Photos: Emily Johnson’s work-in-progress ‘Niicugni’

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In what ways are we defined by the place we come from—and what happens to us when we leave that place? Dancer/choreographer Emily Johnson grew up in Alaska, of Yup’ik descent, and her work uses stories and movement to examine concepts of belonging, identity and environment.

Her new piece, “Niicugni (Listen),” which has a work-in-progress showing at MASS MoCA on Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, explores the cellular connection between people and the land they live on. Performed by Johnson (who now lives in Minneapolis) and dancer Aretha Aoki, “Niicugni” unfolds within an installation of handmade salmon-skin lanterns that Johnson designed to evoke her home and heritage.

Where: MASS MoCA, 87 Marshall St., North Adams, Mass.
When: 8 p.m. Friday (11/16)
Tickets: $12
Info: (413) 662-2111 or


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