INDY review!

What's in Imago's shadows? Whenever you feel you're about to grasp the weirdness between the poses, between the scream and the giggle, it's already gone. This is what the piece does best: it throws a spotlight on what's hidden while insisting, Wait, there's more, there's more, there's more.

Check out this 4-star review from Michaela Dwyer @INDY Week!

(but only if you've seen the show! Otherwise be prepared for some serious spoilers!)

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January 11 - 13 and 18 - 20
Durham Fruit Company
305 S. Dillard St.
Durham, NC
doors open at 7:45 / show starts at 8:00
$10 tickets in advance / $12 tickets at the door

tickets available here


I talked with Tamara Kissane of  The Artists Soapbox on Wednesday about all sorts of thing - from where the piece was born, to why I choose Durham as a performance location, to what international collaboration looks like. I will post it on my websitewhen it's up and ready sometime early next week!

A few more highlights from the past week

I performed soft fists insistan excerpt from IMAGO, two weekends ago at ada Studios in Berlin and they made a cool trailer for it - watch here!

soft fists insist will travel to Georgia (the country!) in 2018 as part of the experimental contemporary dance festival CIRCE! If you were looking for a reason to travel to Georgia, here is your excuse!

dramaturg Josephine Decker's most recent film Madeline's Madeline, starring Miranda July and Molly Parker, just got into Sundance!

Faye Driscoll, dance-maker extraordinaire, dropped into rehearsals last week to give her feedback about the piece. It was an honor and delight to work in the studio with her!


And our ticketing website is live!


January 11 - 13 and 18 - 20

Durham Fruit Company


$10 tickets in advance / $12 at the door

*No one turned away for lack of funds*


Thanks to 76 super generous super supportive people, our Kickstarter succeeded yesterday and that means that EVERYONE WORKING ON THIS PROJECT GETS PAID FOR THEIR WORK! It shouldn't be as revolutionary as it is, but the truth is that lots of projects don't compensate the people behind the scenes. OR the choreographer (me) ends up playing the role of EVERYONE - production manager, technical director, costumer ... you get the idea. It's so much better that the folks who are actually good at these things do them! It means I can focus on the art-making. And the generous support of our donors makes that possible. Thank you to EVERYONE who donated, either through the kickstarter or directly to me through my fiscal sponsor. You are rocking my world!!!!!!

Getting to know the IMAGO team week! Sunday: back on track with Josephine!

Talking to Josephine Decker is so fun. She's imaginative, articulate, goofy, and kind - all traits that draw me to working with her! I sat down with her for this interview yesterday. Her thoughtful observations and clear ideas blew my mind. I can't wait to start working with her in the studio tomorrow!

Check out our Kickstarter here and help support everyone who is helping make IMAGO come to life!

And stay tuned for interviews with Technical Director JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell and Costume Designer Judith Förster later this week!

Getting to know the IMAGO team week (detour)! Today: Learning to Let Go (the costuming edition)

Asking Judith Förster to be my costume designer was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I say that because it would have been so easy for me to have not made that decision, and stuck to the old habit of trying to outfit myself. I've done it this way for years: pulling out dresses and old leotards I never wear; or shopping at thrift stores and asking friends if they have something I can borrow. These methods may serve the end goal of having something to wear, but it's rare that said something is perfect. It's usually just convenient and inexpensive.

Judith and I met at pOnderosa last summer, and I was immediately drawn to her artistic sensibility, unapologetic style, and bold personality. I knew I wanted to work with her someday, but I didn't know any when or where or how.

This summer, as I began work on IMAGO, I realized that my old costuming habits would need to change if I was going to fulfill the vision I have for the piece. I knew that alone, I wouldn't give my costume the attention it needed; and I knew, too, how powerful a good costume can be (and how devastating a bad costume can be). Excited by the very idea of working with Judith, I asked her to be my costume designer. She said yes.

