RubiX is a performance outlet merging music and movement, by bringing local musicians, dancers, performing artists, visual artists and writers together to collaborate through a series of transformative events. This ever-changing platform is rearrangeable to match different spaces, themes, media and content with a rotating talent pool. RubiX intends to bridge gaps between audience and performer, and to increase community access to the performing arts.
RubiX sprang from a shared desire to break out of creative silos. Dancer and choreographer Haley Kostas had been building new works with musician Conner Giles. Just blocks away, writer and musician Sarah Magill was founding a collaborative music project called MYRY and working with interactive projection artist David Steele Overholt and designer/maker Johnny Dawbarn to add visual elements to her music.
Haley and Sarah met at the Monarch Coffee back bar, where they were both regulars seeking connection out of creative-career isolation. They became fans of each other’s work and discovered they were both seeking more from their performances. They wanted to stage events that had the communal, collision-of-ideas feel of the cafe culture they frequented: Happenings that became third spaces that could not only entertain but generate new works, new connections and new communities.
This became RubiX. The name of the project is a play on the infinitely rotatable Rubik’s cube…and the magic that happens when dimensions intersect and everything aligns. It is also a nod to one of the definitions of the word ‘matrix’: A womb where new creations originate. RubiX is a new way of creating performances—one that melds disciplines, breaks media and genre boundaries and elevates surprise. It will eliminate roadblocks for performers by sharing tools, venues and networks that are out of individual reach.
Each RubiX performance will be built around a theme, a space and the artists involved. No two performances will be alike; each will shape-shift to meet the needs of its environment. Artists will bring existing work, expand on each other’s current projects, and partner with other participants to create brand new work. Audiences will be encouraged to participate as well through immersive movement, music-making opportunities, creative prompts and/or interactive design elements.
The founding members also include Teresa Leggard, a poet, playwright and director who will integrate drama and language arts into RubiX’s performances. The group will expand to include more artists, with an eye toward featuring diverse points of view and stages of career.
The eclectic interpretation of ‘performance’ for this project could include any of the following: Movement (choreographed or improvised), music (solo, shared, prepared or improvised), printed zines, micro-plays, spoken word poetry, live art-making, interactive projections, built art installations, poster design, and more.
The Rubix project has a number of ambitious goals: building a healthy network of artistic relationships that support and challenge each individual’s output; raising the expectation for performing arts experiences from audience consumption to audience connection; and bringing collaborative, community-building performance art to accessible spaces, surprising venues and cross-cultural meeting points.
RubiX is an experimental performance outlet, merging music and movement by bringing together local musicians, dancers, performing artists, visual artists and writers to collaborate through a series of transformative events. This is an ever-changing platform, responding to new combinations of space, theme, media and content with an adaptable talent pool. RubiX bridges the gaps between audience and performer, creators and creator, and provides the community with accessibility to the performing arts.
Founding members include Haley Kostas (dance artist & choreographer), Conner Giles (multi-instrumentalist and composer), Sarah Magill (musician and writer), David Steele Overholt (multi-media artist), Johnny Dawbarn (designer and illustrator) and Teresa Leggard (poet, playwright and director). The group plans to expand to include more artists, with an eye toward featuring diverse points of view and stages of career.
Haley Kostas is a Greek American choreographer, dance artist, and educator based out of Kansas City. Haley attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Conservatory of Music and Dance, along with training abroad at The London Contemporary Dance School. Haley’s choreography and works have been presented and commissioned by various companies and universities across the nation, and she was recently selected as a choreographer for Kansas City Ballet’s 2019 New Moves performance and for Open House 2019 exhibitions. She has worked alongside internationally recognized choreographers in the creation of new works and large-scale productions, such as live performances from The Juilliard School to the TV series SYTYCD. Professionally, she has danced in works by choreographers and companies such as Aszure Barton, Marguerite Derricks, and with musical artists such as Katy Perry. (IMAGE: 2016 all rights reserved Molly Carroll)
Teresa Leggard earned her English degree from Spelman College and her MFA in creative writing and media arts from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. As a poet (I-70 Review, Bear Review, Midwest African American Literary Journal, etc.), her work deals with notions of home and belonging. Her award-winning dramatic writing has featured female protagonists and addressed issues of ambition, education, ‘chastity’, and family. As a director (PASS OVER, THE GREEN BOOK WINE CLUB TRAIN TRIP, SINGLE BLACK FEMALE and more), Teresa is attracted to new works, emerging voices, and lesser-told stories.
Johnny Dawbarn is the founder of Collective EX. By expanding artists’ personal stories together, the collective provides creative environments and meaningful experiences where these artisans can begin to create, craft and collaborate within their expertise. John brings decades of experience as an entrepreneur (sewKC, 5 Points), creative thinker (Hallmark) designer/illustrator (Thou Mayest, SCION, KC Star), and musician (NoMathmatics) to this new venture.
Sarah Magill is an award-winning copywriter and musician based in Kansas City, Missouri. A classically trained pianist, house-show host (Madison Presents) and big-brand storyteller (Mags Media), Magill founded a collaborative music project called MYRY in late 2018. MYRY’s first EP, Ahem., emerged from a series of co-writing experiments with producer David Bennett (Akkilles). She’s currently rehearsing with a full band and back in the studio, working on a series of singles that filter longing, frustration and shaky hope through a dream-pop lens.
Conner Giles is an American multi-instrumentalist and composer based in Kansas City. As a guitarist, electronic music producer, and classically trained cellist and more, Giles has enjoyed an extensive and dynamic career. Through years of extensive national touring, he has shared the stage with a wide array of artists- from The Voice’s Taylor Phelan to the Transiberian Orchestra. He also performs regularly in collaboration with local and regional symphony orchestras. In the studio, Giles’ creative acumen is regularly sought to be included in projects ranging from programming in the digital realm to composing music for dance.
David Overholt has been an instructor in Art and Design for nearly 20 years through graphic design, photography, lighting, videography, and new computer/electronic systems. He has taught a wide variety of media, including founding the Kansas City Art Institute’s Interactive Arts major. His work deals with oversaturation and consumption of marketing imagery, security and safety replacements, and self-identity through technology. David’s work has been seen nationwide and recognized by the Mid-America Arts Alliance, Charlotte Street Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts.