Presented by SMUSH Gallery as part of the Curatorial Fellowship in Dance. Welcome to Essence of Embodiment! We're glad you're here and hope you enjoy all of what we have to offer. Learn more about our goals and the people behind-the-scenes.

  • Essence of Embodiment Team

Our Mission

Essence of Embodiment exists to advance BIPOC, Queer, Non-Binary, Transgender and Disabled-Identifying Communities of Artists, Dancers, Filmmakers, Writers through film premieres, movement workshops, and zine publications.

We aim to create a community through embodiment, healing from trauma, and finding joy---- in order to broaden thinking and conversations centered around performance, relationships to food, racial identity and how that relates to the body, the intersection between dance and film, and more.

Our Why

Essence of Embodiment was designed as an opportunity for an artist, dancer, creator, or educator in any form to explore using healing through movement. This event offers a safe and inclusive space for people of all race, gender, sexuality, body type and ability to share insights, increase a sense of belonging and bodily agency, and explore your own paths through this experience. We believe that this is especially crucial at this time, as we approach the one year anniversary of quarantines in the United States and across the globe.

We offer up this moment of rest to build connections, deepen your movement practice, and foster discussions in pursuit of replenishing joy and feelings of empowerment.

Some of our motivations have been: how do you make healing a priority? What do you need to realign your body with your mind? How do you recognize disembodiment? What does it mean to own your body? How do you practice mindfulness?

Essence of Embodiment Festival 2021 is a donation-based four-day virtual experience. Part film festival, part dance intensive---the festival will offer a combination of film premieres, interactive live-streamed work, and talks by established and emerging filmmakers and choreographers, and print publications. EOEFF is one of the few festivals where the filmmakers also facilitate the movement workshops. We hope you’ll enjoy this opportunity to connect and build support around moving through obstacles and realizing your power.


SMUSH Gallery is an art space dedicated to creative and community work in Jersey City. We produce a range of events and exhibitions in the disciplines of visual art, dance, literary arts, music, and more. We also host rehearsals, community events, and performance rentals. Visit ​​smushgallery.com​​ to see what we’re up to.

Who We Are

We are an interdisciplinary artist duo, with a background in filmmaking, theatrical design, writing, and curatorial studies. We aim to make space for minority creators, particularly those in Dance, Film, and Design Fields.

Iman Louis-Jeune

Festival Director // Film Programming // Design

Iman Rose Louis-Jeune is an interdisciplinary artist, working through movement, lens-based media, graphic design and publications, stagecraft and technical production, and political activism. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY to parents from Haiti, Bajan and Colombian descent with a diverse religious upbringing.

Pulling from personal and familial experiences, her work in the past has explored mental illness, racial inequities, and current political events, in the forms of: textile and garment designs examining diseases brought on by colonization, dance films protesting gun violence, photo collage print and cyanotype series delving into the intersection of Black Mental Health and Resilience. In 2017, she received a BFA in Studio for Interrelated Media from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Recently, she has worked on a letter exchange campaign for political prisoners with publishing company, Everlasting Time.

Currently, she is a curatorial fellow in dance with SMUSH Gallery.

Kelli Fox

Film Programming // Artist Liaison

Kelli Fox is a multimedia interdisciplinary artist based in Telluride, CO who earned her BFA in Studio for Interrelated Media from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work exists primarily in the form(s) of sculptural video installation, experimental hand-manipulated film, community-driven event production, and lighting design.

Conceptually, her work focuses on curation of viewer experience, abstraction of written language, tactility and manipulation of memory over time, the paradox of guarded vulnerability, (mis-/re-/non-)connections between people, the weight of absence, and the conveyance of emotion through symbiosis of audio and visual components.

In addition to her artistic practice, Kelli is invested in studying film, reading (voraciously), writing, cooking, carpentry, problem solving, and actively working towards operating an artist-run farm commune + residency venue.