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Set Free: Volume 3

21 March, 19:30-21:30

SET FREE: Volume 3
7:30 PM @ Links Hall
Feb 28, Mar 21, Apr 16, May 16, June 13

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.

Volume 3 Participating Artists Include:
Emma Draves
Keisha Janae
Julia Mayer
Tara Aisha Willis

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 – “Look Left” – For year’s, Julia’s mother Karen, a retired school teacher, woke up in time to watch the sun rise over Lake Michigan. Each day, she pulled out the book of poetry at the far right side of the 2nd shelf of the bookcase next to the east-facing window. She would read one poem, the one–marked by a paper book mark from her favorite book store or the gift shop of a faraway museum she’d visited–that followed the one she’d last read from that volume. She picked up where she left off. She’d read the poem, facing east, and use it as a point of departure for the day’s meditation. She was the daughter and the grand-daughter of Methodist ministers. This practice was her prayer. When she sensed her attention waning and her reflection coming to an end, she replaced the book of poetry, but at the left end of the shelf. The next day, she would take again from the right end and begin her reading and reflection again. Each day, one volume at a time, she rotated through her collection of 10 or 12 poetry books. One poem at a time. One book at a time. Pull from the right. Put back on the left. This methodical practice is the basis of a movement and sound score that Julia is just beginning to explore. The culmination of the exploration will be a series of performances in August.

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.



21 March
Event Category:


Links Hall


Links Hall
3111 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60618 United States
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