2015 Fresh Meat Festival Artists

Breanna Sinclairé is a graduate from the California Institute of the Arts (Bachelor of Music) and a recent graduate from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Master’s Program in Opera. She is the first transgender woman to receive a Master’s Degree in the opera program at the Conservatory. Sinclairé’s previous performance engagements include Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, Rameau’s Platée, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and Bernstein’s West Side Story. She has also performed in special projects in Los Angeles, at the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre (Meredith Monk’s Songs of Ascension) and at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Zachary Sharrin’s Time Bodies).  Sinclairé was most recently seen performing as Carmen in “Melons! Coupons!” from Carmen, and as Furie in Cavalli’s La Calisto, on the opera stage at the Conservatory, as well as Miss Todd, from Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief. She has also performed at the Academy of Sciences, was the headliner performer for TRANS MARCH 2014, and on June 17, Sinclairé will be performing the National Anthem for the Oakland A’s.

Elena Rose, a Filipina-Ashkenazi trans lesbian mestiza, is a writer, scholar, and survivor from rural Oregon. Dedicated to the project of radical love for those who live at the edges, Rose writes online as “little light” and tours nationally preaching and educating.  She co-curated and headlined the popular National Queer Arts Festival production, Girl Talk: A Cis and Trans Woman Dialogue, and was a founding member of the Speak! Radical Women of Color Media Collective. Her writing has found its way everywhere from law school classrooms and academic conferences to bathroom mirrors and protest marches. Rose currently resides in northern California, where she stays busy being in good stories; she carries a pen, her ancestors, and the mismatched ID of a citizen of the borderlands with her at all times.

Jocquese Whitfield (aka: JoQ) is a dancer/choreographer born and raised in San Francisco. Starting his career steeped in the improvisation of freestyle hip-hop, Jocquese has added modern, classical, and Diasporic dance traditions over the last several years. He has been a member of City Shock San Francisco, F.B.C. (Funk Beyond Control), U.F.O Movement, J. Jun Productions and M.O.M (Mind Over Matter). He is currently a back-up dancer for solo artist Micah Tron and for the queer, electro duo-band Double Duchess. Jocquese was voted “Best Dance Instructor” of 2014 by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He was also featured in the San Francisco Chronicle. Currently pursuing studies in Dance and Theater, Jocquese’s current movement vocabulary revisits the bold, rebellious statements of the 1980’s as expressed through fashion, nightlife, and a love of the abstract. A shape-shifter, Jocquese challenges assumptions of sexual identity in dance as he plays with gesture both “masculine” and “feminine”.

Manish Vaidya is a sixteenth-generation storyteller and a stand-up comedian who writes on social justice issues like global warming and Beyoncé albums. He’s the Director of Community Engagement at the Queer Cultural Center, home of the National Queer Arts Festival; director of the National Queer Performing Arts Summit; lead coach and Editor-in-Chief of The Intergalactivista snarky life coaching blog for activists and artists; Co-Editor of lolzculturalequity, a super-fun tumblr on racism in the Bay Area arts scene; a Cultural Equity Fellow with Emerging Arts Professionals; and a writer who’s shared his tender social justice emo raunch across the US and in Canada, most often as part of the infamous QTPOC cabaret Mangos With Chili. He’s featured at the National Queer Arts Festival, the United States of Asian America Festival, the United States Social Forum, APAture, LitCrawl and elsewhere. His writing appears in Ghadar, the Hyphen blog, Fierce HungerBody Image/nation, and POOR Magazine’s Poverty Skolarship 101 – A Peoples Text: Words, Art, Theory & Tears on Decolonization. His arts activism work is highlighted in The Huffington Post, The Guardian (UK), make/shift and by the National Association for Ethnic Studies. After getting a swift kick in the pens at VONA and at The Gardarev Center, his life coaching book How to Fly: A Field Guide for Intergalactivists and his first poetry collection Love Poems for Haters debut soon. He co-coordinated the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action, was awarded a Rockwood Leadership Institute Fellowship, and graduated from East Bay Meditation Center’s Practice In Transformative Action program that trains activists to share contemplative practices with their networks. You make him blush.

