Announcing New Work: Close & Personal

Sheena Johnson/REBEL HOME presents new work 

Close & Personal

photos by Indira Allegra, Crossover

Saturday, September 28th and Sunday, September 29th, 5:30-7:30pm.

The MilkBar*
851 81st Ave #223, Oakland, CA 94621
$15-20, no one turned away for lack of funds
Tickets available at: 

Through a series of provocative intimate encounters, Close & Personal re-attaches our daily lives to the things we hold most dear. In an age of severe disconnection and systemic violence how do we transform our collective sorrow and anger to imagine a way forward? 
This new site specific performance creates a moving communal experience integrating installation + dance + new music + laughter + film + food.
Evening highlights:  
Multimedia Performance by Indira Allegra, "Crossover"  
New Sound Design by Toni Lester, "For Nina" 
New music from band Ark of Bones 

Collaborating artists include: 
Sheena Johnson (dance+installation), Chris Evans (cello+dance+media), Indira Allegra (media+vocal), Manish Vaidya (performance), Jochelle Elise Pereña (performance), Jasmine Vassar (performance), Misia Denea (performance), Toni Lester (composer) & Ernest Jolly (visual designer) +  musicians David Boyce and Marshall Trammell

*The MilkBar is a unique and intimate arts space located in East Oakland in the Sunshine Biscuit Factory Complex, approximately 1 mile from the Oakland Coliseum on 81st Ave, 1/2 block east of San Leandro Ave.

You're invited to get 
Close & Personal 
by being part of Rebel Home's art-making

Check out our process videos & indiegogo campaign !

This season for the first time ever, we are releasing videos documenting our movement brainstorms, improvisations and collaborative conversations, and we are sharing them with YOU!  This is a unique opportunity to peek into our artistic process.

We'll be posting a new video on our indiegogo campaign page every few weeks so you can see how our show is progressing, and, if you feel inspired, contribute to the process by making a gift.  All gifts, large or small, help us reach our goal of raising $600 and go towards supporting this exciting collaborative project working to affect positive change and build community.

The Yellow House Project @ National Queer Arts Fesitval June 26-27th

Dancers : Atasiea/Kenneth L. Ferguson, Sheena Johnson
Photo © Kurt Loeffler /

The Yellow House Project
June 26-27th (Tue-Wed)
7:30pm Installation Opens, 8pm Show
848 Divisadero, SF

The Yellow House Project is a mullti-disciplinary performative remembrance of our inherited black queer legacies. Through various mediums (dance+theatre+poetry+film+installation) black queer artists "queer their roots" in effort to look at what we can all learn about love, loving and being loved through discovering and re-imagining our black LGBTQI ancestors.

Curated by Sheena Johnson/REBEL HOME DANCE (SJRH)

Featured Artists: Sheena Johnson, Indira Allegra, m. a. brooks and Nia King
SJRH Collaborators: Chris Evans, Kenneth L. Ferguson aka Atasiea, and Nzinga Woods 

Brown Paper Tickets $12-20:


MORE ABOUT The Yellow House Project 
from Curator Sheena Johnson

The backbone of The Yellow House Project is the story of my entrepreneurial great-grandmother, Ida Sue Brown, and her queer son, Billy Brown (who was murdered in Cleveland OH in 1982 because of how he dressed). Shortly after his murder my great grandmother died (it is said of a broken heart). She left a beautiful large yellow house to the family where she also housed her successful beauty parlor in Erie, PA.  Our family lost the house many years ago. It was condemned and bulldozed. Today a green field is all that remains- as if the house never existed.

The Yellow House Project is an attempt to re-imagine and re-build my family’s home in hopes of honoring the legacies of both my great uncle and my great-grandmother, and ultimately all the LGBTQI legacies we have inherited. How do we heal from intergenerational wounds of poverty, racism and homophobia?

Announcing New Work: LandHome



Occupation, displacement, and migration

photo credit: P.M, Lydon
Ernest Jolly's installation "Natural Reactions" with Sheena Johnson

Along with collaborators, Artistic Director Sheena Johnson will present an evening length experience that will expand and embrace those moments that bring us closer to finding a place to land.  LandHome uses a collage of imagery . . . broken weathered bodies, tree-scapes, gospel songs, rocks from a riverbank . . . It is a personal and collective rendering of how we create home in the places we happen to land.

Collaborating Artists: Chris Evans (sound, video, movement), Ernest Jolly (visual artist) & dance artists: Atasiea, Byb Chanel Bibene, Mary Ann Brooks, Jochelle Elise Pereña & Jasmine Vassar

Date: Friday March 30th & Saturday March 31st, 8pm

Location: Temescal Arts Center, 511 48th Street, Oakland
(between Telegraph & Shattuck)

Tickets: $12 in advance @ brownpapertickets
$15 @ the door
no one turned away for lack of funds

Sheena Johnson/REBEL HOME DANCE is a fiscally sponsored project of Dancers' Group.  This project is made possible through the generous support of the Zellerback Family Foundation and the City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program.

New Work: Mourning to Morning

Don't miss my one-time performance in response to Ernest Jolly's window installation site Natural Reaction with music by Chris Evans.
Evening will also include performances by multimedia artist and cellist Chris Evans and Bay Area Dance Company andanco entitled Aftermath. 

