Tahni Holt: Duet Love

Duet Love performs love, lust and charged energy. Portland choreographer Tahni Holt’s latest work presents coupled bodies performing gendered states around the romantic premise of the “duet.” Holt and her artistic team draw from iconic photographs of hetero couples to drive this inquiry into how bodies perform gender. If masculine and feminine are forces and factors, how do markers of gender and race inflect the movement, emotion and decisions of dancing bodies and how do we as audience read them?

Duet Love premiered at Velocity Dance Center in Seattle on September 4, 2014 and in Portland on September 13, 2014 at PICA’s Time-Based Art Festival.

Performance is 60 minutes and will be followed by a talk-back with Tahni Holt.

* This performance includes nudity.

About Tahni Holt

Tahni Holt is a choreographer, teacher, curator and organizer based in Portland, Oregon who has been creating performances for the past 18 years. She is deeply invested in the ecology of her field. Holt is inspired by how colleagues in other parts of the world situate themselves depending on the political climate of where they practice. All of Holt’s endeavors are shaped by her beliefs and convictions which invigorate proactive projects of artist-driven empowerment.

Holt’s creative practice follows her curiosities by asking questions that demand rigorous specificity yet remain open to a terrain of inquiry – inviting rather than prescribing interpretation. Holt is deeply invested in creating opportunities for other dance artists along with creating space for experimental explorations and conversations.

She is fascinated with the complex relationships generated when we embrace dance performance through multiple lenses: literal, metaphorical, psychological, representational, and associative. Is it possible to create a performance that insists on being experienced through multiple and conflicting lenses at once? Is it possible to create performative structures that, as a dancer/performer, are challenging and at times impossible? These questions are vital because they aim to deepen our understanding of the ways in which dance can produce an intricate array of almost-effable affects peculiar to its form.

Holt’s choreography has been presented throughout the United States: On The Boards (Seattle), Fusebox Festival (Austin),  The Lucky Penny (Atlanta), and PICA’s TBA Festival (Portland) to name a few. In 2010 Tahni was curated into the PORTLAND 2010 Biennial and is an Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship awardee (2007). She has had the pleasure of being an artist-in-residence most recently at Caldera, as well as Anchorage, Boise, France, Greece and, in 2013, Romania, with Bucharest choreographer Madalina Dan, funded through the Suitcase Fund of New York Live Arts. She is honored to be a 2014-2015 NDP Touring Award recipient for Duet Love, which toured to Velocity Dance (Seattle), Pica’s TBA Festival and DiverseWorks (Houston). This past year Holt received the Barney Award from White Bird Dance. The award commissions her latest work, Sensation/Disorientation, to premier in the fall of 2016.

During summer 2014 in Seattle, Holt curated a series of dance residencies within a framework of improvisation for ALL RISE – series of performances and temporary art installations organized for a city block commissioned with Seattle City Light 1% for Art funds and administered by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

Holt is founder and director of Portland’s newest dance center, FLOCK – a center for movement exploration, creation, and artistic practice, dedicated to Portland’s contemporary and experimental dance artists.


This presentation of  Duet Love is made possible in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

DiverseWorks is a Partner of the National Performance Network (NPN). This project is made possible in part by support from the NPN Performance Residency Program. Major contributors include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information: npnweb.org.

On View

April 24, 7:30 pm (doors at 7pm)

April 25, 4:00 pm


FREE, but seating is limited

Make online reservations


4102 Fannin St, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77004 (map)

Additional Information

Tahni Holt’s web site