Bob Eisen and Links Hall present:

ON GO ING

February 10th-11th, 2023

“Links is at heart a community center, an aspect not to be minimized, a place where people can gather and feel part of something, as most everything else that is going on in the world seems far away and spinning out of control.”

– Bob Eisen, from essay As Well As Grateful

In 1979, Bob Eisen, Carol Bobrow, and the late Charlie Vernon rented a studio at the corner of N Sheffield & W Newport Avenues — a space to make performance, to show performance, to share performance, when everything else going on in the world seemed far away and spinning out of control. 

Links Hall was born. And Links Hall goes on.

Join Eisen and Links Hall for ON GO ING, a shared evening of artists stewarding Links Hall’s movement lineage. ON GO ING features incisive and inquisitive performances from Eisen himself–in his first appearance at Links Hall since 2019–and dancemakers Meida McNeal, Jennifer Monson, and Zachary Nicol. Also featuring Joanne Barrett, Patrick Burns, and Ayako Kato. 

This program is sure to captivate anyone who relishes the places where people can gather and feel part of dance. Go on. It’s ongoing.


Friday, February 10th at 7pm

Saturday, February 11th at 7pm

Bob Eisen, Carol Bobrow, Charlie Vernon, founders of Links Hall atop Link’s Hall, their original home. Photography by Charles Osgood

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Bob Eisen has been involved in the field of dance for over 45 years. He was a co-founder of  Links Hall, remaining active in the organization until moving to New York in the year 2000. Until recently he has been dividing his time between living in Russia and in America, where he travels and continues to create dance works. He is a GAGA practitioner.

Joanne Barrett recently moved back to Chicago where she teaches integrated movement, Ashtanga Yoga and The Schatz Method, a corrective functional movement. Most recently she studied Somatic Movement Methods with Carol Swann from The Moving On Center (Berkeley) and Diane Elliot, and focused  her attention on Experiential Anatomy, Bartenieff Fundamentals and Body- Mind Centering.  She has a BFA in dance and a 20 year performing career in concert dance, with various companies from Chicago (Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble) to London, (Michael Clark and Co.) to Uruguay (CONTRADANZA) and independent choreographers from South Florida. Currently she is hashing out new work with Bob Eisen and choreographer Michelle Kranicke of Zephyr Dance. Joanne also practices Contact Improv Dance in Chicago, and further studies when possible with Anya Cloud, Ezra LeBank and Nita Little.  

Patrick Burns is a dance artist from Massachusetts and a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Making and Performance (Spring 2017). Patrick has performed with Same Planet Performance Project since 2018. In addition to his work with SPPP’s artistic director, Joanna Read, Patrick has performed works by Ivy Baldwin, Thomas DeFrantz, Emma Draves, Bob Eisen, Brian Feigenbaum, Carrie Hanson, Jane Jerardi, and Netta Yerushalmy. In 2020, Patrick and  multidisciplinary artists Tom Monforti and Cache Taylor co-founded Hey Diva Productions (@heydivaproductions), a queer collective bringing fantasy to reality through film, design, and live performance. 

Ayako Kato is a kinetic philosopher/poet and contemporary choreographer/dancer originally from Japan. Her creative nest, Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape, started 1998, has been in deep collaboration with live music and grounded on the principles of fūryū, Japanese for “wind flow,” cyclical transformation and human motion in nature. Ayako creates solo, ensemble pieces, and movement installations for traditional stages and site-specific locations. In fall 2022, Ayako toured Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland for music & dance projects and also premiered  “LUCA―the Last Universal Common Ancestor/Res Communis: ETHOS Episode III,” a nature-walk style dance and music installation piece at former quarry Palmisano Park, as part of Elevate Chicago Dance Festival. She enshrined into the Hall of Fame by Newcity Stage’s 50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago 2023 and received a 2022 Esteemed Artist Award from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the 2021 Artist Fellowship Award in Choreography by the Illinois Arts Council, 3Arts Residency Fellow at Camargo Foundation, France and Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA; 3Arts Award; the High Concept Labs Fellowship 2021 & 2022, Chicago, IL; Best of Dance by the Chicago Tribune and See Chicago Dance. ayakokatodance.com

