SIGNIFIER and WATCHING ME/WATCHING YOU: Joanna Furnans & Joshua Kent

SIGNIFIER and WATCHING ME/WATCHING YOU: Joanna Furnans & Joshua Kent

Fri, October 23, 2015

7:00 pm

Links Hall

Chicago, IL

$10.00 - $15.00

Pre Show at 7 PM, performances at 7:30 PM

SIGNIFIER and WATCHING ME/WATCHING YOU: Joanna Furnans & Joshua Kent
SIGNIFIER and WATCHING ME/WATCHING YOU: Joanna Furnans & Joshua Kent
In her first evening length work, Signifier, Joanna Furnans identifies, investigates, and (re)presents the female dancer on stage. In this performance for three women, Furnans explores what we have internalized about the often exploitative and chauvinistic representation of women in dance and the movement vocabularies ingrained in us that may belong to that ethos. She considers how we can use the tools of our training to depict a more accurate view of ourselves: one that is not necessarily sexy, is neither helpless nor virtuosic, neither graceful nor powerful. Through intricate movement patterns, repetitive effort, unapologetic formality and boldly articulate choreography, Signifier challenges its dancers to distill the influence of a misogynist society and aims to condition the audience to see us through this new lens.

*This project is partially supported by an Individual Artist Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

"Joanna Furnans is an independent choreographer and performer based in Chicago. As a dancer with Minneapolis based choreographers Karen Sherman, Morgan Thorson, and Chris Schlichting she has had the opportunity to perform in some of the country’s most celebrated contemporary performance venues/festivals including Jacob’s Pillow (MA), PS 122 (NYC), The Chocolate Factory (NYC), The American Realness Festival (NYC), The Walker Art Center (MN), Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, MA), The Fuesbox Festival (Austin, TX), the TBA Festival (Portland, OR) and Dance Place (Washington, DC). As an emerging choreographer, Joanna’s work has been presented at the Walker Art Center, The University of Minnesota, the Byrant Lake Bowl Theater (MN), Links Hall and the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse in Chicago. Named one of the “5 Chicago Dancers to Observe in 2015” by Art Intercepts, Furnans’s work tends to honor the formality of dance while attempting to subvert it’s tradition.

"“…Furnans transforms an ordinary, methodical pass of dancing into a sexually, politically charged statement.”
- Art Intercepts

(Furnans) “…conjures magic from an unlikely source…”
- Laura Molzahn, Chicago Tribune"
Joshua Kent’s new performance, WATCHING ME / WATCHING YOU, explores the subtly of oppression within everyday gestures. Crafted in the shadow of accessible pornography and heavily mediated bodies, two men and one woman move within a sparse environment speaking words written by others and performing dances they acquired from television. As roles shift, viewers become increasing aware of the complicated responsibilities at play, and simplified narratives of gender and race begin to fail. Gradually even the spectatorship of live performance is questioned, as those witnessing WATCHING ME / WATCHING YOU become challenged by their own roles within forces of domination.

Joshua Kent is an interdisciplinary artist working in live performance and sculpture. His visual and performative practice explores desire and other interior movements and their manifestations by way of material objects. Specifically concerned with the poetics of the commonplace, his work is committed to the repurposing of both matter and gesture. Additionally, Mr. Kent's immersive life practice is informed by his work with social service programs addressing community engagement and social justice. For the last six years Joshua has lived and worked within intentional communities, attempting to blur the lines between a studio practice and daily labor.
Venue Information:
Links Hall
3111 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60618