SET FREE Volume 3

SET FREE Volume 3

Emma Draves, Keisha Janae, Julia Mayer, Tara Aisha Willis

Wed, February 28, 2018

7:30 pm

Links Hall

Chicago, IL

$5

The SET FREE Volume 3 participating artists are: Emma Draves, Keisha Janae, Julia Mayer & Tara Aisha Willis.

SET FREE Volume 3
SET FREE Volume 3
SET FREE supports the progression of creative work through performance. It provides independent movement artists repeated access to space where their work can be shown, shared and revisited throughout its development. In recognizing that public performance can deliver different discoveries than those found in the studio, SET FREE creates the possibility for one’s studio and performance practices to be interwoven as the project progresses over time. This series is interested in increasing influence and overlapping appreciation among emerging and experienced artists working within the structures of SET composition and FREE improvisation.

Participating Artists Include:
Emma Draves - "What Follows" - "What Follows" is a companion piece for "Listen", the work I have been developing over the course of the past year in collaboration with Andy Slavin. "Working with Andy has been a new adventure and we have spent months developing rehearsal processes and a working relationship that is honest, artistically challenging, and exciting. I am doing my best to immerse myself within movement, a combination of kinesthetic narrative and task, and eschew impulses to achieve goals or create spectacle. My goal is to create movement that manifests from the changeable self of each individual in a working environment where each dancer feels seen, respected, awakened, galvanized. During the course of Set Free, I will spend time working on a duet for Andy and I, as well as bring in new dancers each month on which to set solo movement pieces. At each month's performance, we will offer up the working process of the Duet, as well as a new Solo."

Keisha Janae - "I am digging I am haunting" - This piece is about a digging process. It is the exploration in finding peace with our shadow. Our body, Our mind, Our spirit, our being are unknown. We are made up of everything black. We are not the format of everything darkness. We are darkness. Keisha will also be working on a duet work with artist Dedrick Gray where the two co-create a work that allows the audience to be witnesses to the process of research between the identity of a black woman and black man and their experiences. Involved within this process is the investigation of the whole body of blackness (past, present, future). We will also rediscover our power by dissecting the body of blackness and placing futuristic elements on top of the past and present.

Julia Mayer - "TBD" - Drawing on her embodied experiences as a practitioner of qi gong, a jazz lover, and a mother--and a strong desire to fly like a bird--Julia's work glides seamlessly from improvised movement maps to composed sequences and back. In this new work, Mayer, as much cartographer as choreographer, attempts to navigate the treacherous waters of grief and loss, avoiding the sirens of melodrama, and, as always, relishing the serious pursuit of play.

