creative process

DIY ‘Mess Hall’ Brings New Voices to the Fore (review)

By on May 4, 2016

  Heavy rain and the three steep flights of stairs up to Outerspace Studios couldn’t keep away the crowd as The Coincidentals’ Mess Hall convened for its second installment in two seasons. The series brings young artists, mostly friends and former Columbia College classmates of producers Jamie Corliss and Lydia Feuerhelm, together for what looks […]

In Process with CDF Lab Artist Ginger Krebs

By on July 21, 2015

The Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) Lab Artist grant is a coveted prize for any choreographer, yielding some of Chicago’s best works. Since its inception in 2003, the organization lead by Ginger Farley has sponsored nearly 50 artists, each given a significant chunk of change to produce one work. Over the years, artists have allocated their grants […]

The “Carpenter COLEctive” is greater than the sum of its parts (review)

By on May 11, 2015

Margi Cole and Peter Carpenter have been courting for awhile (artistically, that is). Cole has joined Carpenter as a dancer for the last few installments of his serial dance called Rituals of Abundance for Lean Times, a project that began in 2010 at New Trier High School as a response to the economic state of […]

Review: Loosen Up, LinkUP (or maybe don’t)…

By on March 30, 2015

CHICAGO — Walking into Studio A at Links Hall on Saturday night, the room seemed not quite ready. An orange A-frame ladder remained out near the upstage wall, extension cords strewn about, while a man and a woman in identical outfits played heads or tails with a somewhat awkward nonchalance. There’s a lot to look […]

Christopher Preissing Looks to his Past in “The Four Attic Windows”

By on October 20, 2014

Shortly after his excellent collaboration with Kristina Isabelle in The Floating City last year, composer Christopher Preissing did not take any time to rest. Four antique maps inspired his suite for solo piano called The Four Attic Windows. Preissing was set to launch the new work and accompanying dance created by choreographer Enid Smith a few weeks later, when a serious […]

After two years, ATOM-r’s THE OPERATURE culminates

By on March 28, 2014

The Operature is a dance show scattered amongst the masses of other spring dance shows. Ok, not really. Running two weekends in March, the 90 minute installation from Mark Jeffery and his group called ATOM-r is anything but just another dance show. The Operature pushes boundaries all over the place in its subject matter, venue, […]

DMTs Show Artistry and Collaboration in the Third Annual MOVED Concert (preview)

By on November 8, 2013

MOVED is a student run organization in the Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling (DMT & C) program at Columbia College Chicago. With a mission of advocacy for DMT through sponsored events and volunteering, MOVED promotes the integration of body and mind as a healing practice and provides exposure for the various therapeutic applications of dance. A day […]

COLEctive Notions Plays with Memory, Femininity, and Nostalgia (review)

By on November 4, 2013

The Drucker Center can be a challenging space (speaking from much personal experience), but the interplay between a “casual Sunday night get-together” and the refined manner in which Margi Cole puts up a show deemed it a fitting venue for The Dance COLEctive’s mentor project COLEctive Notions. Three world premieres from Dance COLEctive company members Olivia […]

Opposites Attract in Paige Caldarella’s ‘Off Center’

By on November 3, 2013

CHICAGO — Can different genres of dance co-exist in a performance space? The question isn’t new, but each attempt at an answer produces widely different results. In her final outing as a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist, Paige Caldarella fashions a relationship between ballet and vogue, calling on her background as a Julliard trained dancer […]

SPDW, Peter Carpenter, and Dances that Make you Go Hmm (preview)

By on October 10, 2013

It doesn’t appear to be a logical combination at first. One might even call them “The Odd Couple” of the October Chicago dance frenzy. But actually, it’s a match made in heaven. Same Planet Different World (SPDW), under the direction of Joanna Rosenthal, and Peter Carpenter Performance Project, under the direction of… well, you know… […]

“Vision, Faith & Desire” Honors the Past, Looks Toward the Future (preview)

By on September 18, 2013

When I hear the name Martha Graham, two thoughts immediately pop into my mind. My first exposure to modern dance was Graham Technique, and until my third year of college it was really my only exposure.  Hearing that name brings a flood of memories of the sore hip flexors and complete frustration and confusion with […]

A “Monument”al Weekend with The Seldoms (preview)

By on September 15, 2013

I’ve always admired The Seldoms, but for me the turning point happened when I Prancercized with them in a cold basement while waiting out a tornado in Edwardsville, IL. Ok, that’s kind of a long story, but prancing aside, The Seldoms were in Edwardsville to show an edited Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead as […]

Secret Experiments in Ballet

By on May 1, 2013

Emily Stein is not an emerging artist. With more than two decades invested in the Chicago Dance Community, Emily Stein is perhaps best known for her dual roles as Associate Artistic Director of Zephyr Dance and one of the best ballet teachers in the land. I was more than a little surprised to hear that she resigned […]

Lizzie Leopold on how dancers are people. and so are audience members.

By on October 22, 2012

Ok, so, you might notice some changes around here… I'm in the middle of a massive re-build of the website!  Unfortunately, that means that we're is in a continual state of virtual chaos.  So exuse the "dust", if you will, while I talk briefly about a project that couldn't wait until the web changes are done…. […]

Unsolicited advice. To myself. And, a word about stillness in dance.

By on September 15, 2012

Calm down and sit still. But, keep busy, too.   I have a serious tendency to jam pack my life.  I actually feel like sometimes this helps my productivity – when I'm not as busy I tend to catch up on TV, lolligag, and generally accomplish less.   So what gives?   There's actually some […]

Sometimes, Lauren thinks

By on February 26, 2012

I work, and I write, and then I work some more, and then I write some more. And then, sometimes, I think.   What I mean is, life is go, go, go, all the time and if you're an artist of any kind this can be a bit problematic when if comes to making work […]

Eat, Pray, PRODUCE

By on July 22, 2011

First of all, I'd like to publicly announce that that movie should have ended after the "eat" part in Italy… although I've been told the book is much better. Secondly, that piece of strawberry pie to my left is not from Italy. It's from the Hotel Santa Fe in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico. And it's the best […]

Work

By on May 20, 2011

Until recently, I saw dance as a luxury, a passion, an indulgence, a pasttime, and, sometimes, an annoyance.  I took a look at the choreographers who I feel are successful, and realized that they treat dance as their profession.  Regardless of their "jobs", dance is their work. Even though football is a game, society places […]

On Movement

By on February 9, 2011

  Movement is on the brain.  Here's why:   In a post-show discussion at Dance Union, with the topic of the evening titled "On Movement", someone asked the panel of choreographers (myself included) why we chose dance as a medium to express these particular ideas.  I'm not exactly sure how I answered the question, but looking […]