Wednesday, December 17, 2008

End of year gift to Art! :)

I set up a new paypal account. Donations can be made by clicking on the "Send Money" tab and entering the email address
Thank you!

Friday, November 28, 2008

PSKS Outreach Day

On Wednesday the 19th I spent a delightful afternoon with some of the staff and clients from the non-profit Peace for the Streets by Kids on the Streets ( I showed them "Holding This For You". They had smart and thoughtful questions and comments. And then we made wrisbands together using the props from the film as embellisments. Everyone seemed to have a nice time. One even said, "This is the best art project we've had in a really long time!" YAY! Thanks PSKS!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Please Join Me 11/23

Hello friends and associates,
I am very pleased to be hosting a screening of my first film "Holding This For You". This is a culmination of a few years of hard work by a group of very talented individuals (please see below). I would be honored if you can join me Sunday, November 23, from 3:30-5:530 PM at Northwest Film Forum. Located at 1515 12th Ave, Seattle 98122. The film will show at 4 and will be accompanied by refreshments, a slideshow preview of my upcoming film "Tracings", and a silent art auction. Admittance is a suggested donation of $8-$20 at the door. I hope you can make it and please forward to anyone who may be interested.
Thank you very much,

Collaborators for "Holding This For You" include:
Benjamin Kasulke
Jason Staczek
Vinny Smith
Caoimhe Doyle
Courtland Premo
Tania Kupczak
Curtis Taylor
Alicia Graf
Ella Marie Gray

Support for "Holding This For You" in part from the Seattle Mayor's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs and produced in association with Northwest Film Forum.

Collaborators for "Tracings" include:
Benjamin Kasulke
Dave Hanagan
Michelle Henley
Nathan Hadley
Adam Rasmussen

Support for "Tracings" in part from 4Culture and produced in association with Northwest Film Forum

Thank you to Northwest Film Forum for the use of their theater as part of their Progress in Works grant.

Poster design by Christopher Hydinger with photgraphy by Kaija Cornett

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Genius is the recovery of childhood at will."

I heard this Arthur Rimbaud quote today on the radio and thought it quite lovely and true. I would never say I've come close to touching genius but I would say that my best work is done when I am in a child-like state.

The characteristics I identify as a childlike state that are vital to the creative process are:
-unwavering trust in oneself and one's place in the world
-belief that the world is there to support and love you
-emotions close to the surface and easily triggered
-easily wounded
-easily pleased
-hungry (figuratively speaking)
-lack of anxiety about the future
-lack of remembrance of the past
-lots of energy
-a total lack of self-judgement
-a belief that that you are important, you matter, someone wants to hear what you have to say
-a high tolerance for "ickyness" or really any uncomfortable situation
-lots of time (needed for contemplation, growth, rest..)
-life necessites provided for (adaquate food and shelter)

I think the list could go on much longer.
Do you have any you'd like to add?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

!!ArtsLaunch!! 10/25 8 pm

UPDATE: Please note solo has additional minute and a half of choreography since it was shown at 12mm and includes an ALL-NEW MASHUP! 6 songs in under 6 minutes!

Here's a head's up:
I will be performing a short solo excerpt from my upcoming film "Tracings" at this month's !!ArtsLaunch!! with "makeup" by Dave Hanagan.
Saturday, October 25 8pm (doors 7:30)
The Chapel Space at The Good Sheperd Center
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N.
$5-$15 suggested donation
6 dance numbers
3 musical numbers
2 visual artists
a discussion!

Photos by Dave Hanagan when the solo showed at OTB's 12MM

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Last night my first major work showed for the first time. I sat in the theater watching myself full screen and the 20 minute film felt as long as the three years it took me to produce it. I was so excruciatingly nervous. Who am I to think anyone would be the least bit interested in watching my perspective? Finally the credits rolled and APPLAUSE and even a couple of CHEERS. I felt baptized, atoned, smiled upon by grace. So I want to send a thank you out there. Thank you for accepting what I have to offer.

Monday, September 29, 2008

"Holding This For You" Premier at Local Sightings

"Holding This For You" will be premiering at the 11th annual Local Sightings film festival at Northwest Film Forum.
Please join me in FINALLY watching this on the big screen. After over three years of work the film is presented as part of a shorts program "Movement in Place"... "an examination of movement and technique" along with 10 other films, some of which are dance oriented as well.

The show is Sunday, October 5th at 9pm at NwFF, 1515 12th Ave. Tickets are available through or from their 24 hour hotline; 1-800-838-3006 and are only $6.12 for members and $9.70 general public.

A lounge is open afterwards where you can either spit in my face or congratulate me depending on how you feel about my work. I am so excited to be able to finally push this baby out into the world and hope you will join me for the occasion.

More info about the entire festival at:

photo credit: Kaija Cornett

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Tonight I made my first ever television appearance, a brief calendar spot on Nancy Guppy's Art Zone on The Seattle Channel; cable 21. Although obviously not a pro I think I handled myself ok. See for yourself.