Natasha Muse is the C3P0 of San Francisco comedy: she’s been mistaken for a golden god but in reality she’s a bumbling gay robot. SF Weekly declared her the “Funniest Tranny in SF.” She’s a member of the stand-up collective the Business; has been in such comedy festivals as the SF Sketchfest and Bridgetown; and is a regular at the SF Punchline and Cobb’s Comedy Club. Natasha’s comedy is so good it’s not even funny.

Robbie Tristan and Ernesto Palma are one of the world’s most successful Same Sex Ballroom duos:  they have won numerous National and International titles. They live in New York City and perform all over the United States. They are featured in the upcoming feature documentary, Hot to TrotRobbie Tristan is a three time World Champion and Gay Games Gold Medalist Same Sex Ballroom dancer.  He has been featured in New York Times, Good Day LA, NBC Raw, LA Times Magazine. His non-profit organization, Dance of America Foundation, brings Ballroom Dance projects to at risk and LGBT youth. Ernesto Palma has been named Same Sex Ballroom Latin Dance Champion for 4 years, and has appeared on the The Today Show, CW11 Tyra, Rover Berdi Show, and LOGO’s The A-List. Palma also tours as a Dance Judge, Dance Teacher and Runway Coach, and is a former Instructor of Star Blake Lively and Penn Dayton Badgley.

Saturn Jones: I am not just a dancer, I am a performance artist. King Saturn is the aftermath of the death of my fears and vogue was my weapon of choice. Now, as I remove my crown, I intend also to rise from my throne. Saturn Rising thus transcends, enlightens and emboldens, seeking to empower my audience as well as my psyche. I will reset your mind and demolish your social constructs. I will dance from my spirit and channel David’s unlikely triumph over Goliath. I will be so sick, that you die from your illness on the dance floor. And, most importantly, I will cleanse your soul of the weight of this world and demand that you rise with me into the otherworldly.

Sean Dorsey Dance – Sean Dorsey is an award-winning choreographer and dancer, and the founder and Artistic Director of Fresh Meat Productions. Recognized as the U.S.’ first acclaimed transgender modern dance choreographer, Dorsey has won audiences and accolades from San Francisco to New York with his powerful dance-theater. Dorsey is the nation’s first transgender artist to be awarded support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Dorsey was named “San Francisco’s Best Dance Company” (SF Weekly) and was named one of the nation’s “Top 25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine. He has been awarded three Isadora Duncan Dance Awards and the Goldie Award for Performance. Dorsey has been awarded commissions by the National Dance Project, National Performance Network, Creative Work Fund, Gerbode & Hewlett Foundations, San Francisco Arts Commission, Queer Cultural Center, and theaters in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta, Florida and Maine.

At the 2015 Fresh Meat Festival, Sean Dorsey Dance will perform an excerpt of their acclaimed new show: THE MISSING GENERATION gives voice to longtime survivors of the early AIDS epidemic, and explores the impact of the loss of much of an entire generation of transgender and gay people to AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s. The show is based on oral history interviews Dorsey recorded with longtime survivors, and will be performed on a 20-city US tour starting this summer.

Shawna Virago is a San Francisco-based transgender musician celebrated for her striking lyric-based songs. Her album Objectified has been featured in Curve magazine, NPR and on left-of-the-dial radio. Shewired magazine listed her as one of the nation’s “Top 25 Hot Femmes.”  Virago’s music video Transsexual Dominatrix has screened at more than 30 film festivals throughout North America and Europe, was awarded Best Music Video at CineKink New York, and was an Official Selection of the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Virago’s writing appears in Gender Outlaws: Next Generation, Trans/Love: Radical Sex, Love & Relationships: Beyond the Gender Binary and Take Me There. Virago is also the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival.

Part boy band, part Rat Pack, The Singing Bois create spaces for masculine of center musicians within new and classic styles such as doo-wop, jazz, barbershop, contemporary pop, R&B, and Latin genres. Twisting gender expectations, they blend musical precision, playful staging, and sexy swagger. Known for their unique interpretations of songs by everyone from Sam Cooke to Selena, The Singing Bois make audible a range of masculinities and tell queer, butch, and trans* stories through song. Founded in 2014, The Singing Bois features the talents of Bay Area artists Rhonda Kinard (guitar), Terezia Orosz (voice & melodica), Erin Raber (voice & percussion), and Tamara Roberts (voice & percussion).