I make multi-disciplinary performance art that is grounded in the mediums of movement and spoken word. My work is a call to action for both the audience and the performers. My confidence that art has the ability to create and inform social discourse is what drives my process. It involves fully incorporating the performers’ personal beliefs and stories, resulting in an intimate and unique experience. This sense of storytelling offers perspective on issues of gender, race, and other aspects of identity used to construct systems that foster inequality. The personal is political. Through theater making, I question and uproot fears that impede movement towards an equitable society. My hope is to create impactful change.
I am an unbridled optimist. I am often confronted with opinions that are fatalistic about the state of the world, which of course, is understandable. I do not think that way. I have incredibly big plans and I see nothing wrong with that. My biggest goal is to upend prejudice and stereotypes that hinder equality. I believe fear is the root of inequality. I believe this epidemic is both systemic and personal. We are more alike than we think. We have more in common than we'd like to know. It is the parts of ourselves that we can share with and see in others that can nurture our ability to live compassionate lives.
-Hannah Cullen, Artistic Director of cullen&them
Artistic Director: Hannah Cullen
Hannah Cullen was raised in New York City where she is now living and creating work that incorporates movement, writing, and social activism. Hannah graduated in May 2015 with a BFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of The Arts. Before attending Tisch, Hannah studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in the pre-professional program and was a founding member of the collaborative, choreographic company Young Dance Collective. At NYU/Tisch, Hannah has performed works by Pamela Pietro, Cora Bos Kroese, and Bill T. Jones, as well as being a part of the Cunningham Event set by Rashaun Mitchell. Hannah has also performed in works by Pascal Rioult, Johannes Wieland, Larry Kegwin, and Noémie Lafrance.
Hannah has always created work and choreographed six pieces at Tisch, many of which led to the making of her first evening length work. Entitled Us, Me, They, She, the work tackled gendered inequality as it pertains to both women and men, how expectations associated with gender influence and affect our individual identity, and how that in turn affects the way we view women in our society. Currently, Hannah is rehearsing and writing a new piece that looks at fear and memory and how those root inequality in our minds. Her motivation is to make socially engaged work that uses the spoken word and highly physical movement to incite thinking in her audience and connect with communities.