Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago Alum Performs in ‘Mycelial: Street Parliament’ July 13-21

Sara Maslanka

Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago alum Sara Maslanka ’13, a graduate of the Dance Center’s BA Program in Dance, is performing in and co-producing Mycelial: Street Parliament, running July 13 through 21 at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell, in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Mycelial: Street Parliament is presented by Erica Mott Productions in collaboration with Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble; Maslanka is Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble’s artistic director.

Developed through a series of one-to-one cultural exchanges between Egyptian and American musical composers, dancers, technologists, and new media artists, Mycelial: Street Parliament is an interactive work that examines civic participation, social movements, and interconnectedness in the digital age.

Now more than ever, social media is a dominant force in galvanizing people to fight injustice on a local and global scale. Movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter rely on media activism strategies through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to successfully activate the community. However, these technologies were first introduced as weapons of protest in 2011 during the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements. The work presented in Mycelial: Street Parliament draws on data obtained from the original digital expressions of activists involved in Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street to ask whether art and technology can create an a cultural experience that resembles the physical and emotional sensations of a social uprising. What are our embodied experiences of occupation and revolution? Where does resistance live outside of kind acts towards one-another or protests?

Tickets are a suggested donation of $25 or pay-what-you-can. For tickets, click here.

As reported previously in this blog, Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble received a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund to support an exchange program with Egyptian composers, computer programmers, dancers, and new media artists. The result of that collaboration is “The Mycelial Cycle,” an interactive exhibition and performance designed to deepen connections between communities in Cairo and Chicago by investigating civic participation and social movements in the digital age, inspired by activists’ use of social media during the 2011 occupation of Tahrir Square in Cairo. Mycelial: Street Parliament is part of this project.