Dance Residency Open Studio Series

November 2023—June 2024, Second Tuesday of each month

Chicago Cultural Center, Dance Studio, 1st Floor North • FREE Admission

DCASE Homepage  > Chicago Cultural Center  >  Dance Residency Open Studio Series

 

 

The City of Chicago is pleased to announce the second cohort of artists for the Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio Residency. The Dance Studio Residency provides space, time and funding for Chicago dancemakers to create new work, and each artist or group offers free public engagements – artists talks, workshops, works-in-progress and more – to build diverse intersections and welcome more dialogue between audiences and artists.

The artists will be introduced [in dialogue] at free public panels in November and December. See below for a full schedule and additional information on artists and projects.

Application information for 2024-2025 Residency

 

The Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio Residency is supported in part by a grant from the Walder Foundation. This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Walder Foundation National Endowment for the Arts, arts.gov


Open Studio Schedule

Public programs occur on the second Tuesday of each month through June and will feature a different resident artist. Additional programs will be held on select dates listed below.

Image of accessibility services icon, American Sign Language Interpretation

We aim to provide American Sign Language interpretation at the majority of Open Studio programs. Please refer to the detailed listing below. To request ASL or other access services, please email dcase@cityofchicago.org a minimum of 72 hours before the event.

Open Studio schedule is subject to change. Please check website for additional updates.

 

2023

Tuesday, November 14, 6pm

Artists Panel

Sharon Hoyer

Current Dance Studio resident artists in an open conversation to introduce their projects and the ideas and curiosities that propel their creative investigations.

Participating artists: Chih-Jou Cheng, Helen Lee, Amalia Raye Wiatr Lewis, Amanda Ramirez

Moderator: Sharon Hoyer (Newcity)

Tuesday, December 12, 6pm

Artists Panel

Kellee Edusei (Photo credit: Maria Ponce)

Current Dance Studio resident artists in an open conversation to introduce their projects and the ideas and curiosities that propel their creative investigations.

Participating artists: Aaliyah Christina, J’Sun Howard, Keisha Janae, Drew Lewis, Jenna Pollack

Moderator: Kellee Edusei (Dance/USA)

 

Stay Connected

Visit us:

Chicago Cultural Center

Admission is FREE
Open Daily, 10am–5pm
Exhibitions close 15 minutes before the building closes
(Closed Holidays)

Plan Your Visit


Find us:

Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602

Chicago Cultural Center Google Map
Chicago Cultural Center Google Map


Take CTA to Chicago Cultural Center

  • From the elevated lines: exit at Washington/Wabash and walk east.
  • From the subway: exit at Lake (Red Line) or Washington (Blue Line) and walk east.
  • Served by Michigan Avenue buses 3, 4, 19, 20, 26, 60, 66, 124, 143, 147, 151, 157 and Washington St. buses 4, J14, 20, 56, 66, 147

 

 

2024

Tuesday, January 9, 6pm

J’Sun Howard

A dance workshop inspired by Chen Chen's Your Emergency Contact Is Experiencing An Emergency and Luther Hughes's A Shiver in the Leaves. Through a blend of writing prompts, improvisational exercises, and partnering activities. This workshop invites you to explore, connect, and discover the beauty that unfolds when movement becomes a poetic manifestation of tenderness. No experience or advance registration required.

Tuesday, February 13, 6pm

Amalia Raye Wiatr Lewis

Soaking is a public movement workshop that uses water as an imaginative tool to tune into slow and weighted movement in the body. Participants will be guided through moving meditations and somatic experiences. The search for enjoyment and pleasure is the cornerstone to this exploration. This workshop will borrow techniques from Qigong, Feldenkrais, and Alexander Technique. This will be open to everyone, regardless of ability.

Monday, March 4, 6pm

Amanda Ramirez

Join us for an exclusive preview showcasing the evolving narrative of La Cookout! This work-in-progress features dance excerpts, music, and visuals that trace the cultural tapestry of communal gatherings across history. A guided talk-back session provides a platform to engage with the artists, share your experiences, and explore the significance of these gatherings in shaping cultural connections.

ASL is provided for this event.

