Carrie Ahern Dance /Present Pariah Inc. creates and performs the choreographic works of Carrie Ahern. Subversive and difficult to categorize, her work is interdisciplinary and encompasses evenings of performance, participatory installations and workshops. The press have called Ahern and her work,“devastating”, “sizzling”,“not for the faint of heart”, “rare”, “invasive” “ambitious” “unexpected” ,”unpleasant”, “kind” “thoughtful” “charismatic” and “a sadist”. “This is not Swan Lake.”
I use my body to investigate spaces of taboo. I step out of my comfort zone to do extensive hands-on research in communities outside the artistic sphere. My research catapults me into exploration in the studio to distill my experiences. The process allows me to create performances that raise unexpectedly provocative questions and resist providing easy answers. These events challenge my audience to participate viscerally and emotionally in their themes: death (animal and human), pushing boundaries of the body and mind (liminal states) and human capacity for violence. By journeying into these forbidden areas empathy is embodied, ritualized and shared with my audience.
Carrie Ahern, a Wisconsin native, is an independent dance and performance artist who has been based in New York City since 1995. She worked primarily as a freelance performer/choreographer for over a dozen dance and theater companies until forming Carrie Ahern Dance in 2005.
Carrie Ahern was a 2011 NYFA BUILD grant recipient, a recipient of an LMCC Swing Space grant in 2009/10, a BAX space grant artist in 2007/08, a 2007 recipient of a Fractured Atlas’ Creative Development Grant.
EVENINGS INCLUDE: The death diptych: Borrowed Prey. Borrowed Prey: Part II (2013)premiered with the support of Alwan for the Arts in NYC & Borrowed Prey: Part I (2012) performed at Rainshadow Meats in Seattle and Dickson’s Farmstand Meats in NYC; SeNSATE (2009/10) a 3 hour multi-floored dance installation, performed at the 100-year- old former bathhouse, the Brooklyn Lyceum, 14 Wall--an underground bank vault presented by LMCC, Baltimore Theatre Project, Princeton University and Columbia University’s Anthropology Dept in conjunction with Rosalind Morris’ class “Cultures of Accusation”. Covers (2009) Ahern’s performance installation with crochet sculptress Olek, was performed for 3 weeks at rush hour for The LAB, a midtown storefront gallery. Her first collaboration with Olek was The Unity of Skin (2008) - commissioned by Danspace Project. Danspace Project and the Guggenheim/Works-and-Process commissioned the company’s first evening- Red (2006). Two solo commissions: From Bessie award winning dancer Carolyn Hall (2003) and actor/director Jeffrey Frace (2013).
Nationally and internationally, her work has been presented at Project: Space Available in Seattle, Baltimore Theatre Project, Danceworks and Walker’s Point Arts Center in Milwaukee, Le Regard du Cygne in Paris and at the Festival OFF in Avignon, France.
Carrie Ahern’s choreography has been a part of three collaborations with Alwan for the Arts. The inter- disciplinary Resonance project (2012-2014); Turath (2012)for ADC with composer Amir-El Saffar; Fashion in Performance (2011) with fashion designer Hana Sadiq and band New Prosthetics.
Ahern has taught master classes at the University of Washington, NYU, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee and School for Film and Television. She has taught experimental workshops in the art of burial,pig/human anatomy comparison,whole animal butchering and cross-pollinated with Nietzsche scholars (originally developed in Germany). She was a guest speaker at NYU for philosophy classes in Spectacle. Ahern co-presented at the ASTR/CORD conference in Seattle in November 2010 and co-wrote a dance/theater manifesto with Jeffrey Frace entitled: “Nursing a Beautiful Bastard”.