Cultural Conversations: Dance + Dramaturgy Panelists

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Panel One: Dramaturgy and the Dancing Body

Reggie Wilson

Reggie WilsonReggie Wilson founded Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group in 1989. Wilson draws from the cultures of Africans in the Americas and combines them with post-modern elements and his own personal movement style to create what he calls “post-African/Neo-HooDoo Modern dances.” Mr. Wilson is a graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts, has studied composition and been mentored by Phyllis Lamhutl, and performed and toured with Ohad Naharin. His work has been presented nationally and internationally and he has traveled extensively to research, lecture and conduct workshops. He has also served as visiting faculty at Yale, Princeton and Wesleyan Universities.

Mr. Wilson is the recipient of Minnesota Dance Alliance’s McKnight National Fellowship, the BESSIE-New York Dance and Performance Award and was a 2002 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. He has been an artist advisor for the National Dance Project and Board Member of Dance Theater Workshop. In recognition of his creative contributions to the field, Mr. Wilson was named a 2009 United States Artists Prudential Fellow and is a 2009 recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in Dance. In 2012 he received the Joyce Foundation Award and was named a Doris Duke Performing Artist.

Susan Manning

Susan ManningSusan Manning is a dance historian living in Evanston, Illinois. As a Professor of English, Theatre and Performance Studies at Northwestern University, she teaches the history and theory of twentieth-century theatrical performance, including dance, drama, and music theatre. Manning received her B.A. from Harvard in 1978, where she pursued a student-designed major in dance studies, and her Ph.D. from Columbia in 1987, where she worked under the auspices of a cross-departmental program between English and Theatre. She has received research and writing grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Whiting Foundation, Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the International Research Center in Berlin. Her books have won awards from the Dance Perspectives Foundation and the Congress on Research in Dance, and she received a Studs Terkel Award in 2006 from the Illinois Humanities Council for her outreach to the local dance and arts community. In 2013 she received a career-achievement award for outstanding research from the Congress on Research in Dance. She recently completed a three-year project serving as dramaturge for Reggie Wilson’s Moses(es) (2013) and has written extensively on the project for TDR: A Journal of Performance Studies.

Carrie Hanson

Carrie HansonCarrie Hanson is a dance artist and educator who has resided in Chicago since 1991. Since founding The Seldoms in 2001, she has created over twenty-five new works for the company. Her 2014 dance theater work, Power Goes, has been awarded a National Dance Project award and a National Performance Network Creation Fund. Ms. Hanson was named one of “25 to Watch” in 2012 by Dance Magazine. She was a Chicago Dancemaker’s Forum Lab Artist, has twice been awarded an Illinois Arts Council Choreographic Fellowship, and received a Ruth Page Award for Performance. She has twice been named by New City magazine as one of “The Players: 50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago”. Ms. Hanson is Adjunct Faculty at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, teaching dancemaking, contemporary technique and experiential anatomy. Ms. Hanson conducts residencies at university dance programs, most recently at National Taiwan University of the Arts, University of Wisconsin/Madison and Texas Christian University. She is certified in Laban Movement Analysis and earned a BFA from TCU and an MA in Dance Studies from Laban London.


Michael J Kramer

Michael KramerMichael J. Kramer is an editor in the Design, Publications, and New Media Department at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the dramaturg for The Seldoms, and holds a visiting assistant professorship at Northwestern University, where he teaches history, American studies, digital humanities, and civic engagement. He graduated from Columbia University and received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His book, The Republic of Rock: Music and Citizenship in the Sixties Counterculture, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013, and he has written about history, art, culture, and politics for numerous publications. He is the co-founder of the Northwestern University Digital Humanities Laboratory and is currently developing a multimedia project about the Berkeley Folk Music Festival (1958-1970) and the history of technology and culture in the US folk revival. Additionally, he serves as director of the Chicago Dance History Project, a large-scale oral history and archival digital documentation of dance in the Chicago region. He blogs about art, culture, and politics at Culture Rover.


Philip Elson

Philip ElsonPhilip Elson is a dance artist engaging with various arenas of dance research and performance including live performance, dance for camera, and experimental collaboration. His choreographic and directed work derives from a desire to explore the effects of life’s experiences through their physical impacts. These experiences range from social, political, environmental, and personal matters. Elson’s choreography has been showcased in Chicago and throughout the United States and Germany. His collaborative roles with dance involve sound and video design, web design, video documentation and editing, curation, and arts administration. Elson holds a BFA in Dance from Columbia College Chicago, and is in his sixth season dancing with contemporary dance company The Seldoms, with whom he also serves as Technology and Media Coordinator. He is also in his second season as a performer with Same Planet Different World.



