Performance Art

Communion – A Puppet Film by Malia Araki Burkhart

This film describes a spiritual journey through symbols and sounds. What happens when we release rigid beliefs, and open to other truths? What traumas did my ancestors experience, in the expansion of Christianity? How can I hold and heal these ancestors’ stories?

Copyright 2022-2023 by Malia Araki Burkhart
Executive Producer: Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop
Minneapolis, MN, USA

Remembering Rachael Corrie


This piece was created in 2006 for the “Revolutionary Women’s Cabaret” at the Center for Independent Artists.

This is a 10-minute edited version of a 30-minute performance.  This piece was created in 2006 for the “Revolutionary Women’s Cabaret” at the Center for Independent Artists in Minneapolis, MN by artist Malia Araki Burkhart.  Malia combined puppetry techniques with video projection and Butoh dance to tell the story of Rachael Corrie. Rachael was a US citizen, and a member of the pro-Palestinian group International Solidarity Movement (ISM). She was crushed to death by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) armored bulldozer in a southern Gaza Strip while placing her body between the bulldozer and the home of a Palestinian family about to be demolished. This performance includes a visual summary of the history of the conflict including references to the common roots of Islam and Judaism, the WWII holocaust of the Jewish people, the founding of Israel and the occupation of Palestine. The text includes excerpts of a real letter by “Danny”, a young IDF soldier who wrote to Rachael, a fictional statement by Dr. Samir Nasrallah, the Palestinian doctor whose home Rachael was defending, and excerpts from real letters Rachael had sent home during her stay in Palestine. I offer this performance in memory of the bravery of Rachael Corrie, for placing her own life in the line of justice; For the Palestinian people who face oppression and disproportional force; and for the Jewish diaspora — many of whom see the connections between the holocaust they endured and the current genocide of the Palestinian people. I pray for peace; and I pray that we all embody the bravery that Rachael showed in standing up for what is right.

Sacred Garden 2016 – A Performance Art Project


Sacred Garden (2016) was an outdoor performance art experience centering stories of womanhood. This intergenerational and multicultural ensemble included Rachael Bird, Maryam Houshyar, Filsan Ibrahim, Zea Leguizamon, Lula Saleh, Simone Rendon, Vidhya Shanker, Sarojini Pokawa, and Star Williams. We shared our life-passages through improvised movement and storytelling, featuring live music by Douglas Ewart and Ana Begej. Masked creatures, puppetry, and Butoh Dance evoked dreamlike scenes of a modern fairytale. Directed by Malia Burkhart. Co-sponsored by Pangea WorldTheater. This project was supported by Forecast Public Art with funding from The McKnight Foundation and audience donations.

“Wild America” a nature documentary with host Malia Burkhart.

This short video was created as part of my 2007 performance, “The Survival Pages”.

I created this performance through the Naked Stages Program. Supported through the Jerome Foundation and Intermedia Arts.  A 9-month program, working with mentor Masanari Kawahara.

Osteogenesis ~ A work-in-progress

Images from August 2013 work-in-progress showing.  An in-home Performance Installation featuring live music, butoh dance, and masked characters.  With performers Malia Burkhart, Maggie Majewski, Stacy Lee King, and masked-musicians Rachael Sarto and Stephanie Watts.

Two Hands: Witchhunts and Wolfhunts

A Performance by Malia Burkhart

Late Nite Series, Pillsbury House Theater  ~ November 16, 2013

This performance was featured as part of the Late Nite Series at Pillsbury House Theater. For this series, curators e.g. bailey and Laurie Carlos bring some of the best interdisciplinary performers from New York and Minnesota together to explore the cross-currents of contemporary culture through music and sound, text and images, and movement and dance.

Performed for the Late Nite Series at Pillsbury House and Theater, 3501 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis.  Concepts in this piece were later developed in “Osteogenesis” in Aug-Oct 2014.  This 20-minute work-in-progress investigates my German heritage and traumas resulting from the witchhunts of the 16th-18th centuries.  I investigate my relationship to Christianity and Paganism, and how the persecution of “witches” persists in today’s suburban culture.  I look at how this shifted my people’s relationship to wildness and mystery, and how these patterns are expressed today through our fear, misunderstanding, and persecution of wolves.  This piece features live music by cellist Rachael Sarto, and pre-recorded original music by Malia Burkhart.  All masks and artwork in this piece are made by Malia Burkhart.  The last portion of the piece is a “moving story”; improvised movement and storytelling.


Video Poem: Reflections

Dance, Videography, and Poetry by Malia Burkhart. All Rights Reserved 2009.
Music by Ghost 7.

The Survival Pages

Naked Stages 2007 performance preview of The Survival Pages by Malia Burkhart. All Rights Reserved 2007