Links Hall Presents:

Co-MISSION Festival of New Works

June 16-19 & June 23-26, 2022

Pictured (left to right): Helen Lee, KJ Light, Cat Mahari, Mario LaMothe, Nejla Yatkin, Jaerin Son

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

(see below for show info & artist bios)

Weekend 1:

Hybrid: In-person at Links Hall & livestreaming on YouTube

Thursday, June 16, 7pm – Nejla Yatkin A Dance Without A Name

Friday, June 17, 7pm – Mario LaMothe Assotto’s Child at the Altar // Helen Lee Untitled

Saturday, June 18, 7pm – Nejla Yatkin A Dance Without A Name

Sunday, June 19*, 7pm – Cat Mahari Blk Ark: the Impossible Manifestation (Work-in-Progress) // KJ Light & Eternal Resolve 3/4

*Juneteenth Performance: FREE for Black audience members in honor of the Juneteenth holiday (with promo code JUNE19)

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Weekend 2:

Hybrid: In-person at Links Hall & livestreaming on YouTube

Thursday, June 23, 7pm – Jaerin Son Dogs or Cats; Augmented Body

Friday, June 24, 7pm – Jaerin Son Dogs or Cats; Augmented Body

Saturday, June 25, 7pm – Helen Lee Untitled // Cat Mahari Blk Ark: the Impossible Manifestation (Work-in-Progress)

Sunday, June 26, 7pm – KJ Light & Eternal Resolve 3/4 // Mario LaMothe Assotto’s Child at the Altar

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Related Events Coming Soon

Tickets

*all prices include ticketing fees

General Admission: $30 single performance

Student/Industry: $20 single performance (with promo code INDTIX)

Festival Pass: $100 ($120 value), access to any 4 performances.

Student/Industry Festival Pass: $70 ($80 value), access to any 4 performances (with promo code INDPASS)

Juneteenth Performance: FREE for Black audiences (with promo code JUNE19)

Livestream: FREE. Those who are able are encouraged to purchase $5-30 tickets to support artists fees. 

FESTIVAL PERFORMANCES

KJ Light & Eternal Resolve 3/4

Sunday, June 19 & Sunday, June 26, 7pm

Influenced by the number 3 and an intention to maximize our rhythmic flow, the movement creators of Eternal Resolve will be sharing their physical relationship with patterns and cultural contexts that surround the number 3. This will be an experimental engine of movement, video, and personal reflections.

Mario LaMothe Assotto’s Child at the Altar

Friday, June 17 & Sunday, June 26, 7pm

Assotto’s Child at the Altar meditates on how a queer person might labor to preserve, contest, and remake identities across generations. Improvising on a Haitian Vodou rite of reclamation, Mario creates a dialogue between his personal memories and those of queer Haitian-American artist and activist Assotto Saint (1947 – 1994). Through dances and oral storytelling, the performer pays homage to ancestral experiences as a road map for future generations. LaMothe questions what it means to wield effeminacy and bitchiness as exercises of self-care and as modes of resistance against destructive cisgender norms.

Helen Lee Untitled

Friday, June 17 & Saturday, June 25, 7pm

“Grappling with loss, I attempt to make friends with my anxiety and grief, nurture my inner child and honor the unintended gifts.” – Helen Lee

Cat Mahari Blk Ark: the Impossible Manifestation (Work-in-Progress)

Sunday, June 19 & Saturday June 25th, 7pm

Blk Ark: the Impossible Manifestation (Work-in-Progress) ask: “With every step, we ask, ‘What will it take to get free?’ and ‘Can we see a new world from here?’ This short work-in-progress presented at Co-Mission is part of a multi-modal project. 

Jaerin Son Dogs or Cats; Augmented Body

Thursday, June 23 & Friday, June 24, 7pm

“When I look at the beautifully perfect bodies of robots or A.I, I see the distorted desire of humans. I sense the projected prejudices lie in their seeming perfection. In Dogs or Cats; Augmented Body, I’d like to show this distorted desire via the accentuated body shape of the A.I. puppet and have it juxtaposed with myself, an Asian immigrant female artist, on stage. Although A.I is designed to be flawless and human-like, they can never become a human. Yet, humans, especially the marginalized women of color like me, desire to be as strong, limitless, and immortal like A.I. Like a twin desiring each other’s bodies, Dogs or Cats; Augmented Body tells the story of bodies that carry hopes and despairs via visual storytelling.” – Jaerin Son

Nejla Yatkin  A Dance Without A Name

Thursday, June 16 & Saturday, June 18, 7pm

A Dance Without A Name is an interactive theatrical solo dance drawing on nature, femininity, and the ancient symbol of the Ouroboros. Through storytelling, song, and dance, soloist Nejla Yatkin invites the audience into a participatory investigation of current paradoxes, of place, and the cyclical and entrapping nature of time. This theatrical performance also points to Yatkins own relationship to dance and language of embodying and moving in multiple cultures.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

KJ Light & Eternal Resolve (Co-MISSION Resident Artist) Graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s Dance program, KJ Light was honored as a 3arts Make A Wave Artist. She is the founder and Artistic Director of “Eternal Resolve” an initiative that builds communal understanding and designs  practices in self expression to work towards self realization and healing. Versatile in her movement vocabulary, she is skilled in movement improvisation often performing with Freedom From Freedom Too, Instigation festival, Black Monument Ensemble, and she is a very proud member of Red Clay Dance Company.

Mario LaMothe (Co-MISSION Resident Artist) is a performance artist, curator, and scholar. His curated events at the Haitian-American Museum of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Duke University, among others, focused on Haitian artists’ labor to destabilize forms of anti-Haitianism, homophobia, and transphobia. His essays have appeared in numerous academic and public humanities publications. He holds a BA in Theater Arts and French from Boston College, a Certificate of Dance from the Ailey School, an MFA in Arts Management from Brooklyn College, and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. Mario is also an Assistant Professor of Black Studies and Anthropology at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Helen Lee (Co-MISSION Resident Artist) (she/they) was born and raised in Chicago to immigrant parents from South Korea. They create works that weave performance, storytelling, film/video, installation and/or social practice to examine facets of trauma, racism, xenophobia, grief, shame, healing and meanings of home. She hopes to raise awareness, strengthen voices and build solidarity amongst the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities.

Cat Mahari’s (Co-MISSION Resident Artist) arts practice is built from a richly layered body history, stemming from an archive of research, and physical training with the intent of manifesting an intellectual, material and informal grammar of liberation, via documentation, video, film and live performance. Through an examination of personal markers and social genealogies, she explores the in-between of inner and outer environments. Hip Hop, concomitant with other Black street dance social-geographies, fuel her practice, analysis and articulation.

Jaerin Son (Co-MISSION Fellowship Artist) is a director, puppet artist and set designer from Korea. Since moving to Chicago, she’s been woking with the Chicago Puppet Studio as a puppet maker and teaching artist. Her works include plays, experimental puppet theaters and installation arts. She believes a theater should be a space of overthrowing.

Nejla Yatkin (Co-MISSION Fellowship Artist) – Described  by The New York Times as “a magician, telling tales and creating worlds” and “a fierce and supple performer,” Chicago-based choreographer Nejla Yatkin travels the globe inspiring empathic connections between people and their environments. She creates solos, choreographs ensemble dances for stages and sites, collaborates on plays and film/video projects, and educates young artists. Nejla hails from Germany; her artistic lineage enfolds European dance-theatre, American Modern Dance, African-American modern dance, and numerous international influences. She is the recipient of awards from the Princess Grace Foundation, the National Performance Network, 3Arts and the Baryshnikov Arts Center, among others.