We met several times over the course of two months in Berlin. In the earlier meetings, Judith would ask me details about the piece: what are my inspirations and motivations? what is the color palette? what mood am I trying to achieve? She listened as I voiced my answers, and always reciprocated with her own understanding and take on the piece. Not only did these conversations help me see the piece from a different perspective, they gave me complete trust in Judith's ability to see the vision and make it better through costuming. As time passed and she brought me costumes to try out, my faith in her ability continued to grow and my gratitude for her sheer presence continued to deepen.

Because I'm not a costume designer, and I could never have made the costumes look this good on my own. What began as an urge to work with someone I liked and respected became a lesson in trusting the process of letting go of control. By designating the job of costume designer to Judith, who's really really good at it, the costumes and the piece are better. I am grateful for this lesson and I am REALLY grateful to Judith for the costume!

In the next few days, an interview with Judith herself will be on this web page. In addition to Judith, we will also post interviews featuring JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell, the Technical Director, and Josephine Decker, the Dramaturg. Stay tuned!

Getting to know the IMAGO team week! Wednesday: Jet Lag

Yesterday I flew from Berlin to LA. It was a long day (23 hours of awakeness - during the entire flight I cursed the airline for not turning out the lights in the plane, as we followed the sun westward...and then blessed them last night as my head hit the pillow, that I was tired enough to fall asleep almost immediately because I rested not at all on the plane). The travel, and accompanying recalibration to the new time, weather, and place, has thrown off my intentions to release an interview a day this week! But I wanted to say hi anyway. Here's a photo I took from the plane.


I like the camera reflection on the window.

Stay tuned for tomorrow, when we will resume our Getting to know the team week! And if you haven't yet, be sure to check out our Kickstarter page and donate to support these fine folks!

Getting to know the IMAGO team week! Today: Nicolle Wasserman

Nicolle Wasserman talks about Arts Management, Instagram Filters, and Chili Peppers!

Nicolle Wasserman, Production Manager for IMAGO, and I have been friends for over 17 years! That's more than half my life. And I don't know what I would do without her. Brilliant, supportive, and with a great eye for detail, Nicolle has made this production possible from the start! 

Stay tuned for more interviews with the creative and production team this week! We'll publish one a day, every day, through Friday.

Getting to know the IMAGO team week! First up: Liam (Patience) O'Neill

If there’s anything I want to be doing in this life, it’s playing, with imagination

an interview with Liam (Patience) O’Neil


I interviewed Liam (Patience) O’Neill, Technical Director for IMAGO, on the phone last week. Patience, a good friend and long-time collaborator of mine, will work with me in the weeks leading up to the show on elements like building the set, hanging the lights, and perfecting the technical components of the piece. In this interview, we ended up talking about some of my favorite subjects: art, identity, and future dreams. Read on to hear their thoughts about these topics and more!

On names

Nicola Bullock (NB): You recently began going by the name “Patience” sometimes. Why?

Liam Patience O’Neill (P): I’ve been desiring a non-gendered name, and Patience is non-gendered. It’s also a virtue, and it is a value of mine that I find within a lot of the things that I like about myself.

On making art

NB: When it comes to art, what kind of projects do you like to do?

P: Anything that I think might be rather beautiful, weird/different than what’s expected, made by someone who I’m already a fan of, or important to do on a social level, I will say yes to.

NB: What’s the best part of making art?

P: In some branches of the arts the word “play” is used to describe what the artist is doing, like a musician plays music or people in theater perform “plays.” There’s a playfulness that is the main focus of these types of art. I try to incorporate that mentality in all the art I do and hope to invite any audience to play along with me. It requires a fair amount of imagination, and if there’s anything I want to be doing in this life, it’s playing, with imagination.


NB: What is your connection with IMAGO?

P: I am very interested in the subject matter of the piece; I have a lot of connection with it. We’re all kind of creatures trying to figure out how to be embodied in this world. Being gender queer, there’s always a big question in my mind as far as: who am I, what is this body, and what is the relationship between these things? And what is society asking of me, in this body, or as someone with a mind, personality, and how are they separate?

