Performing Home

Performing Home

"Performing Home" engages the multivalent meanings, spaces, and movement that construct what we call home. Home is at once intensely personal and abstractly social; structured both through individual experience and legal decree. Spanning a range of movement practices and positionalities, the work in "Performing Home" was created with dramaturgical support from scholars, a lay historian, and a housing activist. Performances will be followed by a discussion with the movement makers and dramaturgs. Works Presented: The Living Lakes/Anita Gonzalez & Joel Valentín-Martínez An excerpt from The Living Lakes, a multi-disciplinary dance theatre project that explores African American and Latino migrations in the Midwest between 1915 and 1935. Through tableaux, dance movement landscapes, projections, and vocalized soundscapes, The Living Lakes tells the story of multi-ethnic families making a place for themselves as they travel from South to North. (re)location/Paige Fraser In her first major choreographic work, Fraser reflects upon the meaning of "home” within the context of the African Diaspora. (re)location is inspired by the journey that Fraser’s ancestors underwent from the African continent to Jamaica, the UK, and America. Working on Better Versions of Prayers(excerpt)/J’Sun Howard This never-before-seen excerpt from Howard’s forthcoming evening-length work deals with home: the displacement around ideas of the father. Working on Better Versions of Prayers is a poetic testimony that seeks to make a charismatic space for joy, perform the intimacy between queer men of color, and explore the work of practicing freedom. CloisterSong/Joshua Kent Through utilitarian movements and chanted text, CloisterSong explores the veiled domestic of those who facilitate and support the interior lives of others. Centralizing historically femme narratives of motherhood, nuns, and caregivers, CloisterSong posits labor as a unifying force within cultural systems that discredit and yet are sustained by feminized work.

Anita Gonzalez

Movement Maker: Anita Gonzalez is a director, writer, and head of the Global Theatre and Ethnic Studies minor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her directing and choreography has appeared on PBS television, and at HereArts, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and other venues.

Joel Valentín Martínez

Movement Maker: Joel Valentín-Martínez was a member of Tony Award-winning Garth Fagan Dance. He has choreographed for Luna Negra Dance Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, and John Jota Leaños, and his work has been performed at Harris Theater, El Museo del Barrio (NYC), and the Museum of Contemporary Art. He is director of the dance program at Northwestern University.

Paige Fraser

Movement Maker: Paige Fraser was named by Dance Magazine as one of the “25 to Watch” for 2017 and is a 2016 Princess Grace Foundation Dance Fellowship awardee. Before joining Visceral Dance Chicago, Fraser danced with Ailey II. She has performed in a Beyoncé tour-opener and on the TV show Empire.

J'Sun Howard

J’Sun Howard is a Chattanooga native and a Chicago-based dancemaker and poet. J’Sun has recently received the Sybil Shearer Fellowship and residency at Ragdale Foundation, a nomination to participate in an emerging artist laboratory at Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC), and a 2017 3Arts Award nomination. A 2014 Chicago Dancemaker’s Forum Lab Artist awardee, his choreography has appeared at multiple venues such as Links Hall, Northwestern University, Sonotheque, Lincoln Square Theatre, Insight Arts/Center for New Possibilities, Epiphany Church, Rumble Arts, Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, Patrick’s Cabaret (MN), and​ ​Poets Theater Festival(CA).
J’Sun has performed for many choreographers including Malcolm Jason Low, Asimina Chremos, Sara Wookey, Paige Cunningham, Selene Carter, but most extensively with collaborators Darrell Jones and Damon Green.

Joshua Kent

Movement Maker: Joshua Kent has presented work in Rapid Pulse International Performance Festival, EXPO Chicago, and at The Knockdown Center (NYC), Mobius Gallery (Boston), and Lightbox (Detroit). Kent has held residencies at Links Hall and ACRE, and was named by NewCity as a Breakout Artist of 2014.

Image by: Gina Marie Robinson
Featured: Joshua Kent, Courtney Mackedanz and Matthew Nicholas

Adrienne Brown

Dramaturge: Adrienne Brown is Assistant Professor in the University of Chicago Department of English Language and Literature and co-editor of "Race and Real Estate." Brown earned her PhD at Princeton and specializes in American and African-American cultural production in the 20th century.

Bob Loerzel

Dramaturge: Robert Loerzel is a freelance journalist and photographer whose work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, the Reader, Chicago magazine, Crain’s Chicago Business, Playbill, the Sun-Times, Newcity, The Huffington Post blog, and on WBEZ’s Curious City

Bob Palmer

Dramaturge: Bob Palmer is Policy Director for Housing Action Illinois, and has over 25 years experience in housing organizing, advocacy, training, and finance. Ashlie Sandoval is a PhD candidate in the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. Her dissertation interrogates how the performativity of work structures city spaces to service a wealthy minority at the expense of marginalized communities.

Cynthia Bond

Curator & Producer/Lead Dramaturg: Cynthia Bond (CreativeBond) is a writer, dramaturg, performance curator, and media producer. Recent projects include The Anti-Inauguration: An Emergency Cabaret, and body ± New Works in Dance and Technology. Her curatorial work earned her a place in High Concept Labs’ 2016-2017 Institutional Incubation Program.

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"Performing Home" engages the multivalent meanings, spaces, and movement that construct what we call home. Home is at once intensely personal and abstractly social; structured both through individual experience and legal decree. Spanning a range of movement practices and positionalities, the work in "Performing Home" was created with dramaturgical support from scholars, a lay historian, and a housing activist. Performances will be followed by a discussion with the movement makers and dramaturgs

Tech / Design Credits:: Image: Brittney Leeanne Williams
Sponsored / Funded By:: Curated & produced by Cynthia Bond. Performing Home is funded in part by a grant from Illinois Humanities, and was developed with the support of High Concept Labs Institutional Incubation Program

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