Alumni and faculty members of the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago and the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department are collaborating on the world premiere of a new dance/theatre work, RockCitizen, presented by The Seldoms, a Chicago-based ensemble founded and led by Columbia College Dance Center teacher Carrie Hanson. RockCitizen runs May 5-15 at the Storefront Theatre, located at 66 E. Randolph in downtown Chicago. The work is presented in association with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
The cast of RockCitizen includes Columbia College Chicago Dance Center alumni Philip Elson (BFA ’11) and Cara Sabin (BFA ’06), graduates of the Dance Center’s BFA Program in Dance; Dance Center alumnus Damon Green; Matthew McMunn (BA ’10), a graduate of the Columbia College Department of Humanities, History & Social Sciences‘ Cultural Studies BA program; and actor Brian Shaw (BA ’86), a graduate of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department’s Theatre BA program and a professor in the Theatre Department, who joins The Seldoms as a guest performer for this production.
Directed and choreographed by Hanson, who was named the 2015 “Chicagoan of the Year in Dance” by the Chicago Tribune, RockCitizen presents an immersive sonic, visual, and kinetic environment that recalls countercultural spaces of the 1960s and connects them to a larger history of people pursuing breakthroughs and transformations in their lives and worlds. A companion piece to The Seldomsʼ acclaimed 2015 work Power Goes, RockCitizen looks at 1960s social movements that rode waves of protest, experimentation, hedonism, and dissonance in efforts to remake what it means to be a citizen. The work surveys different sites of opposition – Street, State, Stage – to find both cultural and political modes of resistance. Dance, dialogue and song unfold under the “Brascape,” a spectacular, mobile net of 216 colored bras designed to evoke the psychedelic rock poster saturated in color, military camo netting, the rainbow of the gay pride flag, and of course, the bra as symbol of the Women’s Lib movement. With references to rock icons such as Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters’ Acid Tests, and political activists such as Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies, Students for a Democratic Society, novelist and civil rights intellectual James Baldwin, and activists in womenʼs and gay liberation movements, RockCitizen brings together a multidisciplinary group of artists to advance The Seldoms’ project of using dance theatre for social inquiry.
Now in their 14th season under Carrie Hansonʼs direction, The Seldoms are committed to bringing audiences an expanded experience of dance that ignites thought and understanding of real-world issues from danceʼs unique, embodied perspective. With dance at the center of their work, the companyʼs vision extends to a total action and environment and includes collaboration with artists and practitioners in fields as diverse as architecture, installation, video, sound, and fashion.
Tickets to RockCitizen are $15 general admission — $12 for students. For more information, call 312-742-8497 or click here.