Seminar in the City: Queer Performance

In cooperation with Fourth Arts Block and Dixon Place, this past spring semester CLAGS hosted Seminar in the City: Queer Performing Artist Series. Featured artist included the comedians Robin Cloud and Micia Mosely, choreographer Jen Abrams and performance works by Una Osato and Yalini Dream. The events were streamed live and audience members were invited to share in abbreviated perfomance segments and engage in conversation with the artists about the impact of queer identity on their work, the artistic process, and the relevancy and urgency of their creative subject matters in relation to the current state of world affairs.

Una Aya Osato was born and raised in NYC, where she works as a performer, writer, and educator. She has created award winning one-woman shows: JapJAP, Recess, and Keep It Movin’. Una has performed her own work and the work of others nationally and internationally in theaters, classrooms, community organizations, prisons and college campuses. She performed Recess and JapJAP here in NYC, in May, so check out:,, for more info.
About JapJAP:
Winner of the “Audience Choice Award” (FRIGID, 2011) for JapJAP, critically acclaimed team, playwright/performer Una Aya Osato and director Moises Belizario, bring their newest, freshest, full-bodied one-woman show. A politically, visually, emotionally provocative experience about body, identity, and their inextricability. JapJAP is trying to figure out who she is, tearing down borders and tearing off clothes. Her body is her only road map as she embarks on a journey through identity, culture, and history. JapJAP explores: how and what society projects upon us, the messages we’re told about ourselves, the places we’re told we belong, and how to piece ourselves all back together again.
Una is also a member of Brown Girls Burlesque, check out: for upcoming shows and more info.

Lankan Tamil Blood, Manchester Born, Texas bred and Brooklyn steeped, YaliniDream is a performance artist, activist, and facilitator. She conjures spirit through her unique blend of poetry, theater, song, and dance– reshaping reality and seeking peace through justice in the lands of earth, psyche, soul, and dream. One of the South Asian American community’s most prominent performance poets, YaliniDream has toured nationally throughout the US as well as performing in Canada, Europe & South Asia. She has performed in numerous venues ranging from NYC’s Lincoln Center and Dance Theater Workshop to subway cars to street protests to universities to independent theaters to the hottest clubs in the New York underground. YaliniDream was a driving force of APIA performance group Mango Tribe serving as Co-Artistic Director of the group in 2007. As a director, YaliniDream works to bring under-represented voices to center stage through community-based theater productions. She has facilitated workshops using art as a tool for empowerment in refugee camps in South India as well as war affected areas in the North and East of Sri Lanka. She also served as director and facilitator for Andolan’s Suk aur Duk Ki Kahani – a storytelling & theater project with Indian & Bangladeshi domestic workers in Queens which was part of the Culture Project’s Women Center Stage Festival. YaliniDream was a 2006 Mid-Atlantic Artists in Community Fellow, a panelist for the Leeway Foundation’s 2007 Transformation Awards, a 2008 Urban Arts Initiative Fellow & most recently a recipient of the Jerome Foundation’s Travel & Study Grant in Literature. As a movement artist YaliniDream draws upon the vocabulary of Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Laban Movement Analysis; US Urban dance forms such as Hip Hop & House; and South Asian folk and contemporary traditions. YaliniDream is also a trained aerial dancer in corde lisse who loves to fly– challenging notions of the seemingly impossible.