Folk Incest
2018, Abrons Arts Center

FOLK INCEST is an evening length work. Five women sit, stand, walk, and speak—interrogating the relevance of abstraction via seemingly unpresentable content including the holocaust, sexual trauma, and fetishization of young girls. They are simultaneously creating a rape colony in the woods with tiny gnome men made in petri dishes, listening to Joan Baez, watching John Waters’ film Cry Baby, and performing an anti-rape chant from a highway upstate. As various pop cultural references, genres, and bodily traumas compress into each other the work’s biting humor offers catharsis, simultaneously taking down and making a case for abstraction.

Choreographed, Written, and Directed Juliana F. May
Songs and Lyrics Juliana F. May with text contributions by Leslie Cuyjet, Tess Dworman, Lucy Kaminsky, Molly Poerstel, Rebecca Wender
Performers Leslie Cuyjet, Tess Dworman, Lucy Kaminsky, Molly Poerstel, and Rebecca Wender
Sound Design Tatyana Tenenbaum
Lighting Design Madeline Best
Costume Styling Mariana Valencia
Dramaturgical Support Ita Segev

For more information on Folk Incest, including availability for touring and curation, please email

Juliana May researched, developed and honed FOLK INCEST with financial, administrative and residency support from the Dance in Process program at Gibney Dance with funds provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as a space grant from BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange with support from the New York State Council on the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additionally, the development of ‘Folk Incest’ was made possible in part by the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University, and grants from the Jerome Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2016. Folk Incest was created with support from the Abrons Arts Center through the Abrons AIRspace Residency Program, and individual support from our Leadership Circle donors including Amy Hass, Phoebe McBee, the McGue Millhiser Trust, Rachel Norton, Ory Slonim, Jackie and Victor Sprenger, and Sharon Teitlebaum.

Photos: Ian Douglas