• PBS

photos by Jono Melamed (2023)

photos by Whitney Browne (2023)

E r y k a   D e l l e n b a c h (they)
is a genderfluid filmmaker, performance artist and educator based in the Sonoran Southwest (Turtle Island/US). Their embodied films and performances are rites of passage for themselves and collaborators driven by consent practices, inquisitive hedonisms, corporeal excavation and a belief in the capacity for mutual transformation through collaboration and art-as-life process. Their works mine relationships to power, the malleability of consciousness and psychophysical thresholds.

Their process and technique have been informed by studies in dances of resistance including Butoh, flamenco and martial arts. They are grateful to the teachers who have offered potent dances and knowledges influencing their path: Wendy Clinard & Sonia Sanchez (flamenco), Atsushi Takenouchi, Yumiko Yoshioka and Vangeline (Butoh), Chen Huixian (Chen Taiji) & Yunuen Rhi (Baguazhang), and Mestre Besouro Preto Manganga (capoeira). They have worked with artists across mediums including Yunuen Rhi, Martin Toloku, Atsushi Takenouchi, Tino Sehgal, Amanda Gutierrez, Tori Wrånes, Éva Mag, Matty Davis, Nola Sporn Smith, Amelia de Rudder/La Casa de Satanas and the band HOGG

Eryka has presented work at venues such as Alliance Française Kumasi (Ghana), crazinisT artisT studio (Ghana), Communitism (Greece), Movement Research at the Judson Memorial Church, Coaxial Arts (LA), Casa Moloch (MX), Lausanne Underground Music & Film Festival (Switzerland), Ann Arbor Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, Roulette Intermedium, Green River Cemetery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Intuit Outsider Art Museum, Links Hall, No Nation Gallery, and at the Shiryaevo Bienalle of Contemporary Art (Russia). They have been a resident artist at perfocraZe International Artist Residency (Ghana), eX...it! international butoh dance exchange and performance festival (Germany), Earthdance (MA), Echo Luna (Ukraine) and Cucalorus (NC).

They earned a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a master’s degree in Film, Video, New Media, Animation and Sound from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

They are a Senior Videographer and Editor at Arizona Public Media, and continue to work independently as a freelance filmmaker, performance artist, choreographer, educator and interviewer. They are a celluloid filmmaking instructor at MONO NO AWAREa collaborator of the transnational group HEKLER and an advocate with California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP). They are a board member of Movement Culture, LLC (Tucson, AZ).

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image by Raven Jackson


>>Read more at Vanessa Ague’s ROAD TO SOUND<<


music film for Jordan Reyes’ new album >>SAND LIKE STARDUST<<

featuring: Ryan Greenlee, ONO aka P Micheal Grego, travis, Connor Tomaka & Jordan Reyes, Contessa the horse

The experience of making Rebirth at Dusk was like a non-linear, acid-folk [mid]western heroes’ journey, with an emphasis on reckoning and transformation rather than a singular victory for a single hero. The film essentially traces the conversations Jordan and I had in development around the album's concept. We started by looking at the complex, many-layered history of the vaquero, and how the North American cowboy of contemporary imaginations descended from that through multiple stages of colonialism. The cowboy also symbolizes an eroticized hyper-masculinity for many people. Through talking with friends, pulling from my past life as a horse-girl and background in Butoh, I felt inclined to imagine the cowboy as an ecosensual outsider, someone scrappy and a little magical with an amorous love of the land, but who is reckoning with their identity’s legacy and ancestry. These juxtapositions had strong, resonant intersections with other elements, such as Jordan’s mixed Irish and Tejano heritage, the syncretization of the Aztec goddess Tonantzin and Our Lady of Guadalupe and the psychogeography and inhabitation history of the sites of industrial ruin in Chicago’s far south that we worked with. . .Our performing collaborators shaped their characters through their wardrobes and personal reactions to the open ‘cowboy’ prompt and we moved from there between a choreographic script and improvisation. One of my favorite moments was when, at the base of a dune, travis opened his suitcase full of clothes and props and exclaimed ‘this is an interrogation!’. The open creative structure combined with a distinctive group of powerful sites and formidable personalities created new avenues of collaboration and world building. I shot the whole video handheld on digital and 16mm expired celluloid mediums to emphasize the feeling of being in-the-world with the characters and locations and evoke the feeling of shifting in time and context.                                                -Eryka Dellenbach