Image of accessibility services icon, American Sign Language Interpretation

Tuesday, March 5, 6pm

J’Sun Howard

Work-in-progress showing of take carefully, a dance about how we care for each other when the world is falling apart around us.

ASL is provided for this event.

Image of accessibility services icon, American Sign Language Interpretation

Tuesday, March 12, 6pm

Chih-Jou Cheng

Embodied Stories Workshop: Dive into the rich tapestry of migration stories etched in our bodies. This public engagement is open to all, with a special invitation to immigrants to share and explore their unique journeys and wisdom through movement.

RSVP online (optional)

Saturday, March 23, 11am

Chih-Jou Cheng

Work-in-progress showing of Arriving at Dawn, a wordless physical theatre piece that delves into the theme of finding belonging as viewed through the lens of immigrants' experiences.

RSVP online (optional)

ASL is provided for this event.

Image of accessibility services icon, American Sign Language Interpretation

Sunday, April 7, 11:30am

Helen Lee / Momentum Sensorium

Curiosities of Wellness in Bodies of Grief and Joy

Glimpse into the rehearsal process of building choreography in the round for 7 dancers. While this work currently has several sections from 2 previous iterations, this open rehearsal (with possible audience participation) will focus on a new section. Join us as we stumble along together to sounds written by Lee and arranged and performed by Sharon Udoh on the piano. Laughter and tears are encouraged.

Tuesday, April 9, 6pm

Drew Lewis / House of DOV

Join House of DOV in the Dance Studio for an informal showing of a new work-in-progress by Drew Lewis, featuring music by Family Junket.

ASL is provided for this event.

Image of accessibility services icon, American Sign Language Interpretation

Thursday, April 11, 6:30pm

Aaliyah Christina

Join the PRAISE MOTHER SQUAD and their guest coach in an open workshop to learn the fundamentals and aesthetics of the Black majorette dance style developed at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU). Learn more about the way choreography and movement is developed in PRAISE MOTHER.

Thursday, April 18, 3pm

Drew Lewis / House of DOV

Join House of DOV in the Dance Studio for an intimate view of the rehearsal process and participate in the creation of a new work by Drew Lewis with live music by Family Junket.

Saturday, April 27, 3pm

Keisha Janae

Soulfully rooted in playful praise, this Praise House Language workshop will be a creative circle of expression with testimonials, dance, art-making and song. Through a guided process that centers care, participants of all experiences and backgrounds are able to step into the rehearsal process being used to develop "Praise House Ceremony". The workshop facilitation is informed by Keisha Janae's spiritual and faith-based experience.

Tuesday, May 14, 6pm

Jenna Pollack

A lecture-demonstration showing the poetic possibilities and considerations of material engineering within the creative process. Artists will discuss the pieces’ physical features (human-sized wooden sculptures that act as characters, props, and landscapes), values-based trade-offs in construction, and prototyping with a dance partner in mind.

ASL is provided for this event.

Image of accessibility services icon, American Sign Language Interpretation

Monday, June 3, 6pm

Amanda Ramirez

Join artists for an intimate talk celebrating the universality of communal gatherings and food. Share your stories, recipes, and cultural anecdotes – an exchange of flavors and traditions – during this artist-led dialogue. Excerpts from La Cookout will encapsulate the essence of these gatherings and spark conversation about the natural inclination for communities to convene outdoors over food.

ASL is provided for this event.

Image of accessibility services icon, American Sign Language Interpretation

Wednesday, June 5, 6pm

Amalia Raye Wiatr Lewis

Soak is a dance-based performance project that emerges from a study of public bathing. This work considers how both dance and bathing practices carve out space to imagine new ways of relating to our bodies, our community, and the natural world. The work is created through the exploration of pleasure and leisure, collectively created social space, and the relationship between body and ecology. The work-in-progress showing of Soak will feature dance, sound, and video projection mapping.

ASL is provided for this event.

Image of accessibility services icon, American Sign Language Interpretation

Friday, June 7, 6pm

Jenna Pollack

A work-in-progress sharing, this event will consist of both the movement- and the textual-based research explored over the course of the residency.

ASL is provided for this event.

