Christopher K. Morgan & Artists (CKM&A) creates multi-disciplinary dance performances that give audiences an opportunity for self-reflection. The work synthesizes dance, storytelling, original music, and multi-media design to create singular performances that explore identity, social, and cultural issues.
CKM&A demystifies contemporary dance through community dialogue, engagement activities, and online content.
CKM&A also provides professional and pre-professional opportunities through educational intensives, workshops, university residencies, peer-to-peer facilitation, and commissioning the work of other choreographers.
My work stems from my multifaceted identity: mixed race, queer, and ethnically ambiguous. As I navigate the residue of colonization, I am compelled by my identities, cultures, and ancestors to tell stories through dance. In venues where abstraction and whiteness are often prioritized, I feel a unique responsibility as a Native Hawaiian contemporary dancemaker to make work that is legible and relatable to viewers while heightening the visibility of Black, Indigenous & People of Color, and LGBTQIA2S folx.
With a long career in western dance forms, my artistic practice deepened in 2009 with research reconnecting me to my Hawaiian roots. This research emerged in my 2016 work Pōhaku, directly incorporating hula and Hawaiian identity in the work, resulting in greater visibility of contemporary Native dance within the dominant culture. A social and civic impact is made in my work by strategically sharing Hawaiian cultural practices with non-native communities (stone gathering in Pōhaku, lei making in Native Intelligence/Innate Intelligence). My work provokes questions and provides space for authentic native viewpoints and identities to be heard and witnessed.
Numerous relationships with composers, musicians, lighting designers, projection designers, visual artists, costume designers, technicians, and Native Hawaiian culture bearers all inform the highly collaborative creative process. The creative process includes development residencies that allow for deep and meaningful exchanges between the collaborators that horizontalize the creative process.