It airs again:
Friday, September 26, 2008 12:00 a.m.
Friday, September 26, 2008 2:00 a.m.
Friday, September 26, 2008 9:00 p.m.
Friday, September 26, 2008 11:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 27, 2008 1:00 a.m.
Saturday, September 27, 2008 3:30 a.m.
Saturday, September 27, 2008 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 27, 2008 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 28, 2008 12:30 a.m.
Sunday, September 28, 2008 2:30 a.m.

Or online anytime at:
Just look for the show for 9/25/08

Thanks Nancy!

Monday, September 15, 2008

12 Min. Max

This Sunday and Monday the 21st and 22nd I will be performing live a short excerpt from my film 'Tracings' as part of the 30th anniversary exhibition of On The Boards' 12 Minutes Max.

This is what OTB has to say about the solo:
"Josephine’s Echopraxia stems from the mysterious choreographic world of Marissa Rae Niederhauser. This solo dance erupts elegantly into moments of meticulous rage then gracefully returns to a simple and sacred state of being."

Dave Hanagan will be helping with a visual art element and I have done my first garageband mix ever... so that I'm not performing it in the silence it was filmed in.

The show is at 7pm and costs $8.
OTB is located at 100 W. Roy in lower Queene Anne.
Come check it out!

Stay posted for these other upcoming events:
My film "Holding This For You" premiers at Local Sightings the first weekend of October.
I will also be performing the same solo from 'Tracings' at Artslaunch, end of October. I'm sure it will have morphed by then, so come see it both times :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Handmade Prop Jewelry

I've been making some sellable crafts for a fundrasing event I plan to have later this autumn.
Here is an advance look at some wrist cuffs and choker/bookmarks. They are made entirely out of repurposed materials (lots of pointe shoe ribbons!) and most of them have a prop from the shooting of "Holding This For You" incorporated into the design.

"Tracings" research

Something that persons outside of the dance community may not know is that most dancemakers do a lot of non-movement research in creating and preparing for the performance of a dance work.

My reading list for the creation of Tracings included:

Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigentic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life
by Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb with illustrations by Anna Zeligowski
Ghost Worlds: A Guide to Plotergeists, Portals, Eco-mist and Spirit Behavior
by Melba Goodwyn
The Knowing Body: Elements of Contemporary Performance and Dance
by Lousie Steinman
A Good and Happy Child (fiction)
by Justin Evans
The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories
chosen by Michael Cox and R.A.Gilbert
True Ghost Stories
Marchioness Townsend and Maude FFoulkes

In addition I did quite a lot of internet reading:

A New York Times bio on Marian Radke-Yarrow "The Anthropological Psychologist" 12/30/07
by Lauren Slater
A New Yorker article; "The Itch: It's Mysterious Power May Be A Clue to a New Theory About Brains and Bodies" 6/30/08
by Atule Gawande
"Brain Basics: Know Your Brain"
from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website
A Telegraph UK article; "Secrets of the Monster"
author unknown
The Stranger's slog comments on Seattle's pitifully impaled pigeons

Additional (unfortunately undocumented) web research on: epigenetics, pre-natal stress, maternal depression, trans-generational trauma, domestic abuse, peloria linnaria vulgaris (toadflax) and Carolus Linnaeus (founder of taxonomy), hauntings especially in the Seattle area, hydrangeas, the brain disorder Kuru found in the Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea.

I watched:
a lot of horror (haunting only) films. Some good, some awful.
Fox Sports Network's "Sports Science"
Youtube videos of hockey player Clint Malarchuk horrific accident.

My research also included a lot of free writing, rumination on my own memories and stories told to me by others; including one from my father about when he "cast the demons" out of a troubled young man while on a religious mission in the "deep south" only to have the young man (several years later) go on to decapitate a man on main street over a woman.

Other life experiences that became research include:
I spent time observing and interacting with a tweenage girl.
Went to a wedding.
Mourned the deaths I had been avoiding.
Taught myself to cry on cue. Decided it was too painful to ever try again.
Sorted through my great-grandmothers sewing box with my mother.
Comtemplated the possibility of a guiding hand, a god-like presence.
Observed up close the lives of animals in nature. In particular nest-building and rearing of baby birds.
Made handicrafts and lists.
Experienced deep rage.
Spent time alone.