Meida Teresa McNeal is Artistic and Managing Director of Honey Pot Performance. She received her PhD in Performance Studies (Northwestern) and her MFA in Choreography & Dance History (Ohio State). Awards include Field Foundation’s Leaders for a New Chicago, 3Arts Award in Dance, Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist, and the Links Hall Co-Mission Fellowship. An Independent Artist and Scholar at the intersection of performance studies, dance, and critical ethnography, Meida also teaches at University of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago. Meida also works with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events’ Executive Administration team as the Senior Manager of Arts & Community Impact Investments building and implementing artist recovery programs and creative placemaking grantmaking initiatives. Prior to this role, Meida worked with the Chicago Park District as Arts & Culture Manager supporting community arts partnerships, youth arts, cultural stewardship, and civic engagement initiatives. 

Jennifer Monson is a choreographer, performer, and teacher. Since 1983, she has explored strategies in choreography, improvisation, and collaboration in experimental dance. Through multiyear creation processes, her works have investigated animal navigation and migration (BIRD BRAIN, 2000-2005), human impact on natural sites (iMAP/Ridgewood Reservoir, 2007), and communities in east-central Illinois dependent on the aquifer (Mahomet Aquifer Project, 2008-10). Her project Live Dancing Archive (2013)—which received a NEFA National Dance Project grant—proposed that choreography itself is an archival practice for documenting environmental phenomena. Her dance pieces have been presented in a diverse array of New York City venues including the Kitchen, Performance Space 122, New York Live Arts, and Danspace Project as well as other recognized national and international venues. She has received a Creative Capital Award (2000), a Doris Duke Impact Award (2014), and two New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Awards, among other honors. In 2004, Monson incorporated under the name iLAND (Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance), which explores choreographic, improvisational, and collaborative strategies in experimental dance. This dance research organization upholds a fundamental commitment to environmental sustainability as it relates to art and the urban context and cultivates cross-disciplinary research among the arts, environmental science, urban design, and other related fields. Monson is currently a professor of dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her current work-in-development, move thing, a collaboration with Valerie Oliveiro and others, follows the movement of toxicity in New Mexico, Illinois and New York City. Heap Loose is a part of that research.

Zachary Nicol is an artist living and working in Chicago. Their interdisciplinary work uses research in dance, movement, site, and image to unfold problems of the performing body. Their work has been presented at Links Hall, Co-Prosperity, Trap Door Theatre, Lumpen Radio, Filmfront, OuterSpace, Compound Yellow (Chicago), National Museum of Romanian Literature (Bucharest), and S1 Gallery (Portland). Nicol is a 2023 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist, and has been an artist in residence at ACRE, Ragdale Foundation, Links Hall, and Annas Projects. 

ABOUT THE WORK

Bob Eisen will be presenting a solo piece as well as a quartet featuring Joanne Barrett, Patrick Burns, and Ayako Kato.

Meida McNeal and Zach Nicols will each be presenting solos respectively.

Jennifer Monson will be presenting Heap Loose, a part of Monson’s multi-year project move thing which researches the movement of toxicity. She creates choreographic forms that accumulate, transform and invisibly impact space and the relational field of the performers. The movement which is both explosive and meditative resonates within the instability of each performers negotiation of the rhythms and the spatial conditions of the choreography and improvised scores. Heap Loose works to understand the adaptive possibilities in situations that are perceived as toxic and to find new futures in the disturbed pasts of drosscapes such as uranium mines and polluted rivers. Monson searches out the reparative possibilities of dance within these spaces. This performance made possible in part through The Dance at Illinois’ Additional Research and Travel (ART) Fund