Full Conversation with Moriah Evans
by Tanyka “Tiki” Wilson
We are starting a series where a member of the Class Board has an intimate conversation with a fellow classmate. I am proud to share a summary of what I discussed with Moriah Evans. Before preparing this conversation, I realized that I have known Moriah longer than I have not. This applies to most of us. So, what impact do your friends have in your life? Specifically, what impact does Moriah have in my life? Moriah always intrigued me because of her zealous passion for movement. She is not only a choreographer but a provocateur. I admire the way she challenges the audience to think about the intersections of movement and social issues.
Recently, Moriah invited Camille Castillo (’00) and I to a rehearsal for her upcoming show and she wanted us to coach the performers on interrogation skills. It was so much fun. I never thought my advocacy skills could be integrated into dance. That’s Moriah – always innovative. That is what makes Moriah so amazing.
I asked Moriah what drives her: she noted that it takes “some guts” and “doesn’t feel like a choice.” Even though we have a choice, especially people like us because we are educated and went to a college that’s very supportive. It’s important for her to operate with integrity and be in the world while doing work that brings her joy.
Moriah mentioned that she made a lot of personal sacrifices. She does not own a house or have children. We discussed how some of our mutual friends are more materially successful. I reminded her that a feature in the New York Times is a sign of success. We talked about how Wellesley skewed our perception of what success is. She explained that she receives institutional support from various fellowships while also maintaining a part-time job as a Curator. She noted that artists can earn more money in Europe than in the States, which led to a discussion about the lack of sustainable funding for the arts in the US. Imagine if the US had universal basic income or invested more money in the arts.
Of course we spoke about Moriah's relationship with Wellesley. She said that the Art History Department was very supportive. I expressed my regret in never taking Art History and, neither one of us took an Economics class at Wellesley. I asked her why she regrets not taking an Econ class and she said, “It would’ve helped me understand the basics of money. To know what a fair payment is.”
Both of us swapped Bursar stories and noted that Wellesley should do more to help students around financial anxieties. It would’ve helped to make students empowered about financial issues so that they do not develop scarcity anxiety.
Finally, I asked Moriah about “Wendy Wellesley.” Both agreed that it’s a myth (that should be dismantled – my opinion) and Moriah noted, “Is this our version of feminism?”
We ended our conversation with love and admiration and concluded that “There’s no Wendies here!”
Moriah’s latest piece is “Remains Persist,” which has performance dates on December 10, 11, 17, 18 from 3-7 PM in The Keith Haring Theatre at Performance Space. For tickets, click here.
Photo below from the NYTimes article about Moriah, linked in the Newsletter with her photo. Photo by Michael Kirby Smith for the New York Times.