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Tnmot Aztro – Equators

Friday, October 12 2018
7:30 PM

EQUATORS is a solo dance piece developed and performed by Connecticut choreographer Arien Wilkerson that explores environmental justice as a major form of racial injustice. The work targets how climate structures like the Arctic Circle, the Tropic of Cancer, the Tropic of Capricorn, the Equator and the Antarctic Circle influence expectations for quality of life, order and territory. It demonstrates how emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being is affected by climate and how, in turn, climate influences the racial divides manifest in local geographies. EQUATORS touches on topics as wide ranging as the impact of zoning and gentrification, the deaths that take place within climate structures and how bodies react to human-made boundaries due to climate change and environmental unawareness.


If a hurricane knew it was killing thousands of people, if wildfires knew they were destroying homes, if earthquakes knew they were pummelling people into the ground, would they still do it? Could they control it? Audience members who attend this work will be asked to interrogate their expectations of and relationship to climate, bodies, anthropomorphism, police violence, and environmental waste.


EQUATORS was made in collaboration with installation artist David Borawski and lighting designer Jon-Paul LaRocco.



Arien Wilkerson is a choreographer, movement, video, and installation artist based in Hartford, CT. He has trained with Jolet Creary, and has been a student at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, The Artists Collective, Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts, and the Batsheva Dance Company’s “Gaga Intensive” in Tel Aviv, Israel. In 2008, he traveled to Cape Verde, Africa to participate in CulturArte, a youth arts residency program. There, he studied with Deborah Goffe (Artistic Director of Scapegoat Garden) and Mano Preto (Artistic Director of Raiz di Polon). As a high school senior in 2009, David Dorfman and Nicole Stanton selected Arien’s work for inclusion in Wesleyan University’s Dance Masters programming, recognizing his potential as a groundbreaking choreographer in New England.


In his role as founder and Artistic Director of TNMOT AZTRO, Arien prodcued ground-breaking performance works that have shown at art galleries, institutions and incubator spaces in Connecticut such as The Historic Town and County Club of Hartford, The Wadsworth Atheneum, University of Saint Joseph, Scapegoat Garden Center for Contemporary Dance, Ted Hershey Dance Marathon, New Britain Museum of Art, Connecticut Dance Alliance, The CT Dance Awards, Hartbeat Ensemble, Housatonic Community College Theater Arts, Amistad Center for Art & Culture, as well as Philadelphia-based venues Little Berlin, HighTide Gallery, and Vox Populi.


Wilkerson was listed as Take magazine’s 2017 “Artist to Watch” with a six page feature in the magazines Oct/Nov 2017 issue. In 2017 Wilkerson was also awarded the “Spirit of Juneteenth” Emerging Choreographer award given by The Amistad Center for Art and Culture Inside of The Wadsworth Atheneum. Most recently, he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” Grant and was selected as NEFA’S 2018 Rebecca Blunk Fund Awardee.

David Borawski lives and works in Hartford, Connecticut, and received his BFA from the Hartford Art School of the University of Hartford. A multi-media installation artist, his work is comprised of sculpture, video, drawing and digital imagery. Conceptually driven, the work reflects upon pop culture, radical politics, art history and the dark alleys of society while also incorporating personal experiences. Each installation combines multiple elements to present visual and mental signs, “clues” that evoke sub/conscious nostalgia as a means to provoke layers of possibilities. The focus is on iconic societal events that have influenced major shifts in our collective consciousness, suggesting connections while exposing them as uncanny precursors to present-day reality.

Jon-Paul LaRocco has spent the past 20 plus years working in all aspects of professional theater; Set and scenic design, as well as a professional freelance Technical Director, Rigging specialist, computer programmer, Stage Mechanical Engineer, Pyrotechnician, electrical and craft trades. His scope of work has included lighting and set design for major regional theaters in the New England Area, The tri-state area and abroad. He is currently the technical supervisor and resident lighting designer for two regional theaters and three community theaters in the Hartford Area. 

For more information please visit Tnmot Aztro’s Facebook page.

Follow Arien on Instagram @ariaztro

The visual arts gallery is currently closed for installation of Evening Botanist, opening First Friday, April 7th from 5-8pm.