The details are below: 

Date: Friday, June 17,  8:30pm
Location: 155 Grove Street, SFAC Window Installation Site with a reception following the performance at the SFAC Main Gallery in the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Ave

The SFAC Gallery presents an evening of music, dance and art in a unique San Francisco setting. Under the early evening sky, we’ll gather on the sidewalk outside Bay Area artist Ernest Jolly's installation, Natural Reaction, in front of the SFAC Gallery Window Installation Site. Jolly has created an environment that incorporates elements such as water, wind, sound and light, and is inspired by a post- natural disaster sliver of shoreline. This moody and reflective installation is the perfect setting for a performative engagement.

MORE ABOUT Mourning to Morning
In this solo performance piece I am strongly influenced by the themes set forth by Natural Reaction in terms of environmental and urban industrial decay. I found myself as a dance artist thinking a lot about the decay of our bodies in the modern era (the prevalence of chronic disease and cancer for example) and about how the black female body relates and intersects with ideas of environmental and industrial decay. This took me directly to the image of the maid/mammy figure and its historical position within patriarchal white supremacist capitalist production. As this figure is very complex I used it as a jumping off point and the performance piece unfolds from there. Lastly, when I first thought about ideas of collapse, decay and erosion I was struck by an immense sense of mourning and to honor that I included original recordings of the black lesbian warrior poet Audre Lorde who died of cancer in 1992 to frame the performance, part of recording is from when she was close to her transition out of this life.

SJRH Benefit June 3rd! First Friday Performance Salon

Hello Everyone!

I was accepted to the Summer Leadership Institute lead by Urban Bush Women July 22-31 in New Orleans to study dance as a tool for social justice. Exciting!! Though I have received a partial tuition scholarship I still need to raise some funds to pay for lodging and my plane ticket. The goal is $1000! To raise funds I will be hosting a First Friday Performance Salon (w/ amazing performers) on June 3rd. If you can't make it please consider making a tax-deductible donation* of $10-$1,000 TODAY:

First Friday Performance Salon
June 3rd, 2011
6-9pm @ the Joyce Gordon Gallery 
406 14th St, Oakland (Near 12th Street BART)
Donations $10-$1,000 accepted &
 No one turned away for lack of funds. 

Donations will help send me to New Orleans to study dance as a tool for social justice with Urban Bush Women 

PERFORMERS INCLUDE: Valerie Troutt (vocalist), Chris Evans (cellist), Oluyemi & Ijeoma Thomas of Positive Knowledge (bass clarinet and vocal compositions), Sheena Johnson (dance/improvisation), Sheila Coleman (dance), Maisha Z. Johnson (poet), Indira Allegra (poet), Aqueila Lewis (poet)

*Sheena Johnson/REBEL HOME is a fiscally sponsored project of Dancers' Group. All donations are tax-deductible.

New Work: Freedom Study 1

Freedom Study 1 is a collaboration between SJRH and the multi-talented Chris Evans. The work will premier at the Black Choreographers Festival  on Feb 26th & 27th at Dance Mission.  Central to the work is the question: When have you felt most free?  Source material for the work includes interviews with people on the question posited and Plato's Allegory of the Cave.

MORE ABOUT Chris Evans: 

Chris Evans is a cellist, sound artist, video artist and dancer. Her interest is in interdisciplinary collaboration and improvisation and the potential for these collaborations to create artistic spaces for the play of imagination between artist and audience.

Recent collaborations include the Community Property show, at the Luggage Store Annex and In the Loop, at Space Gallery. She also regularly collaborates with Ernest Jolly to create soundscapes for his visual installations – Just off Shore, Patricia Sweetow Gallery; Alchemist Suite, Oakland Museum’s 555 12th Street Gallery.

She studied cello and chamber music at UC Davis, the Schola Cantorum in Paris, and improvisation at Mills College.  She has studied dance at the Centre de Danse du Marais, Shawl-Anderson, and Mills College. In Chris’ graduate work in Comparative Literature at San Francisco State and UC Davis she explored the aesthetic links between literature and music, focusing on Spanish literature, and folk and classical music traditions.


Black Choreographers Festival

Saturday & Sunday,
Feb 26 & 27th 2011,
8pm Sat & 7pm Sun
$15 General, $10 for kids 12 and under
Dance Mission Theater
3316 24th Street @ Mission
CLICK HERE for more details and to buy tickets

Alyce Finwall Dance Theater
Special Guests
Sheena Johnson /Christian Burns

Wednesday & Thursday, March 30-31, 2011
The Garage
975 Howard
CLICK HERE to buy tickets

Thanks for your support @ Women on the Way

Women on the Way Festival


                photo by Seluvaia Fonua, L to R: Sophia Leiby, Jochelle Perena, Nzinga Woods, Sheena Johnson (down center)

Choreographed by Sheena Johnson
Performed by Sheena Johnson, Peiling Kao, Sophia Leiby, Jochelle Perena and Nzinga Woods

Set Design by Ernest Jolly

January 14th, 16th & 27th @ 8pm 

The Garage, 975 Howard Street, 5th/6th Streets, SF 94103

$15-20 Reserve in advance limited seats!
If you reserve tickets by sending an email to part of proceeds will go to the SJRH; Otherwise you can purchase tickets at 
or at the door cash/checks only
 MORE ABOUT Land/Home:

"Land/Home" is an excavation of the self in space. As human beings we each seek, crave and create home for ourselves. How do we create a home that holds all the beauty and complexity of being people displaced from our homelands? How have our bodily encounters with and impositions upon land informed how we seek, crave and create home for ourselves?