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Local performers to honor Pulse nightclub victims

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
Posted at 1:36 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 14:36:09-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — According to a release from the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, local performers will be dancing Friday, July 23 in honor of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting victims.

The Bemis Center provided the following:

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is pleased to present Free Fall 49 on Friday, July 23, 2021, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Admission is free. Free Fall 49 is an ongoing series of live, dance-based performances and installations by artist Brendan Fernandes responding to the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. on June 12, 2016. The work poses the falling body as a metaphor for queer politic and the dance floor as a space for resistance and experiencing agency. During the performance dancers perform on raised platforms to a DJ'd soundtrack responding to the set performed at Pulse the night of the shooting. Over the course of the performance, the music stops and the dancers fall to the floor a total of 49 times: once for each fatal victim of the attack. In the performance, the music always starts again and the dancers stand up again to dance as acts of resistance. Conceptualized by Fernandes and DJ’ed by Karsten Sollars, Free Fall 49 will be performed by local dancers.

Brendan Fernandes (b. 1979, Nairobi, Kenya) is an internationally recognized Canadian artist working at the intersection of dance and visual arts. Currently based out of Chicago, Brendan’s projects address issues of race, queer culture, migration, protest and other forms of collective movement. Always looking to create new spaces and new forms of agency, Brendan’s projects take on hybrid forms: part Ballet, part queer dance hall, part political protest...always rooted in collaboration and fostering solidarity. Brendan is a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program (2007) and a recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Fellowship (2014). In 2010, he was shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award and is the recipient of a prestigious 2017 Canada Council New Chapters grant. Brendan is also the recipient of the Artadia Award (2019), a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (2020) and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant (2019). His projects have been shown at the 2019 Whitney Biennial (New York); the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York); the Museum of Modern Art (New York); The Getty Museum (Los Angeles); the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa); MAC (Montreal); among a great many others. He is currently an artist-in-residence and Assistant Professor at Northwestern University and represented by Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago.

Admission is free. RSVP is requested at

Free Fall 49 will take place outdoors. The performance will also stream live at Twitch account not required.

Rain Date: July 24

This performance is part of the exhibition All Together, Amongst Many: Reflections on Empathy, on view at Bemis Center through September 19, 2021.

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