I compiled a inspirational music mix. The set list is:

Black Eyes and Neckties: Apparition (entire album)
Coco Rosie: Ghost Horse and Stillborn (entire album)
Cloud Cult: Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes) (entire album)
Okkervil River: Another Radio Song, Forest, Black Sheep Boy, Garden, Missing Children
Elliott Smith: Bye, Don't Go Down, A Fond Farwell, Can't Make a Sound, King's Crossing, Memory Lane,Ostriches & Chirping
The Mountain Goats: Dilaudid, Up The Wolves
The Flaming Lips: Do You Realize?
Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter: Doralee, Reckless Burning
Rasputina: Endomorph, My Little Shirtwaist Fire, Stumpside
The Black Angels: The First Vietnamese War
Neutral Milk Hotel: Ghost
Trailer Bride: Ghost of Mae West, Hope Is A Thing With Feathers, Shilo, Skinny White Girl
Me First And The Gimme Gimmes: (Ghost) Riders In the Sky
Erykah Badu: The Healer
Death Cab for Cutie: I Will Follow You Into the Dark, Soul Meets Body
Mathew Sawyer & The Ghosts: In a Haunted House
The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir Obsessions
Slowdive: Trellisaze
Tegan and Sara: Walking With a Ghost

Oh, and I did some improvisational dance as well.

Original specimen of Peloria Linnaria Vulgaris from

Friday, August 29, 2008

Photos from "Tracings"

These are photos from my latest film project "Tracings". Photography credit goes to Dave Hanagan. This is a very small peek at the film. There are several other scenes, but the shooting schedule was so tight we didn't get as many stills taken as we would have liked.

Film shot on location in an 1870's house in rural Riverside, UT at the end of July.

The "Tracings" production crew was:
Ben Kasulke: dp, etc.
Dave Hanagan: camera assistant, etc.
Nathan Hadley: sound op
Michelle Henley: pa, etc.

produced in association with The Northwest Film Forum and 4Culture

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Photos From "Holding This For You"

The following are photos from my first film "Holding This For You". Slated for completion this autumn.
Photo credit goes to Kaija Cornett.

Production Crew:
Ben Kasulke- dp
Courtland Premo- 2nd camera
Curtis Taylor- set construction
Alicia Graf- costume construction
Michelle Henley- pa
Michel Tran- pa

Post-production Crew:
Jason Staczek- score
Caoimhe Doyle- foley
Vinny Smith- sound design
Tania Kupzcak- title design
Ella Marie Gray- violin
Eric Goetz- orchestrator

produced in association with The Northwest Film Forum and the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs

First Things First

An explanation of the name of the part of me that creates; "Josephines's Echopraxia".

Josephine- a character from Kafka's short story "The Mouse Folk". From Wikipedia (all quotes are Kafka):

Josephine is a rarity among the mouse people, for she has the innate ability to sing. She can not only sing, but she can sing beautifully, helping all the mouse people continue with their hardworking lives. Some of the mouse people dislike her and do not believe she is truly singing, while others gather round to listen to her, use her feeble vocal cords to their utmost strength, and treasure her femininity. Some of the mouse people wonder if Josephine is truly singing, for they wonder if mice can sing or if they simply just whistle? Depending on the position facing Josephine, her music sounds like great piping and sometimes it sounds like true music. At times, she pouts and stammers as a woman, bringing chaos and chatter amongst the people; yet, when she sings, she brings a hush to the crowd, and everyone realizes that she is special. They must protect their dear Josephine, for she is one of a kind.

"Sometimes I have the impression that our people sees its relationship with Josephine rather like this: that she, this fragile, vulnerable, somehow distinguished creature, in her opinion distinguished by her song, has been entrusted to us and that we must look after her; the reason for this is not clear to anyone, only the fact seems to be established. But what has been entrusted to one's care one does not laugh at; to do so would be a breach of duty; the utmost spite that the most spiteful amongst us can vent on Josephine is when they sometimes say: 'When we see Josephine it is no laughing matter."

As time progresses, people feel differently about Josephine and her music, thinking her pompous, thinking her lazy, and simultaneously thinking her a gift to the community. She rarely does her work, yet still gets her daily ration of food. When she injures herself barely, she works even less. No other mouse would be tolerated in the community.

Eventually, Josephine is missing; nobody can find her and everyone misses her music, her piping, and her singing. Yet, after enough time searching, she is lost, and gone forever. Their lives continue as normal.

"So perhaps we shall not miss so very much after all, while Josephine, for her part, delivered from earthly afflictions, which however to her mind are the privilege of chosen spirits, will happily lose herself in the countless throng of the heroes of our people, and soon, since we pursue no history, be accorded the heightened deliverance of being forgotten along with all her brethren."

Echopraxia as defined by as "the involuntary imitation of the movements of another person. Echopraxia is a feature of schizophrenia (especially the catatonic form), Tourette syndrome, and some other neurologic diseases. From echo + the Greek praxia meaning action".

Yes, it is perhaps a bit tongue in cheek. Half a joke and half how I really feel. This is what I do best, perhaps the only thing I am fit to do. Often, I just can't help myself. A compulsion bordering on disease. I feel stongly I have something important to give and it is the ONLY thing I have to give, but I am well aware it doesn't fill your belly, keep you dry and warm, or set your broken bones. I just hope it can stitch back together the flayed bits of your soul as the art of others has done time and time again for me.