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Presented By: Center for World Performance Studies

Sonya Belaya

Cognitive Distortions, Ancestral Patterns

Sonya Belaya Sonya Belaya
Sonya Belaya
Seats for tonight's performance are filled and we are no longer accepting requests.

There will be a live-streaming starting tonight at 8pm, which will stay available for a couple days. Hope you can join us virtually!

Thursday, November 3 | 8:00 PM

Open Dress Rehearsal Wed, November 3 | 8:00 PM
Thursday, November 3 | 8:00 PM
Duderstadt Video Studio
2281 Bonisteel Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI
Free and open to the public with RESERVED SEATING.

View the live-stream performance:
Thursday, November 3 | 8:00 PM

The Center for World Performance Studies presents Sonya Belaya's multidisciplinary piece Cognitive Distortions, Ancestral Patterns, a multidisciplinary performance that uses cognitive distortions to understand the experiences of immigrant women artists as it relates to assimilation, segregation, and mental health care. Alongside research of social work practices with immigrant communities, Belaya documents the expertise of these artists to examine communal care of immigrant women in the United States.

Featuring filmed interviews of immigrant women artists living in New York City, live video projection mixing, movement, and music written for string quartet + jazz quintet. Sonya Belaya in collaboration with Laura Sofía Pérez, featuring Grey McMurray and students at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Sonya Belaya is a Russian-American pianist, singer, composer, and improviser, who divides her time between Michigan and New York. Committed to multiplicity, she is a diverse music-maker invested in vulnerable art and the development of strong, personal collaborations. Her work centers on the integration of womxn’s trauma as musical narrative, with a focus on storytelling as a symbol of powerful vulnerability. Sonya is a 2020-2021 Resident Artist at Roulette Intermedium, made possible by the Jerome Foundation. She has performed as a pianist and singer with members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New Music Detroit, Wild Up, Michigan Opera Theatre, Russian Renaissance, and Bang on a Can All-Stars. Sonya’s lead project is “Dacha”, an octet flowing freely through influences of creative music, jazz, folk, and contemporary music. The ensemble seeks to preserve and re-contextualize the ancestral memories of Russian folk traditions. Consisting of musicians from diverse music backgrounds, the project uses storytelling and improvisation as a governing principle to transcend these differences for deeper musical dialogue. Dacha was born out of a necessity to find a sense of home and belonging, when Belaya’s mother went missing in 2014. This resulted in the first project, “Songs My Mother Taught Me”, a five song cycle released in May 2019. Belaya released a second album with the ensemble, “Dacha: Live at Roulette”, in September 2020.

Laura Sofía Pérez is an interdisciplinary artist who works in video, film, sound, and installation. She received her MFA in Film/Video from California Institute of the Arts. Her work draws from feminist and avant-garde cinema, phenomenological philosophy, Caribbean Postcolonial theory, and ancestral knowledge. She often works in collaborative settings of experimentation and improvisation with artists of varying disciplines and backgrounds to voice common perspectives on political, cultural, and social issues. Recent artist residencies and programs include La Práctica at Beta-Local, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2019), BAiR Emerging at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Banff, Canada (2020), and the AfA Masterclass: Radical Care with Terike Haapoja (2020).

If you require accommodation to participate in this event, please contact the Center for World Performance Studies, at 734-936-2777 or Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the University to arrange.
Sonya Belaya Sonya Belaya
Sonya Belaya

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