Predator Songstress - current touring work

Predator Songstress is an intensely visual, music-driven fantastical tale that traces the struggle of an anti-heroine in search of the reclamation of her stolen voice. This modern day fairy tale explores what it means to have a voice, to lose ones voice and to rediscover it with a new understanding of its power. Degenerate Art Ensemble’s work has always focused on the finding of one’s voice. In Predator Songstress, the group collaborated with organizations in Seattle and San Francisco that support the homeless, and worked directly with people recovering from homelessness, addiction and trauma, who, through DAE workshops that explored the finding of voice they helped to create some of the core material of the piece. During the performance, these participants not only shared their own stories of finding their voice, but also interviewed members of the audience, playing the part of the Rebel Forces. The transcripts of these audience interviews were transformed into songs and projections later in the piece.


The world premiere of Predator Songstress took place at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco in the Fall of 2015 and was followed by a Seattle premiere in December of 2015.  Predator Songstress was created with the support of Creative Capital, MAP Fund and New Music USA.  The work is currently in the process of tour planning for 2016 - 2018.





"Since it began 16 years ago, DAE has explored the psychology of fascism as a metaphor for the struggle of artists to surmount oppression. Dictator drives that message home with more opulence and complexity than ever before. This time, the performance will not only spill out into the audience, it will generate stories and an improvisational score in real time. It will be many things, but it won’t be easy."

- City Arts Magazine (Seattle)




"Nishimura’s eclectic, athletic dance solos and the film sequences of a group of female prisoners, are inescapably compelling. So, too, are the vocals, ranging from Nishimura’s sinuous crooning to the potent voices of Okanamodé, a golden-toned, soulful soloist in the second act, and impressively inventive violinist Paris Hurley, who provides the sense-surround accompaniment along with Kohl and co-composer Benjamin Marx, both on guitars and electronics."

- San Francisco Chronicle


"It's also hard to overstate how impressive and smart Nishimura's movements were. Her joints seemed tethered to the earth by invisible ropes, a nice and constant metaphor for unseen powers that work to pull down the voiceless. There were a few moments—one where she washes up into the arms of her brother like a wave breaking on the beach, and another where she pushes her way through cobwebs she makes with her own arms—when I just wanted to stand up and start clapping and pointing and saying YES DO THAT AGAIN."

- The Stranger Weekly (Seattle)