Tara Aisha Willis - "Bertha" - Through tightly structured movement improvisation scores, Bertha builds a density of present-tense and strangely historical sensation across a memory-plagued, physically emotional landscape. Forming a tense sonic architecture of oldschool boomboxes around both dancers and audience, this choreography combatively layers familiar song structures and broken remnants that bubble up in our bodies, moving at the fissures between ourselves, eachother, assumed personas, and recollected emotional states. A sensory search for the textures between beats and for what lays beyond the audible surface produces a terrain of movement and affects that allows us to distill emotional shifts as somatic tensions and releases.
For "Bertha", Tara collaborates with NYC-based sound artist/designer Jeremy Toussaint Baptiste (www.jeremytoussaintbaptiste.com).
Emma Draves
Emma Draves
Emma Draves is a dance-artist & educator navigating intertextual spaces of identity. Draves creates work of kinesthetic narrative derived through colliding multiplicities of idiosyncracy, emotional landscape, and effort. Keisha Bennett, originally from Georgia, and graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s BFA Dance program is a Teaching Artist/Office Assistant for Columbia College Chicago, Community Engagement Projects. Keisha is a second company member of Brave Soul Company and member of the Project tool collaboration with Onye Ozuzu. She has participated in many performances such as the “Amsterdam-Berlin-Chicago Festival at Links Hall,” “Chicago Jazz Festival at Jay Pritzker Pavilion,” “The Seldom’s Power Goes at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago,” “ACDA Festival at The John F. Kennedy Center, and collaborated with Elana Jacob’s, “Cabin Fever Dance Company” for a performance at the Soho House. Outside of performance, she is passionate about creating and currently spending her time researching solo artist projects and hopes to study and travel abroad in order cultivate her knowledge and inspire her dance making process.
Keisha Janae
Keisha Janae
Keisha Bennett, originally from Georgia, and graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s BFA Dance program is a Teaching Artist/Office Assistant for Columbia College Chicago, Community Engagement Projects. Keisha is a second company member of Brave Soul Company and member of the Project tool collaboration with Onye Ozuzu. She has participated in many performances such as the “Amsterdam-Berlin-Chicago Festival at Links Hall,” “Chicago Jazz Festival at Jay Pritzker Pavilion,” “The Seldom’s Power Goes at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago,” “ACDA Festival at The John F. Kennedy Center, and collaborated with Elana Jacob’s, “Cabin Fever Dance Company” for a performance at the Soho House. Outside of performance, she is passionate about creating and currently spending her time researching solo artist projects and hopes to study and travel abroad in order cultivate her knowledge and inspire her dance making process.
Julia Mayer
Julia Mayer
Since 1990, JULIA MAYER has taught and choreographed, as faculty and guest artist, at colleges, universities and studios in Chicago and the Midwest and presented her work at innumerable Chicago venues. She has received several grants from the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and was a 2007 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist. As an improviser, Julia draws on her studies with Deborah Hay and Simone Forti and her experiences collaborating with Selene Carter, Asimina Chremos, Julieann Graham, Ayako Kato, and Kathleen Maltese, among others. Additional influences include qi gong; jazz; fantasies of flying; and 17 years of motherhood. From 2006-2009, she hosted Coffee Dance at Links Hall, a groundbreaking series of Friday morning improvised performances that the Chicago Tribune called, “an evocative window into a dancer's inner life." In 2016, she was one of five dancers representing Links Hall in the ABC Project, a Links Hall/Constellation international exchange focusing on improvising musicians and dancers in the three cities: Amsterdam, Berlin, and Chicago.
Tara Aisha Willis
Tara Aisha Willis
Tara Aisha Willis is a dance artist and Ph.D. student in Performance Studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she studies black feminisms and experimental dance aesthetics. She was Co-Managing Editor of TDR/The Drama Review, is a member of Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory’s editorial collective, as well as co-editor with Thomas F. DeFrantz of a special issue of The Black Scholar on African diaspora dance, “Black Moves: New Research in Black Dance Studies.” She has been a Thesis Writing Mentor for Hollins University M.F.A. students in Dance and guest lecturer in Marymount Manhattan College’s Conversations on Diversity series. Her own writing and interviews have appeared in The Black Scholar, The Brooklyn Rail, Movement Research Performance Journal, Women & Performance, TDR, and Magazin im August (forthcoming). Tara has been a house manager at New York Live Arts, a hostess at Joe’s Pub, and was Movement Research’s Program Associate from 2011-2014 where she is now their Coordinator of Diversity Initiatives. Graduating from Barnard College as a Centennial Scholar in 2009 with a B.A. in Dance and English/Creative Writing, she was a 2009 Dance Theater Workshop Van Lier Fellow. A Summer 2016 Chez Bushwick Artist-in-Residence, Tara’s choreographic work has been shown at Movement Research at the Judson Church, REHEARSAL, BAX, Roulette, THROW, Dixon Place, The Painting Center, and AUNTS, among other places. She recently performed in projects with Kim Brandt, Megan Byrne, Sarah A.O. Rosner, and Anna Sperber. She was a co-curator of Movement Research Festival Spring 2016: Hand Written Note(s).
Venue Information:
Links Hall
3111 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60618
http://www.linkshall.org/