Performance Art

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 the Palestine. The text includes excerpts of a (real) letter by “Danny”, a young IDF soldier who wrote to Rachael, a fictional statement by the Palestinian doctor whose home Rachael was defending, and excerpts from real letters Rachael had sent home before she was killed by the bulldozer. 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

Watch a video-summary of this performance! (30 min of a 1.5 hour show) :


Sacred Garden 2016 is an outdoor performance art experience centering stories of womanhood. This intergenerational and multicultural ensemble includes Rachael Bird, Maryam Houshyar, Filsan Ibrahim, Zea Leguizamon, Lula Saleh, Simone Rendon, Vidhya Shanker, Sarojini Pokawa, and Star Williams. We share our life-passages through improvised movement and poetry, featuring live music by Douglas Ewart and Ana Begej. Masked creatures, puppetry, and Butoh Dance evoke dreamlike scenes of a modern fairytale. Directed by Malia Burkhart. Co-sponsored by Pangea WorldTheater. This project is supported by Forecast Public Art with funding from The McKnight Foundation and audience donations.
Performances: Saturday October 1, Friday October 7, and Saturday October 8, 2016. at 7pm. Meet at 10th Avenue and 34th Street in Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis. Performances are outdoors: Plese dress for the weather.

To increase our audience-accessibility, we will have Spanish translation available on October 1, and ASL translation available on October 8. This is a performance that walks from place to place, within a total distance of one city block. If you have difficulty standing for 10 min at a time, please bring a lawnchair or blanket to sit on. We will have a limited number of lawnchairs available onsite. If you have special physical access needs, please contact our stage manager at:
The Forecast grant funded 2/3 of the costs for this project. We ask you to support our work through a donation, in person or online at :
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“We are a creative, authentic, loving crew of women with stories to tell from a wide range of experiences. We are excited to share our stories with you! Also, Malia’s vision and artistry are delicious, moving, beyond words — images, light, the beautiful park at dusk, stories and dance, music — This is a celebration of being alive, of being here, of being together. Can’t wait to share it with you.” — Rachael Bird

“There is something about working with women from all backgrounds and ages and watching them and thinking “wow she is amazing, wow that story is thoughtful, I wish I was. . . ” And then the real thought happens of “I am just as amazing, powerful, and adored”  What does that mean and how do I share that with each person who sees us tell our woman stories.”   — Simone Rendon

“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.

Summer Solstice, 2009
Malia Burkhart
on the other side of perception is a pond
where image meets reality
and the rain falls softly
on the smooth and changing underbelly
of possible worlds
we pretend we are not here
we pretend we cannot see
we pretend we can disappear
and have no effect on reality
the surface of the water
is always changing
as one molecule slides
beneath the other
I spin a thread of moments
I locate my position by my memory
we purposefully ignore the past
because there are wounds
we wish to forget
we are afraid
of the pain
and so wounding
our spirit suffers
and is reflected all around us
but no one has ever done anything terrible
we are whole
we are lost
we are learning
to accept, with open eyes
all that we have been
all that we may yet become
and we are on our way
toward remembering
who we are

The Survival Pages

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