Lin Hixson

Lin HixsonLin Hixson co-founded Goat Island in 1987, and Every house has a door in 2008. She is full Professor of Performance at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and received an honorary doctorate from Dartington College in 2007. She was awarded a Foundation for the Arts Award in 2014 and the United States Artists Ziporyn Fellowship in 2009 with Matthew Goulish, her collaborator and co-founder of Every house has a door. Goat Island created nine performance works and toured extensively in the US, England, Scotland, Wales, Belgium, Switzerland, Croatia, Germany, and Canada. Her writing on directing and performance has been published in the journals P-Form, TDR, Frakcija, Performance Research, Women and Performance, and Whitewalls; and included in the anthologies Small Acts of Repair—Performance, Ecology, and Goat Island, Live Art and Performance, Theatre in Crisis?, and the textbook Place and Placelessness in Performance. Hixson has directed two films, Daynightly They re-school you The Bears-Polka and It’s Aching Like Birds, in collaboration with the artist Lucy Cash and Goat Island.


Matthew Goulish

Matthew GoulishMatthew Goulish co-founded Goat Island in 1987, and Every house has a door in 2008. His 39 Microlectures—in proximity of performance was published by Routledge in 2000, and Small Acts of Repair—Performance, Ecology, and Goat Island, which he co-edited with Stephen Bottoms, in 2007. He was awarded a Lannan Foundation Writers Residency in 2004, and in 2007 he received an honorary Ph.D. from Dartington College of Arts, University of Plymouth. Goulish is Provocations editor for The Drama Review, and he teaches in the MFA and BFA Writing Programs of the The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.





Bryan Saner

Bryan SanerBryan Saner is an interdisciplinary art practitioner focusing on the creation of performances, activist art events, social work, neighborhood evolution and appropriately designed objects. He has made a long-term commitment to collaborate closely with artists and activists in developing alternative creative, educational and economic communities, both in and outside of existing established systems. Bryan is an adjunct professor, mentor and advisor in the Interdisciplinary Arts graduate program at Columbia College Chicago, and an active advisor in the Art of Rehearsal, a program which he cofounded with his collaborator Ginger Farley.

He is part of the creative collective project WatchTower and is an occasional performer and creative consultant for Mordine and Company Dance Theater. He is currently dancing with Erica Mott and performing with Every House Has a Door. From 1995 to 2009 Bryan worked as a performing artist with the Goat Island Performance Group. International venue and performance credits with Goat Island include the Venice Biennale, the Eurokaz festival in Zagreb and the New Territories Festival, Glasgow.


Dramaturgy Blind Date

Darrell Jones

Darrell JonesDarrell Jones received an MFA degree in Choreography and Performance from Florida State University in 1995. He has performed in the United States and abroad with a variety of choreographers and companies such as Urban Bush Women, Ralph Lemon, Min Tanaka and Bebe Miller. Along with his own work and research in (e)feminized ritual performance he has formed alliances with artists whose work gather inspiration and influence from the various ecologies they come into contact with.






Kat Zukaitis

Kat ZukaitisKathryn Zukaitis is a freelance dramaturg based in Chicago. Most recently, she served as the dramaturg for Martyna Majok’s Ironbound and as the research assistant for Tribes, both at Steppenwolf, and the dramaturg for Prologue’s Welcome to America; she was also an assistant dramaturg for the 2013 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Kathryn holds a BA in comparative literature from Haverford College and an MA in religion and literature from Yale Divinity School. She gets excited about Dante, dance, and all things German.





Panel Two: Cross-Generational Collaboration

Lydia Bell

Lydia BellLydia Bell is a performance curator and arts administrator. She is the incoming Program Director at Danspace Project, and was most recently Director of Programming at Artis, an independent non-profit in New York. There she oversaw artist commissions, public programs, exhibitions, and the Artis Grant Program. From 2011-2014, Lydia was Development & Curatorial Associate at Danspace Project, where she managed interdisciplinary research and publications. Lydia has also worked on projects with Eiko & Koma, Movement Research, Sam Miller/OAM Company, and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance. She has contributed to publications such as Judson Now (Danspace Project, 2012), Museum and Curatorial Studies Review and Critical Correspondence and spoken on national and international panels on the subject of interdisciplinary performance. Lydia is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A., Dance and Classics) and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University.


Eiko Otake

Eiko OtakeBorn and raised in Japan, Eiko Otake is a New York-based movement artist, performer, and choreographer who for more than 40 years has worked as Eiko & Koma. Always performing their own choreography, Eiko & Koma usually design and handcraft all aspects of their works including sets, costumes and sound. They perform in theaters, universities, museums, galleries, outdoor sites, and festivals worldwide, including numerous appearances at American Dance Festival and five seasons in BAM’s Next Wave Festival. During 2014-2016 Eiko is directing and performing two year-long solo project, A Body in Places, which opened with A Body in a Station, twelve hour movement installation at Philadelphia Amtrak station in October 2014 and includes photo exhibition A Body in Fukushima.

Eiko & Koma were honored with two “Bessies,” double Guggenheim fellowships (1984), and the first United States Artists Fellowship (2006) and Doris Duke Artist Award (2012). They are the first collaborative pair to share a MacArthur Fellowship (1996) and the first Asian choreographers to receive the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award (2004) as well as the Dance Magazine Award (2006). Eiko is a visiting artist in Dance and East Asian Studies at Wesleyan University. She also teaches regularly at Colorado College.

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