On future dreams

NB: What else are you passionate about in your life right now?

P: I’m excited about film school (Patience will move to Denver to attend Colorado Film School next year). It will be a whole new exciting adventure in my life. I’ve never really moved away from home as an adult, so moving to a completely new city and doing a completely new thing is really exciting! Furthermore, I’ll be diving into learning how to utilize yet another form of art!

Stay tuned for more interviews with the creative and production team this week! We'll publish one a day, every day, through Friday.

Women's March Revisited

we marched

in a small town in rural Germany

we marched


we mazed 

our bodies through the labyrinthine remains of an old cement factory

four of us, together

venting fury and despair

throwing rocks

breaking glass

kicking formless metal objects

burning wood

cracking concrete

dancing atop rubble


protest music on a portable speaker



we came together to mourn

(the sadness in my bones wreaks them of strength as I collapse on the floor to stare blankly out the window into the grey-white winter sky





we came together to fight

(terror spasms through me as I watch the Inauguration, certain that I hear him announce the end of democracy and the start of authoritarian rule with him as the big, red -faced rule-maker / rule-breaker)



we came together to do something

a symbolic gesture perhaps

done for our own sense of self-satisfaction


but what better reason is there than this, a sense of satisfaction in ourselves



we can come together

and we can do



and everything

that has been done 

so that I can believe that 

is why I march



When my friend Olympia Bukkakis asked me to perform as part of her show FANCY at Ludwig in January, I got really excited. I love the word, and the idea of, fancy. To me, it's something that is dressy but not necessarily formal; something suggestive of cocktail parties and carefree, laughter-filled evenings; something that takes effort but omits an aura of ease and self-assurance. It's a word one of my girlfriends would say to me when I got dressed up: in a very specific tone, full of little-kid awe and grown-up attraction, she would say, You look fancy. I knew that was a compliment, especially from someone who took pride in dirty fingernails and 10-year-old t-shirts. And it was her voice - both affirming and aroused - that went through my head as I began creating my piece for FANCY. 

And also - the inauguration. 

This performance was on January 25, less than a week after Trump's Inauguration. I went through all of the stages of grief around this time, with anger, denial, and sadness being the main three. There was no escaping the reality of the world at this moment, whether through performance or cocktail party or drunken escapade. Grief and despair followed me around very closely, and I couldn't relate to the word fancy (or anything else) without them.

This combination of things - self-assurance, arousal, denial, despair - were the ingredients of the piece. I used intuition to combine them, folding the past in with the present and stage-life in with real-life. The video below was recorded at the show and unfortunately there wasn't a single shot of the whole thing, but here is what I have.



aka "The Coming of Age of Cookie Monster"

This 3D Virtual Reality movie is a project I'm really proud of and it premieres tomorrow evening! A month ago my wonderful friend Josephine Decker came into town for three weeks during which she directed this strange, funny, unique work. I played many parts in the creation of the film - choreographer, actress, and dancer among them. I also hosted Josephine in my flat, and together we conceived of the film. With the support of Wolf Kino and help from people around the world, we created an 11-minute virtual reality journey that started with the question, "How would Sesame Street teach sex ed to kids?"

The answer?

Find out tomorrow night at Wolf Kino in Neukölln!



Wolf Kino // Wildenbruchstrasse 6 // 12045 Berlin

see you there!

It's Been A Long Time

I'm trying again - to keep a blog - in order to record some of the events, experiences, excitements, excesses, energies, early hours, and elements of life right now. Aaliyah and Timbaland support this. I encourage you to enjoy this track as you read these reflections.

This story begins in 2016. In numerology, 2016 is Year 9 (2+0+1+6=9), the end of a nine-year cycle that begin in 2008 (2+0+0+8=10, 1+0=1). Globally, 2016 was the end of the Obama years and the end of the European Union as we know it. David Bowie, Prince, and George Michael all died, and left us to mourn the void they left in the worlds of pop music and performance art, and, depending on your generation and proclivity for social deviants, your heart.

