J'Sun Howard Co-MISSIONS Fellowship Premiere

J'Sun Howard Co-MISSIONS Fellowship Premiere

J'Sun Howard, Damon D. Green, Dedrick (Deddy Banks) Gray, Willyum Labeija, Co-MISSIONS Fellowship Showcase

Sun, February 25, 2018

7:00 pm

Links Hall

Chicago, IL

$12-$15 online, $17 door

Off Sale


Due to a significant heath scare we regret to announce that we will have to postpone the final performances of Co-MISSION Fellow J'Sun Howard's project "Working On Better Versions of Prayers". One of our performers is in recovery but has not been cleared medically to perform this weekend. We appreciate your support and look forward to offering you the opportunity to experience this wonderful work in the near future.

Ticket buyers will be contacted directly.


Working On Better Versions of Prayers
Working On Better Version of Prayers

Created by J'Sun Howard in collaboration with Dedrick “Deddy Bank​s​” Gray, Damon D. Green, and Willyum Labeija

Dramaturge: Raquel Monroe

"Working On Better Versions of Prayers" creates charismatic space for black boy joy. A poetic testimony that miracles erupt at any moment. A portrait in blue looking on intimacy between men of color, acts of practicing freedom, and radical hope, that is hope directed toward a future goodness that transcends the current ability to understand what it is, an imaginative excellence.
J'Sun Howard
J'Sun Howard
J'Sun Howard is from Chattanooga, TN. A Chicago Dancemaker’s Forum grantee, 2014, his choreography has appeared at local venues Links Hall, Northwestern University, Sonotheque, Lincoln Square Theatre, Insight Arts/Center for New Possibilities, Epiphany Church, and Rumble Arts. In 2009, J'Sun was selected to be a LinkUp Residency to deepen his artistic practice at Links Hall and in 2010 he was granted the Julius Margolin "Youth in Labor" Award to protest at the gates of the School of Americas in Fort Benning, GA. He has also performed at Patrick\'s Cabaret (Minneapolis, MN), had work commissioned by the Chicago Academy School for the Arts, and been a sponsored artist at High Concept Laboratories. 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 in their research of (e)feminized ritual performance, which received a 2013 Juried Bessie Award in support of Hoo-Ha (for your eyes only). His collaboration, Utopic Monster Theory, with poet Jennifer Karmin has been performed in exhibitions "I Can't Breathe" at ARC Gallery, "Law and Disorder" at Women Made Gallery, and Small Traffic Press's production of Poets Theater Festival (San Francisco, CA), and the IN>Time Performance Festival. His literary work can be read in the journals: Chicago IRL, Inkwell, Danspace’s Constellations and Influences, Garland Court Review, Storyglossia, 3rd Language, Bird's Thumb, and Manifold, The Body.
Damon D. Green
Damon D. Green
Damon D. Green is a Chicago-based dancer and was born in Champaign, Illinois, where his dance education and training began at The Christine Rich Studio. Green began his training in classical ballet and jazz in 1996. Green furthered his education at Columbia College Chicago starting in 2003, where he was introduced to Modern/Contemporary, African and Vogue dance. Voguing is currently Damon's specialty and he continues to explore and perform in this form, in its fusion with contemporary vocabulary, with choreographer and Associate Professor of Dance Darrell Jones. Damon maintains his presence in the contemporary dance world with The Seldoms and with choreographer and dance educator Paige Cunningham. Green has traveled abroad, performed in Siberia and Taiwan and introduced Voguing to Russian students as a master teacher at the Isadora International Festival of Contemporary Dance. TimeOut Chicago rated him one of the "Top 10 Men of Dance" in 2010.
Dedrick (Deddy Banks) Gray
Dedrick (Deddy Banks) Gray
Gray is a native of Chicago, IL. He began dancing in his early teens, and then continued his training at Columbia College Chicago earning a BA in Marketing and Dance. He's a company member of Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago. Dedrick has also attended Jacobs Pillow school of dance two years in a row under scholarship. He has worked with and performed pieces by choreographers such as Onye Ozuzu, Matthew Williams, Kia Smith, Camille A. Brown, Moncell E. Durden, Darrell Jones, Francine Ott, Kelsa Robinson, Dianne McIntyre, Ni'ja Whitson, D.Saleba Grimes, and from Red Clay Dance Company and Urban Bush Woman
Willyum Labeija
Willyum LaBeija is member of the Royal House of LaBeija since 2011. Graduated from American Military University with a BS in Biology, BA in Music Education. Served in the Army four years active and two years Army Reserves. While serving I was selected for the MWR Army Soldier Show and completed 2 world tours as the dance captain. Currently I teach USA Gymnastics, Competitive/Recreational dance, all star cheerleading, and ninja zone. When I'm not teaching or performing I coach for the Miss America organization, Miss World America organization, core background actor, and work at Russian Pointe. I've taught at Brown University and Harvard
Co-MISSIONS Fellowship Showcase
Two Co-MISSION Fellows are selected annually by Links Hall's Programing Committee. These commissions are the highest dollar and resource awards offered by Links Hall annually. They are granted to individual artists who are based in Chicago and have received significant recognition and/or accolades for their creative work over the course of their careers. The program is specifically designed to partner with established artists who have already completed the initial research and development phase of a new work and are looking for intensive support around the completion and premiere of a new project.

Made possible in part through the support of the Links Hall Commissioning Collective.
Venue Information:
Links Hall
3111 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60618