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© Gema Galiana

Being Future Being: Inside/Outwards

Emily Johnson

Celebrated for a distinguished body of dance works, Yup’ik artist Emily Johnson creates performance gatherings that center reworlding practices, Indigenous knowledge, and the sovereignty of communities, land and more-than-humxn kin. Being Future Being conjures present joy and delves into the power of creation to build an aural, visual and ancestral landscape of Indigenous power.  

Featuring a stellar cast of performers and an original score in collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Raven Chacon, Being Future Being is a multilayered performance for the stage, and beyond—a portal, a care processional, a site for transformation. As it (re)builds new visions of the forces that brought this world into being, Being Future Being invites audiences to become part of creating a radically-just and Indigenized future, one we can live in now and foster for generations to come.

General info

About the artist

Courtesy of the artist

Emily Johnson (Lenapehoking/New York) Catalyst

Emily Johnson is an artist who makes body-based work. She is a land and water protector and an organizer for justice, sovereignty and well-being.

Full biography

Media Coverage

“Johnson makes little distinction between her art and her activism. Of Yup’ik descent, she’s an advocate for decolonization in many senses.”

Brian Seibert, The New Yorker (United States), 24-10-2022

“Merging art and activism, Johnson’s expansive work [draws] our attention to the land beneath and around us — to what has been here before and what could be in the future.”

Siobhan Burke, The New York Times (United States), 23-10-2022

“Johnson’s skill turns this staged event into something beyond theater. […] She has brought us to a different place altogether where each tree, animal, rock, flowing stream, and star is oracular. Everything is part of this breathing spirit and central to Indigeneity. Johnson has revealed the arcane. It’s a compelling vision.”

Catherine Tharin, The Dance Enthusiast (United States), 07-11-2022

“A work of art, a work of transformation that draws upon Indigenous power.”


Bridgette M. Redman, The Argonaut News (United States), 08-09-2022

“A quiet power that gathers artists and audiences towards her vision; an uncanny alignment with the natural world; a deep connection to her Yup’ik identity; a disregard for the silos of art versus activism, performance versus protest, dancemaker versus land protector.”

Lauren Wingenroth, Dance magazine (United States), 22-08-2022

“A highly engaging and multi-dimensional performance piece that integrates movement, story, imagery, ritual, social practice art in the context of honoring an indigenous perspective to how we relate to our humanity and the environment we share.”

Michael Baroff, LA Art Party (United States), 13-09-2022


“When we dance, we think of taking down the walls. I want performance and dancers to be in relationship with the world, and to be responding, in the sense of being an active participant in the world. This means that the dance is an active participant with those who are choosing to witness it.”

Read the interview