RIP Jareth

A lot of things also ended for me in 2016, including a two-and-a-half year relationship and thirty-three years of living in the US, my nation of birth. It was a year of challenges, surprises, and emotional trials. I lived in four different places, including a tent, and none of them felt like home. I met a lot of new people, my physical movement habits changed dramatically, and I made almost no money. These things are all distinct from one other and yet somehow related. They are each a result of the risk I took when I decided to move to Berlin. Somewhere along the way, I recognised that in order to meet all of these challenges, surprises, and emotional trials, I would need to let go - let die - some parts of myself.

All the suffering, stress, and addiction comes from not realising you already are what you are looking for.
— Jon Kabat-Zinn

Many times last year, especially when I felt lost and confused, the words "I don't know who I am anymore" floated through my head. This thought was the source of both terror and, somewhere deeper and quieter, relief. It was/is terrifying to not know who I am, because it leads me to question so much about my life and values and dreams and how I spend my time and how I treat myself and others and what I say and who and how I love and... you get the idea. It leads me to question everything and know nothing. It is a real ego-breaker. Not knowing who I was meant I didn't know what I had to give to others and the world. This insecurity can silence me, and there were many situations last year where I sat quietly, observing all the motion around me, all the while distancing myself from its swirling life, convinced I had nothing to contribute.


Now for the good part of being lost and confused. For one thing, it's such an honest experience of life (who hasn't felt lost and confused?), and accepting the processes of life - including the difficult ones - is so much easier than fighting them. For another thing, being quiet means that I got to observe not just myself but other people too - people from all over the world - and see how they do things differently. I learned so much! There's such freedom in letting go of the idea of that things are only done in one particular way (My Way) and witnessing, and adapting, to other ways. Plus, I have met and made friends with some of the most inspiring, creative, magical people I've ever known. Lastly, "I don't know who I am anymore" has allowed me to let go of some of the beliefs I had about how myself and others should be. This is where the relief rushes in, because when there isn't a belief that people/events/me/anything "should be" a certain way, I can appreciate so much more how things actually are.

The first question I ask myself when something doesn’t seem to be beautiful is why do I think it’s not beautiful. And very shortly you discover there is no reason.
— John Cage

I look back and wonder, How did I move through all this letting go, how did I let parts of myself die or even wilfully destroy them? The answer: hours upon hours of meditation and self-help podcasts; an everyday commitment to healing through food and movement; and a lot of trust. It was definitely not possible without the encouragement of two incredible communities of friends and family in Berlin and Durham, and the blessed combination of privilege and luck that conspired to allow me the time, resources, and support to take big risks.

Meanwhile, all that I've lost - all that has died - has left space in me for new things to grow. I've said yes to situations that I knew would make me uncomfortable in order to stimulate growth in new directions. I've practiced trusting my intuition in questions of art and love, emboldening my gut to guide my life in its own mysterious, creative way. And I've generally just chilled the f$*& out.

The earth in its devotion carries all things, good and evil, without exception.
— I Ching

I don't know the future, but I do know that 2017 is a year of beginnings (2+0+1+7=10, 1+0=1).  Already in its first three months I have reaped so many benefits of this awkward and wonderful dying/rebirthing project - including a month-long residency at an almost-abandoned nearly-defunct concrete factory in rural Germany, and a three-week long dance pilgrimage to Israel with a group of artists from around the world - and I have never experienced so much generosity and gratitude in my own and others' spirits. While it hasn't all been easy, and it hasn't all been perfect, there's a lot of beauty in this life, and I want to love it while I still have a chance to.

In loving memory of Tex Hobijn (1994-2017)

snowfall in stolpe

It's been about two months since I recorded this snowfall. In the background is music by Suzanne Ciani - it's called "Concert at Phil Niblock's Loft NYC 1975" and it is SPECTACULAR. I imagine this film being screened in a large dance studio somewhere as dancers improvise in front of it. It's best when only 8% of your attention is on the video, 13% of your attention is on the song, and the other 79% of your attention is wandering.