Image of accessibility services icon, American Sign Language Interpretation

Saturday, June 8, 11am

Aaliyah Christina

The PRAISE MOTHER: Reflections Circle brings participants and facilitators together to discuss and unpack their relationships with those who raise/d them and/or who they’re raising in order to develop healthy habits for coping with mental health and/or expressing their triumphs or struggles in improving harmonious relationships.

ASL is provided for this event.

Image of accessibility services icon, American Sign Language Interpretation

Tuesday, June 11, 6pm

Helen Lee / Momentum Sensorium

Curiosities of Wellness in Bodies of Grief and Joy: Oceans, Trees, Mountains, Clouds

Using lessons from the prior audience engagement in April, Helen and their collaborators will use curiosity as a performance strategy to pull apart and lean into joy and grief. They will experiment with using the dance studio space in the round, welcoming what discoveries are found in the delights and struggles that arise in the process of attempting a structure of a work-in-progress showing.

ASL is provided for this event.

Image of accessibility services icon, American Sign Language Interpretation

Sunday, June 16, 3pm

Keisha Janae

Culturally rooted in the original “Praise House,” the Praise House Ceremony will be an open circle of play to share uplifting stories, movement, music, and song. Come witness families, care professionals, and creatives as they release and build a creative language of love and Praise.

ASL is provided for this event.

Image of accessibility services icon, American Sign Language Interpretation



Artist and Project Information

Chih-Jou Cheng (Photo credit: Cam Frontain)Chih-Jou Cheng is a Taiwanese movement artist and puppeteer who is dedicated to creating artworks that illuminate the challenges and joys of the human experience through collaborative physical/dance theatre. Cheng is honored to be a part of the Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio residency. Her recent credits include The Dream King (Teatro Vista), The King and I (Drury Lane), Newsies as co-choreographer (Music House), A Chorus Line as Connie Wong (Metropolis PAC), and Miranda as Tiger/Stella (Impostors Theatre). Cheng is also the co-artistic director of Dawn Theatre Project, she has created and performed Above the Water, and her other devised works include Violate/Space, the Arrival, and Hold Your Hand. To learn more about her work, visit chihjou-cheng.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaliyah Christina (Photo credit: Ricardo Adame)Born in Ruston, Louisiana and raised across Louisiana, Maryland, and Texas, Aaliyah Christina (she/her) creates and supports performance work as an administrator, curator, movement artist, and writer. Since 2015, she has collaborated with Chicago artists like Keyierra Collins, Ysayë Alma, Darling Shear, Wisdom Baty, Ayako Kato, and Dorian Sylvain. In 2021, Aaliyah received the 3Arts Make-A-Wave grant and as of 2023 she received the Illinois Arts Council Agency 2023 Artist Fellowship Finalist Award in Contemporary New Forms. She has volunteered for community orgs and campaigns including Assata’s Daughters and Defund CPD to fight for Black liberation.

 

 

J'Sun HowardJ’Sun Howard (he/him), an award-winning Chicago-based dancemaker and poet, is a 3Arts Awardee, Links Hall Co-MISSION Fellow, a Ragdale Foundation Sybil Shearer Fellow, and a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist, among many other distinctions. He holds an MFA in Dance and a certificate in World Performance Studies from the University of Michigan.

 

 

 

Keisha JanaeKeisha Janae

Previously a teaching artist and Alumni of Columbia College Chicago, Keisha taught house dance on the west and southside of Chicago. She is a well-established improvisational movement artist, accompanied as a soloist for “ Black Monument Jazz Ensemble,” “Sebau,” Katherine Davis, and Ben LaMar Gay. She’s also performed for the Instigation Festival, Freedom From Freedom Too, BraveSoul Movement, and Project Tool. Keisha has been honored as the 2021 3arts Make a Wave awardee, 2021/22Links Hall resident artist, BeBe Millers Solo/Duo Dancing Project Mentee, and Featured in Chicago Takes 10. Passionate about community engagement, Keisha is a Housing Case Manager helping the homeless and underprivileged populations stabilize their housing and health and also personally develop. A creative care community facilitator, she encourages her audience to discover themselves and find release through artistic forms of self-expression. Her aspirations are to rebuild the bonds between family and community through the creative arts and the spiritual upliftment of praise.

