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2021 CoMISSION Festival of New Works
Links Hall (Chicago, IL) is proud to announce the 2021 Co-MISSION Festival of New Works, two groundbreaking weekends of new performance and public events. Representing some of the most talented young makers in Chicago from dance, performance art, puppetry, installation, and performance as social practice, six artists present works developed while in-residence at Links during the 2020-2021 season. This year’s festival also features two evening-length performances of 2020 Fellow Darling Shear’s Beatitude, a choreopoem of movement, fashion, and poetry. Recreating the spirit and percussive cadence of the Beat generation and spoken word poetry of related movements (Black Arts Movement), Shear and ensemble present work explored between January-June 2020, after COVID-19 caused cancellation of the June 2020 Fellows Showcase. All festival performances will be filmed and recorded at Links Hall’s white box studio, and streamed live via YouTube.
Festival Schedule (see below for performance info & bios)
Weekend 1: streaming on YouTube at 7pm
Thursday, May 20 – Cherrie Yu A Translation Project // Hannah Michal Santistevan The Brink
Friday, May 21 – Darling Shear Beatitude
Saturday, May 22 – Vanessa Valliere Pool Party // Taimy Ramos Velázquez 4 walls & 1 me
Sunday, May 23 – Kierah King *Viewership Intended for Re(Creational) use only* // Elliot Reza Emadian MASCCHAOS
Weekend 2: streaming on YouTube at 7pm
Thursday, May 27 – Elliot Reza Emadian MASCCHAOS // Vanessa Valliere Pool Party
Friday, May 28 – Taimy Ramos Velázquez 4 walls & 1 me // Cherrie Yu A Translation Project
Saturday, May 29 – Hannah Michal Santistevan The Brink // Kierah King *Viewership Intended for Re(Creational) use only*
Sunday, May 30 – Darling Shear Beatitude
The Festival is FREE, but those who are able are encouraged to purchase tickets to support artists fees. Suggested: $20 Full Price single performance, $15 Discount single performance, or Pay What You Can donation. A $50 Festival Pass ($80 value) provides access to all performances and artist talks.
Tickets, performance information, and links to the YouTube livestream can be found online:
Elliot Reza Emadian’s MASCCHAOS (Sunday, May 23 & Thursday, May 27, 7 pm) Rendered via experimental video, improvisational dance practice, written archive, and photographic stills, MASCCHAOS imagines a choreographic microcosmos–from beginning to vibratory end. The artist is accompanied by costumes designed by Latina-futurist, Larissa Almanza, and the shared knowledge of a cohort of women, queer, and non-binary co-authors from across the United States. Emadian chronicles the practice of seeing, watching, and echoing, presenting a shared experience of dancing alone, together.
Kierah King’s *Viewership Intended for Re(Creational) use only* (Sunday, May 23 & Saturday, May 29, 7 pm) draws the viewer in as a witness to King and her ensemble’s call for Constitutional Convention as they investigate the idea of “A More Perfect Union.” Examining their own bodies & physicality and acknowledging what it means to be Seen in America through their own Constitution and on their terms, King’s ensemble asks: “Can a generation addicted to working for societal acceptance explore what it means to be Seen as an individual and in Uni(s)on as a Communal and Radical act?”
Hannah Michal Santistevan’s The Brink (Thursday, May 20 & Saturday May 29, 7 pm) demonstrates animosity and vigor through acts of dismissal, subtle moments of empathy, and durationally exhausted movements. A cast of dancers navigates the space in intricate patterns, with hidden sets of rules, emphasizing hierarchy and tribalism. The Brink questions how we learn or unlearn ideas of apathetic self-care, rather than focusing on immediate and individual success, to improve ourselves and connect with our communities. Choreographed by Hannah Santistevan, with contributions from the cast.
Darling Shear’s Beatitude (Friday, May 21 & Sunday, May 30, 7 pm) is a choreopoem exploring the Beat Generation and its related aesthetics. With movement, fashion, and poetry, Shear and ensemble recreate the spirit and percussive cadence of the movement and trace the influence of the Beats on contemporary performance and literary practices. Beatitude integrates contemporary and historical lenses, from Beat poetry to spoken word of the Black Arts Movement, including the media’s portrayal of Beatnik parody and stereotype.
Vanessa Valliere’s Pool Party (Saturday, May 22 & Thursday, May 27, 7 pm) Pipe & Drape (Vanessa Valliere & John Gregorio) are two characters making their way through life, doing their best, trying their hardest. Living in parallel dimensions and coping with a growing sense of unease, Pipe and Drape suspect there is something “out there” for them. But is it really for them? And is it safe? This work-in-progress uses puppetry, physical theater, and elements of clown to investigate themes of identity, risk, routine, moments of connection, and the search to see something that is right in front of you.
Taimy Ramos Velázquez’s 4 walls & 1 me (Saturday, May 22 & Friday, May 28, 7 pm) is a complicated layering of feelings and inconsistencies within the same human being, triggered by a very specific moment in time: Quarantine.
Cherrie Yu’s Trio A Translation Project (Thursday, May 20 & Friday May 28, 7 pm) gathers performers and their loved ones to engage in a collaborative translation of the historical choreographic work—Yvonne Rainer’s Trio A (1978). Incorporating rehearsal footage, filmed performances, and diary-style writing, the film offers a meditation on everydayness and performance. A Translation Project asks the questions, What can a body do? How can a body feel?
Related Events: streaming on Zoom
Sat, May 22, 1 pm – The OT Presents: Choreographic Workshop (class)
Inspired by and incorporating ideas from her CoMISSION performance, 4 walls & 1 me, Taimy Ramos Velazquez leads a hybrid Zoom and in-person workshop for dancers, actors, performance, and multidisciplinary artists. Space is limited.
Sat, May 22, 5 pm – Making Worlds: A Conversation About Devising New Work (panel)
Co-MISSION artist Vanessa Valliere explores the challenges and freedoms of creating original, devised theater in both solo and group contexts. Featuring Quenna Barrett (Pivot Arts/Goodman Theatre), Jane Beachy (Illinois Humanities/Salonathon), Sarah Fornace (Manual Cinema), John Gregorio (Heifetz Institute/Dad’s Garage Theater), and Lindsey Noel Whiting (Lookingglass/ Actors Gym).
Saturday, May 29, 5 pm – Creative Practice: CoMISSION Artists at Work (panel)
CoMISSION artists Darling Shear (spring 2020), Kierah King (fall 2020), Elliot Reza Emadian (spring 2021), and Cherrie Yu (fall 2020) talk about the works they are premiering during the Festival of New Work, their experiences as CoMISSION artists, and developing new performances during a pandemic. Moderated by Brianna Heath (dancer. writer. curator.)