Performances and conversations with choreographers Eleanor Hullihan, Rashaun Mitchell, Silas Riener and Mina Nishimura
Saturday, August 5, 2023
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center {120 College Street}
TICKETS – $15 General Admission / $10 BMCM+AC members + Students w/ID

11am roundtable conversation
7pm performances*

Part of the BMCM+AC Performance Initiative

This event brings together accomplished dance artists Eleanor Hullihan, Rashaun Mitchell, Silas Riener, and Mina Nishimura for a series of performances and conversations that examine Black Mountain College’s continuing influence on the world of dance. Join us for a roundtable conversation at 11am and dance performances beginning at 7pm.

BMC Dance is curated by Eleanor Hullihan.

Photo gallery:


Eleanor Hullihan + Zach Cooper
miniatures 2023
A series of miniature studies performed by Eleanor Hullihan and Zach Cooper. 

Eleanor Hullihan is a movement artist living in Asheville after many years dancing, teaching and creating performances in NYC. Her work is a journey of uncovering and physicalizing the delicate and magical internal world. She has performed with John Jasperse, Beth Gill, Andrew Ondrejcak, Sufjan Stevens, Jessica Dessner, Sarah Michelson, Miguel Gutierrez,  Jennifer Monson, Tere O’Connor, The Merce Cunningham Trust and Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener among others. Eleanor makes performances with Katy Pyle, Asli Bulbul, Emma Judkins, Adam Schatz, Zach Cooper and Jimmy Jolliff. She has been a contributing writer and curator for Movement Research. She is a movement coach for musicians and actors and maintains a pilates-based teaching practice for professional dancers and non dancers alike who seek deep and subtle support. Eleanor owned and operated two pilates studios in NYC and was on faculty at the American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and Sarah Lawrence College. Eleanor attended UNCSA as a high school student and has a BFA from NYU Tisch Dance.

Zach Cooper is a Grammy award winning composer, producer and songwriter based in Black Mountain, North Carolina. He has contributed to works by Leon Bridges, Jazmine Sullivan, Jon Batiste, Moses Sumney, Billy Porter, and Ellie Goulding, among others. Zach is also a founding member of experimental soul group King Garbage. His work has been featured in Pitchfork, The Fader, Rolling Stone, and Guitar World magazine, and he’s released records with RVNG Int’l, Styles Upon Styles and Mike Patton’s Ipecac Recordings.


Images of Eleanor Hullihan from Refinery29, photographed by Sunny Shokrae

Photo of Zach Cooper, courtesy of the artist

Photo of Zach Cooper, courtesy of the artist

Photos of Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener by Paula Lobo (first) and Alex John Beck (second)

Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener 
Performed by Mitchell and Riener, this performance draws from their embodied “Desire Lines” practice that combines movement, vocalization, and object manipulation into site-responsive, community-oriented performance installations. A desire line in landscape architecture refers to an unofficial route or social trail that breaks protocol with prescribed pathways, sometimes the shortest distance between two points, sometimes simply a good way to follow one’s curiosity. Desire lines represent an accumulated record of transformation in public space, a model for a permissive dance-making process that invites us to reimagine the self and its environment.

Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener are New York-based dance artists. Their work involves the building of collaborative worlds through improvisational techniques, digital technologies, and material construction. They met as dancers in the Merce Cunningham Dance company and since 2010 they have created over 25 multidisciplinary dance works including site-responsive installations, concert dances, gallery performances and dances for film in venues such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Barbican Centre, REDCAT, The Walker Art Center, and MoMA/PS1. Throughout they have maintained a commitment to queer culture and aesthetics. Their partnership intentionally blurs authorship and maintains a deep commitment to collaboration with a diverse community of dancers, performers, artists and cultural institutions.

Rashaun Mitchell graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2000 and since then has worked with many artists including: Chantal Yzermans, Donna Uchizono, Pam Tanowitz, Risa Jaroslow, Sara Rudner, Jonah Bokaer, Richard Colton, Deborah Hay, and Rebecca Lazier. He has received numerous awards: a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship, a Princess Grace Award: Dance Fellowship (2007), a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for sustained achievement in the work of Merce Cunningham 2004-2012 (2011), a Bessie for “Outstanding Emerging Choreographer” (2012), and a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Art (2013). He is a Cunningham Fellow and licensed stager of the repertory. His choreography has been presented in NYC by Danspace Project, Baryshnikov Arts Center, LMCC, La Mama Moves Festival, Mount Tremper Arts, Skirball Center at NYU, the Museum of Arts and Design, and at numerous venues and universities throughout the East Coast. He has been on faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and was a full-time Professor of Dance at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. In 2013 Mitchell and Riener were listed in Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” and were selected for LMCC”s inaugural Extended Life Dance Development Program.

Silas Riener is a graduate of Princeton University and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 2007-2012. He has performed with Chantal Yzermans, Takehiro Ueyama, Christopher Williams, Joanna Kotze, Jonah Bokaer, Rebecca Lazier, Tere O’Connor, Wally Cardona, and Kota Yamazaki. His own work has been curated at EMPAC, The Chocolate Factory, LMCC’s River to River Festival, The Serpentine Pavillion, and Danspace Project. His ongoing collaboration with artist Martha Friedman has resulted in works at Andrea Rosen Gallery 2, The Henry Museum, Locust Projects Miami, and Jessica Silverman Gallery.


Mina Nishimura
Untitled (confined madness / glorious zombie/ colored lines) is a practice of becoming a glorious zombie. No will power. No tangling thoughts. Supported by astral projection practice, peripherals of a performance site and images of marginalized beings, a body will keep being moved around without establishing anything. The work may incorporate colored line drawing in order to dig a well while flying high.

Mina Nishimura is a dance artist originally from Tokyo. Buddhism-influenced philosophical concepts are reflected across her somatic, performance and choreographic practices. She has been performing and collaborating with a number of groundbreaking artists, most recently including John Jasperse, Kota Yamazaki, Dean Moss, Yasuko Yokoshi and Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener. Nishimura is a recipient of Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award 2019, and was the 2021-22 Renewal Residency Artist at Danspace Project in NY, where she premiered Mapping a Forest while Searching for an Opposite Term of Exorcist in 2022. She currently teaches at Bennington College where she completed her MFA fellowship in 2021. 


Photos of Mina Nishimura by Shane Prudente

Photo of Zach Cooper, courtesy of the artist