Tabo and a Wash Rag

Event Schedule

Jun 3, 2023
6:00 PM—8:00 PM

Bridging the Pacific and Caribbean with new performance works

Saturday, June 3, 6:00-8:00pm

Painted Bride (5212 Market St. 19139)

Anito Gavino and Malaya Ulan of Ani/Malayaworks and Nikolai McKenzie will present new works of contemporary dance and performance related to their Filipino and Jamaican heritages.

Ani/Malayaworks will show a work in progress, Sinawali, on resistance against colonialism in the Philippines and the United States. Nikolai McKenzie will present movement and text vignettes informed by their extensive ancestral research within their Jamaican family, using archival documents, historical fiction, and maps. There will also be a digital collage installation by Brandon Aquino Straus, using imagery from historical materials and his travels in the Philippines. Filipino and Jamaican food and drinks will be shared, and karaoke will follow the performances.

Artist Bios

nikolai is a multidisciplinary dance theater artist, writer, storyteller, and amateur genealogist, whose work is fed by their identity as a queer, multiracial, interclass, intercaste immigrant from Jamaica. nikolai’s Philly performance highlights include the works of Jumatatu m. Poe and Jermone Donte Beacham, Gunnar Montana, Vince Johnson, Kingsley Ibeneche, Wally Cain Carbonell, Bryan Koulman, and Kun-Yang Lin alongside their own works. nikolai is a firm believer in the liberation of black and brown bodies and minds through movement, inviting softness, vulnerability, weirdness, uncool, and tender surrender into their movement practice. Juxtaposing vehement Caribbean patriotism with innate, vibrant queerness, nikolai aims to cultivate community upswell through storytelling, confronting trauma, mutual support and truth-telling through performance. nikolai seeks to address the notion that the body is not an apology; that memory, history, protest, pain, pleasure, and joy are all means of resistance in the face of ignorance. nikolai holds a BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University and their works have been presented at BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance in New York City, the in-hale series at KYLD in Philly, and in Washington, D.C., Richmond, and Norfolk, Virginia.

Anito Gavino directs her project-based company Ani/MalayaWorks, a Filipino and BIPOC inclusive dance collective which began as a mother/daughter company founded in 2014. Gavino started the company as a way to teach her daughter about her ancestral lineage, pride, and legacy which are often muted when living abroad. Realizing that many first-generation Asian Americans relate to this disconnection to homelands and ownership of cultural identity, Gavino expanded her vision to merge community stories from the global majority as a way to garner solidarity. She uses dance, film, and theater as a storytelling mode to explore memories, spiritual journeys, and community-based decolonial art activism, she produced La Migra, Let’s Run (2014), Mujeres (2015), Patawili (2019) and this new work, Tagong Yaman (2022). She is a recipient of the 2021 Leeway Transformation Award, 2020 and 2019 Leeway Art for Social Change, Career Transition for Dancers, 2022 and 2020 MAPfund Grant recipient, National Performance Network, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Independence Public Media Film Fund, Scribe Video Center Planning and Finishing Grant and more. She has been supported by Movement Research at Judson Church, Painted Bride, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Dance Place. KYL/D Artist-in-residence and more. Dance career highlights include dancing with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Latin Ballet of Virginia, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, and Ananya Dance Theater. Anito writes for a dance publication, thINKing Dance, an MFA in Dance graduate from Hollins University, and is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Muhlenberg College. More information can be found at

Brandon Aquino Straus is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Philadelphia. He holds a BFA from the University of New Mexico, and also studied at L’IPAG Paris. He works as a videographer and editor. He is part of the LGBTQ community and the Filipino diaspora. He is a videographer and editor and currently works in a history museum. More information can be found at

This event is part of Painted Bride’s “Open Market” series. Our “Open Market” event series, running now through summer, welcomes you to our new hub space on Market Street. We’ve co-created exciting programs with multiple local artists for Bride friends, old and new.