Lots has been going on around here lately - I taught dance class in Berlin, launched a letter-writing campaign, interviewed for a dance job, and spent the night alone at betOnest for the first time (which was terrifying, but I made it through). I hope to post updates about these things soon, but in the meantime I thought I'd drop some photos here. I took these on two separate days at betOnest. Enjoy! (and please ask permission before using them).


Last Saturday, along with millions of other people around the world, I marched. The posse here - four strong - mazed our bodies, voices, and signs through the labyrinth of betOnest in order to march in solidarity with millions of other people around the globe in protest of Donald Trump. It felt important and inspiring - to show up from so far away in the company of friends; to shout "Jeden Tag! Fuck Trump! Ganzen Tag! Fuck Trump!" (Every day! Fuck Trump! All day! Fuck Trump!); to vent our fury by taking abandoned wooden structures littered around the property and breaking them over steel and concrete; to throw things, kick things, and dance on things to the driving beat of protest music humming on a portable speaker; and to build a fire and in it burn planks of wood on which we first wrote, "Trump," "The Patriarchy," "White Supremacy," and "Prison Industrial Complex." Marching, yelling, laughing, and being together in sadness defined our time, and it was good.


I arrived today at betOnest, a "new art space located in a former cement factory on the edge of Germany. It is rural, raw, and epic. A pre-post apocalypse heaven for aspiring artists" (from the website). I came here once before, last summer, and I fell in love with it immediately. beTonest is a sprawling vestige of old East Germany, a decrepit (but functional) amalgam of huge mostly-empty buildings, defunct machinery, and oddly shaped concrete structures numbering in the thousands. After lunch and a tour of the old on-site office building in which I will live for the next month, I ventured out into the snow and ice to explore beTonest on my own.

Thirty minutes and many photographs later, I found what I had been unconsciously looking for: a good standing spot.

Several weeks ago, as I thought about what I might do here during my month-long residency, so many ideas came to mind: make dance films! sew costumes! do art installations! Also, learn German! Make friends with locals! Envision my future and start making it happen! In the middle of this whirlwind of ambition, a little voice inside me spoke: What if you just stand still?

BUT THAT'S NOT ART, I yelled back, exasperated at the voice and annoyed by the idea. I AM AN ARTIST!!!!!! (see this video for proof). Instead of yelling back, the voice just repeated, evenly and unapologetically, But what if you just stand still? Despite my resistance, I felt I could trust this small but mighty voice; instead of demanding that I do something active with my body, it simply extended an invitation to do an unfamiliar, extremely un-ambitious and extremely accessible, thing: stand still.

So I tried it. I wasn't intending to start today, but in my wandering there came a spot at which I thought, Why not? 

For somewhere between 40 and 100 breaths (I lost count), I stood mostly still. My eyes opened and closed, my ears only opened, my feet got numb, and, to my surprise, I was never bored. In the moments I did look around, I noticed shape and light more than I had before my stillness. I spotted a mouse running from concrete hole to concrete hole. And after only ten breaths, I sensed a depth of peace that I haven't felt in awhile. I stayed until I was ready to leave, and then I left, slowly winding my way back to the office building I temporarily call home.


When this idea was hatched, I was operating on the assumption that:

Standing Still = Doing Nothing = Not Being Productive = Wasting Time = Fucking Up

If that is the case, than I spent between 40 and 100 breaths Fucking Up today. After my practice today, however, I am wondering if this:

Standing Still = Not Forcing Myself to Do Something (anything) = Quieting My Body = Perceiving and Receiving the World Better = Having a Totally Awesome Experience of Being Alive

might also be the case. If so, then I spent between 40 and 100 breaths Having a Totally Awesome Experience of Being Alive today. 

Maybe they're both true. Today, standing still made me feel pretty great. Tomorrow? Who knows . . .