This Season, hcl partners with the Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) to support their current and recent Lab Artists. hcl provides low-res support to facilitate the choreographic development of the artists’ pieces and ease their production and rehearsal processes.
When I Consider How My Light Is Spent is both a dance and publication project, building upon current Lab Artist J’Sun Howard’s ongoing endeavor to marry written language with his choreographic practice. When I Consider uses poetic forms to explore ways of embodying and creating new language for the mourning process.
J’Sun Howard is originally from Chattanooga, TN, and has been making art in Chicago for the past twelve years. J’Sun’s choreography has appeared in multiple venues around Chicago including Links Hall, Northwestern University, Sonotheque, Lincoln Square Theatre, Insight Arts/Center for New Possibilities, Epiphany Church, Rumble Arts, Patrick’s Cabaret (Minneapolis, MN), and has been commissioned for the Chicago Academy School for the Arts.
J’Sun’s collaborative duet performance piece, Utopic Monster Theory, with poet Jennifer Karmin is documented in the first annual Emergency Index from Ugly Ducking Presse (2011) and has been presented in the biannual IN>Time Performance Festival. In 2009, J’Sun was selected to be a LinkUp Residency to deepen his artistic practice at Links Hall.
In 2010, J’Sun was granted the Julius Margolin “Youth in Labor” Award to rally and protest at the gates of the School of Americas in Fort Benning, GA. In 2013, J’Sun was awarded a Distinguished Scholar Merit Scholarship to complete his undergraduate degree at the School of the Art Institute and will return to finish when his CDF project ends. J’Sun has performed for many choreographers including Asimina Chremos, Sara Wookey, Paige Cunningham, Selene Carter but most extensively with Darrell Jones.
Curating Pooine’s Cabaret this year with “acquiescings + hauntings” pushes J’Sun to continue seeking out emerging queer performance of color to promote their work, which can enrich Chicago performing landscape even more.
J’Sun’s literary work can be seen in the following journals: Chicago IRL, Inkwell, Danspace’s Constellations and Influences, Garland Court Review, Storyglossia, 3rd Language, and forthcoming from Bird’s Thumb.
The Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) was founded in 2003 in response to studies which clearly identified a need for multi-layered support of Chicago choreographers. CDF addresses that need through its Lab Artists program which makes $15,000 cash grants to selected, independent recipients. By combining these grants with mentorship throughout the research, development and performance of new work, the program builds a strong community of colleagues and peers for its artists. CDF emphasizes creative process and encourages choreographers to delve deeply into their work.
Throughout the year of support Lab Artists participate in regular roundtable meetings designed to strengthen relationships with their peers and people of influence in the field. In addition CDF offers ongoing professional and artistic development opportunities to past CDF grantees and to the Chicago area dance community through public workshops, events, and residencies.