The 2023 AXIS Choreo-Lab (“the Lab”) took place in-person at AXIS’ home base in Berkeley, CA Tuesday, May 30 – Saturday, June 10 2023.
Learn more about the artists and mentors below.
Photos above by Robert Suguitan
Co-Mentors and Facilitators
Nadia Adame, AXIS Artistic Director & Choreo-Lab Mentor
Nadia Adame is a Spanish multidisciplinary award-winning artist with a spinal cord injury. She studied Ballet & Flamenco at the Royal Dance Conservatory of Madrid and has a BA in Theatre from the University of Colorado. She was a company member with AXIS (2001-2003) and Candoco Dance Company (2007-2008). In 2004, she co-founded and was the Co-Artistic Director of Compañía Y in Spain, a multimedia and performance collective. Nadia’s credits include dance, theatre, commercial, and independent film projects in the UK, Spain, US, and Canada. As a performer, she has been featured in works by Stephen Petronio, Bill T. Jones, Arthur Pita, Rafael Bonachela, Davis Robertson, Sonya Delwaide, Marc Brew, Chevi Muraday and Asun Noales, among others. For more information, visit www.nadiaadame.com.
Christopher Unpezverde Núñez, Choreo-Lab Mentor
(b. Costa Rica, descendant of Mískito people) Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez is a Visually Impaired choreographer, dramaturg, educator and Disability advocate based in NYC. Núñez is a Jerome Hill Artist Fellow 23′, a Dance/USA Fellow 22′, a Princeton University Arts Fellow 22′, and a Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art Fellow 18′. His performances have been presented by The Joyce Theater, The Brooklyn Museum-The Immigrant Artist Biennale, The Kitchen, Danspace Project, Movement Research at The Judson Church, The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, CUE Art Foundation, Battery Dance Festival, Performance Mix Festival and Dixon Place, among others. His work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, The Dance Enthusiast and The Archive: The Leslie-Lohman Museum bi-annual journal. He has held residencies at Danspace Project, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), The Kitchen, Movement Research, Center for Performance Research, New Dance Alliance and Battery Dance Studios. As a performer, his most recent collaboration includes “Dressing Up for Civil Rights” by William Pope L, presented at MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art. Núñez was invited by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to share his story as a disabled and formally undocumented immigrant choreographer during Immigrant Heritage Week 2020. Núñez received his green card in 2018 and continues to be an advocate for the rights of undocumented disabled immigrants. https://unpezverde.com/
Davian Robinson (he/him) born in Hickory, North Carolina. He is a dancer/ choreographer, public speaker and former Paralympic athlete. He currently lives in Charlotte, NC, where he resides with his wife Tamara and guide dog Charlie. Davian completed his final year at UNC Charlotte earning degrees in both Dance and Exercise Science in Spring 2020. Davian has performed at Orsolina 28 and The Palace of Venaria in Italy, and in Charlotte, NC in UNC Charlotte Dance Concerts, MOVE Dance Alliance Concerts, Loose Leaves Showcase, and Reactions of Resistance. Notably, he was selected to perform in Adidas “Impossible is Nothing” spec commercial, produced by Sugar Pop Productions and directed by Meg Games in 2018. Davian has been featured in the Charlotte Observer, Inside UNC Charlotte, Charlotte Magazine, and on UNC-TV’s My Home, NC feature, Davian Robinson: Fearless. Davian founded and leads Sensory Beyond Sight: dance workshops which invite participants to experience movement without the use of their sight. Davian was invited to present Sensory Beyond Sight at the Alexander Technique national conference at Columbia University in New York, NY and perform original choreography at the historic Alhambra Ballroom. Davian is a professional Massage Therapist, cycling instructor, and holds a USA Paralympic National Title for the 1-kilometer Time Trial in cycling. Davian has been a Guest Artist and Collaborator with ShaLeigh Dance Works since 2019 and officially joined the company in 2021.
Sammie Murray is a multimedia artist, dancer, and creator who is immensely fascinated by anatomy, queerness, and monstrosity. They grew up based in a small town in Vermont where they became accustomed to living in the middle of nowhere and making friends with water bugs. Their interest in movement was cultivated in a third floor run down dance studio where mentors such as Isadora Snapp, Rose Leach, and Tracy Martin encouraged them into a career in the arts. During their time studying dance and bioethics at Mount Holyoke College, they have worked with Barbie Diewald, Shakia Barron, Sarah Lass, Jenny Bennet, Peter Jones, Jenny Oliver, and Tatiana Desardouin. Sammie has also trained with Bates Dance Festival, The Ailey School, David Dorfman Dance, Doug Varone, and AXIS Dance Company. Sammie’s choreographic and pedagogical research as a trans, autistic, queer artist values accessibility and is deeply invested in centering marginalized identities, human messiness, and pleasure as a form of resistance.
Saira (they/he/ze/she) started working at a Delaware dinner theater in 2007 and fell in love with the arts and the craft of creating. They studied costume design at The Theater School at DePaul University, graduating in 2013 with a BFA. Currently based in Seattle, Saira has produced over three dozen events in town with a variety of queer and erotic collectives. Their films and performance have shown nationally and internationally in theaters, nightclubs, parks and galleries.
Saira’s work builds nuanced representation and exultation of trans people, of disabled people and of Black people as these are some of the intersections that she/ze inhabits. Saira makes paintings, art objects, performance, writings and film. Across genre and medium, Saira is invested in crafting portals to an erotically fluent, bizarre and fruitful Afrofuture. His/their art spans mediums and venues considered both high and low art with the aim at weakening the barrier between the two. Saira is a student of transformative justice and disability justice who imbues their/her projects with a practice of centering accessibility.
Zara Anwar, Alaja Badalich, David Calhoun, Anna Gichan, Julie Hasushi, Z Jackson, JanpiStar, Louisa Marie
AXIS Choreo-Lab is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation