“If you play and make a statement...and it's a valid statement, that's a truth right there in itself.”
— John Coltrane
Cat Mahari is of the crossroads.
She is a free style hip hop and house dancer, with training in modern/contemporary, ballet, West African, Cuban Rumba and Salsa, and Chen Taiji. Currently focused on multi-layered art processes, she was the founder and director of 31st&Brklyn, a platform for performance art and community engagement from 2016-2019. She is a 2019 Propeller Fund Awardee for the upcoming project Loving Each Other, that focuses on Blackness and intimacy through revolutions of Chicago dance culture - stepping, house, and hip hop. 2018 saw the work-in-progress showing of the solo mixtape series: Violent/Break Vol II, as part of her residency at High Concept Labs. In 2017 Ms. Mahari received a Charlotte Street Foundation Generative Performance Artist Fellow, won Jit Vs House, House 1 v1 in Detroit, MI; and premiered Imprints & Traces, an AfroFuturist dance film based in krump. She is a 2x SEARCH grant awardee, 2008 Fulbright/Gilman Scholar, for a performance-as-research series Merce/Breaks, on the inter-connectivity between Merce Cunningham and breaking, presented at University of Missouri at Kansas City's Conservatory of Music and Dance, as part of the SEARCH Symposium (2007, 2009). The series explored street dance, chance procedure, film and movement technologies. She received a KCArts Inspiration Award for the interdisciplinary work The Projects (2010) which drew on the heterogeneity of city life at a business mall. the solo mixtape series Violent/Break: Vol I premiered in London at the Brink Festival (2011). Vol I has been shown in London, Carei, and Toronto. Vol II received 2016 Lighton International Artist Exchange funding for travel and study Chen tai chi chuan in China. She is a recipient of St. Louis Regional Arts Commission Artist Support Grant(2013) and Andy Warhol Rocket Grant (2016) for The Floor, a site-specific performance and trans media study into traditions of partnered dance, Great Black Migration of WWII, and folk lore. The BAM! series began with Expectation of Violence/Rites due Spring: B-BAM! (2015) an immersive multi-media performance work, focusing on Blackness, America, and violence in Kansas City. Ms. Mahari is a member of Chi-Buck, a Krump collective, and Gateway City Breakers, a hip hop culture crew. She has a BFA in dance from UMKC, and a MA in Performance, Practice and Research from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Ms. Mahari is currently pursuing certifications in Business and Project Management.