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Lucy Sexton (photo by Paula Court)

It’s challenging to encapsulate the eclecticism of Movement Research’s 2017 spring performance festival, but co-curators Laurie Berg, Monstah Black, and Amy Khoshbin get at its core in their curatorial statement, which reads in part: “This place where movement blends with humor, sound paints the landscape, and visuals twist the mind into … surprise!” The festival’s title and theme, perhaps unsurprisingly, is “surprise! surprise(!) surprise/! surprise.” In addition to a festival-long exhibition of performance videos at Howl! Happening, nightly screenings, parties, and events will occur across the festival’s three venues in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Jersey City.

Dai Burger (photo courtesy Dai Burger)

The program for Saturday, June 3, at Mana Contemporary promises plenty of unexpected delights, with female rapper Dai Burger and experimental hip-hop artist LSDXOXO headlining an evening of performances at Mana Contemporary titled “Vertigo.” Before they take the stage, choreographer Jasmine Hearn, recording artist and DJ Manchildblack, movement duos Brother(hood) Dance! and BS Movement, and many more will perform throughout the Mana space.

Those who think that the art world takes itself a tad too seriously are in for a treat on the night of Monday, June 5, when Howl! hosts an evening of stand-up comedy cheekily titled “Pull It Sur Prize.” The night’s lineup includes choreographer Miguel Gutierrez, performer and musician Madison Krekel, and multidisciplinary artist Jennifer Sullivan, among others.

The festival ends on a high note with a double bill of performance artists Narcissister and Lucy Sexton on Tuesday, June 6 at Howl!. Both will do their part to prepare and empower the audience to overcome the surprises that lay ahead in our dark and difficult times.

Jasmine Hearn (photo by Scott Shaw)

When: through Tuesday, June 6; schedule varies daily
Where: Howl! Happening (6 East First Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan), C’mon Everybody (325 Franklin Avenue, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn), and Mana Contemporary (888 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey)

More info here.

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Benjamin Sutton

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...