in extracting the sublimated and magnifying an estranged or alienated human experience within inescapable systems of exchange, consumption, and communication. Cha directs actors, dancers, or other professionals through focused, controlled scenarios, where the challenged expression of their expertise- often pushing performers to extremes- reveals the body as an enigmatic conduit, a malleable corporeal/ psycho/ social system. Attuned to ways in which the body is watched, and conveyed, immersed within heightened circuits of surveillance, marketing, voyeurism and self-spectatorship, Cha examines how mediating frames- screens, sets, and the omnipotent lens of the camera- shape behaviors and refine gesture.

Derek Howard is a director of photography and director currently based in New York City. After graduating with honors with a BFA from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, he moved to Berlin, where he began assistant directing and shooting for renowned filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky (“Vivan Las Antipodas, Varicella, Aquarela”). Immersed in the world of creative documentary, video art, and hybrid formats, Derek established himself as a risk taking, energetic, and innovative filmmaker with a focus on LGBTQ+ representation, dance, extreme nature, and climate change stories. His collaborations have led to premieres at many A-list film festivals, and prestigious art institutors such as the Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, and MOMA PS1. He has participated in the IDFA Summer School, IDFAcademy, Reykjavik Trans Atlantic Talent Lab, Berlinale Talents program, and the Filming in the Amazon residency led by Apichatpong Weserthat. Most recently, Derek shot award-winning filmmaker Emelie Mahdavian’s debut feature “Bitterbrush (Telluride 2021), celebrated visual artist Alison O’Daniel’s debut feature “The Tube Thieves” (Sundance 2023), and award-winning filmmaker Tracy Tragos’s “Plan C” (Sundance 2023).

Pageant is an artist-run performance space in Brooklyn, NY founded with the vision of supporting experimental dance and performance work by artists at varying stages of their career, regardless of their access to institutional support. In a city where resources are scarce, we aim to provide an alternative model for supporting artists to take creative risks in their practice, and to develop a body of work. We opened our doors in April 2022 through a major community fundraising effort and are sustained today through the work of our volunteer organizers.

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Apr 21, 2023 at 10:00 am
Apr 23, 2023 at 4:30 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
QUEENS, NY 11385 United States
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