Helen Lee (Photo credit: Kristie Kahns)Helen Lee (they/she) is a Queer Asian American Chicago-born interdisciplinary artist raised by immigrant parents from South Korea. They received an MFA in Performance (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and a BA in Dance and Theatre (University of Hawaii at Manoa). They formed Momentum Sensorium in 2007, a company that has created for See Chicago Dance, Out of Site, APIDA Arts Festival and elsewhere. Helen has performed in the US and internationally, been an international Artist Resident and held local residencies at Links Hall, Chicago Artist Coalition (CAC) and High Concept Labs. Helen was selected for 2022 Newcity Breakout Artist, was a finalist for Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist and awarded a SPARK Grant from CAC.

 

 

 

 

Amalia Raye Wiatr LewisAmalia Raye Wiatr Lewis (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist working with living beings, experiences, and objects. Rooted in ecological wonder and an exploration of the sacred, she works with dancers, non-dancers and sound artists to create site-specific performances and public interventions. She holds a BA from Bennington College in Vermont, where she studied choreography, visual art and anthropology, and an MFA from the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art in Trondheim, Norway. She has performed with national and international artists at galleries and museums and has shown her own work in the U.S., Mexico, Norway, France, Germany and Pakistan.

House of DOV (Photo credit: Michelle Reid)Drew Lewis (he/him) is a performer, choreographer, composer and educator originally from Oak Park, IL. He graduated magna cum laude from Cornish College of the Arts in 2016. Drew has performed extensively with Sidra Bell Dance New York, C-LS, Project 44, Attack Theatre, The Joel Hall Dancers, The Lyric Opera of Chicago and in projects by Lucy Riner and Erin Kilmurray. In 2020, Drew formed his own small ensemble, House of DOV, whose debut performance was selected as a finalist for the Chicago Reader’s Best of 2021. House of DOV has since performed throughout Chicago, including the full-length Heavy Objects, commissioned and presented by Steppenwolf Theatre, and Drew has created works for many other venues and projects.

 

Jenna PollackJenna Pollack (she/her) is a community-engaged researcher, dance professional, cultural organizer, urban planner, and educator. Recently she was a guest choreographer for Hedwig Dances, an Arts Envoy to the U.S. Embassy of Colombia, a Bessie Schonberg resident artist at The Yard, Boston Center for the Arts Dancemaker Resident. Jenna's collaborative teams have been commissioned by the Olin College of Engineering, New Movement Collaborative, Hubbard Street Professional Program, and The National Parks Service. Individually, she has choreographed for Bridge Repertory Theater, InDance Barcelona, Theater Felina-Areal Mannheim, Urbanity Dance Company, for various college dance and theater programs, and in NYC focused on immersive performance with The Center for Innovation in the Arts at Juilliard and Dau al Set Productions. Additionally, she served as The Davis Sisters' dramaturg and rehearsal director. From 2017 - 2021 Jenna was an Assistant Professor of Dance at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Salem State University, and the Boston Ballet.

Amanda Ramirez (Photo credit: Sarah Glover)Amanda Ramirez (she/her) is a Chicago-based dancer, movement director, and choreographer who creates genre-bending performance works centered around her Chicana culture. Ramirez is a graduate of Texas Tech University and has performed professionally throughout the country spanning from theatre, modern-contemporary dance, improvisation, latin dance, salsa, and flamenco.

Since 2016, Amanda has presented original choreographic works throughout the Midwest at Links Hall, Loyola University, College of Lake County, The Croft, and more. She has directed, choreographed and produced several evening length shows with her latest titled, “Nuestra Tierra” which will premiere at Rad Fest 2024. She is currently in post-production for her first dance film, "Tierra", which she directed, produced, and choreographed.

She is recognized as a choreographic grant recipient of Women Who Create, Cliff Dwellers, and more and is a recipient of several choreographic residencies and fellowships including Links Hall CO-Missions, The Croft, See Chicago Dance, Keshet Makers Experience, Synapse Arts New Works and more. In 2021, she began her certification in Intimacy Direction & Coordination for theatre & film.