Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-11-14
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

ENCORE Jessica Ray, Jenn Freeman return for solo performances
by Joanna Furnans
2017-07-19

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Next month, independent dance artists Jessica Ray and Jenn "Po'Chop" Freeman will deliver encore solo performances in a shared weekend bill at Links Hall. Having premiered their work in June as part of Links Hall's Co-MISSION residency program, the artists have the opportunity to show their work again for audiences who missed the successful mini-festival the first time around.

( Note: The author of this article was also a participating choreographer in the Co-MISSION Residency program with Jessica Ray, Jenn "Po' Chop" Freeman and Darling Shear. )

Distinctly different in perspective and aesthetic, the two works share themes of embodied memory. Ray's work explores the memory of a passing moment through an exquisitely executed improvisation while Freeman uses memories of her grandfather to conjure and reconcile complicated and electrifying versions of herself. Both pieces demonstrate risk and vulnerability alongside displays of physical prowess.

It is a bold choice to dance alone on an empty stage with no music to fill the air or help pass the time. Yet that is the choice

Ray makes in her work "All That I Remember." In the program notes Ray writes, "In the absence of music we can follow this wherever it goes. The time we have will be sufficient." Indeed, the time of this performance seems to pass perfectly; not too long, not too short. The reason for this temporal success has everything to do with Ray's remarkably unselfconscious stage presence. Like a practiced meditator, she is distinctly "in the moment" on stage and does not cower under the pressure of the circumstance. She takes respectful ownership of time and space by simply allowing herself the entire room, the heaviness of the silence, and the expectant gaze of the audience as the essential structure for the work. As she performs, Ray mentally and physically remembers her improvised movements. She tracks her dancing and the audience tracks her tracking. Silently, she invites people to watch with a level of attachment equal to hers: honest, curious, lite and instinctual.

What sets Ray apart from other practitioners of improvised dance performance is that there is no apparent indulgence of her personal sensory experience. There is no performed devotion of internal feeling—no potent execution of breath and no artificial importance inferred in moments of stillness. People may feel they are not watching a dancer enjoying herself dancing ( although that very well might be the case ). Instead, people may witness a dancer execute physical pathways that may or may not inherently make sense to her. Every movement achieved appears both deliberate and by chance. The meaning of the work, if one must be deciphered, involves the profundity of a body taking up space, of seeing and being seen, and staying aware of one's actions from one fleeting moment to the next.

In contrast, Freeman offers an expression of character, an evocative suggestion of environment and a rousing soundtrack in her solo "Dynamite." For this work, the audience is seated on the stage in a semicircle facing a lone wooden rocking chair and a single light bulb dangling from the rafters, slightly aglow. The lighting design, by Giau Troung, aims to warm the space by providing the sense that it is hot and stuffy and that time is sluggishly plodding along. Freeman emerges in a pale burlap-looking suit complete with suspenders and a tie. She moves around the stage defining the space with slow and sensuous movement over here, a sharp turn of the head and a suspicious gaze over there and a deliberate shove of the rocking chair to instigate its motion. All the while, the audience is listening to the soundtrack of a preacher's sermon.

Program notes compliment these aural and visual cues stating, "he was a man. born dec 26, 1931. his name was haywood harris junior. they called him dynamite. i called him grandad"—leading to the possible depiction of a male ancestor on a female-bodied relative. Is she possessed by him or is she channeling his energy towards her own self-possession? Later, the audience is jolted into the present day by a mix of loud, pounding house music and a bout of unhinged physicality from Freeman. As she convulses, shakes, jumps and shocks, it's as if she molts the figure of her grandfather to emerge as the young, complex and fierce person that she is.

Freeman is also know as "Po'Chop," a queer Black burlesque performer with a national reputation for delivering traditional burlesque tropes with a political spin. However, "Dynamite" demonstrates dance without the burlesque formula and technique.

The Co-MISSIONS Residency Encore Performances will take place on Saturday-Monday, Aug. 12-14, at 7 p.m. at Links Hall, 3111 N. Western Ave.; visit LinksHall.org .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Joffrey Ballet names winners of choreographic competition 2018-11-14 - CHICAGO — November 14, 2018 — The Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, announces the recipients of the ninth ...


Gay News

Joffrey's 'Swan Lake' draws on Degas, backstage drama 2018-11-14 - Swan Lake may evoke thoughts of feathers, tutus and Natalie Portman. In 2014, the Joffrey Ballet set out to change that—and ended up ...


Gay News

Joffrey's 'Swan Lake' draws on Degas, backstage drama 2018-11-14 - Swan Lake may evoke thoughts of feathers, tutus and Natalie Portman. In 2014, the Joffrey Ballet set out to change that—and ended up ...


Gay News

Alyson Stoner, actress/singer/dancer on Ms. Jackson, acting, coming out 2018-11-14 - Being in the glare of the spotlight—especially for those who have been in the public eye since childhood—can be harsh. However, Alyson Stoner, ...


Gay News

'Unicorn Ball' Dec. 15 at The Shapiro 2018-11-13 - The 2018 Unicorn Ball—Brave Space Alliance's largest annual fundraiser—will take place Saturday, Dec. 15, at 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at The Shapiro Ballroom, 1612 ...


Gay News

Northwestern Alum to be featured in 'Screendance' Festival Video Corpo Nov. 16 2018-11-12 - Don't know what "screendance" is? Video Corpo will soon enlighten you. According to The International Journal of Screendance, the interdisciplinary art form is ...


Gay News

Volledig, Emptied of Shame, Full of Life, Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 2018-11-07 - Chicago, IL — Volledig: Emptied of Shame: Full of Life represents the stories of the artists in this project — what they experienced ...


Gay News

LGBT HISTORY Tea With No Shade 2018-10-31 - A gloomy, rainy Sunday in September couldn't stop what was originally planned as an outdoor tea dance among the trees and fountains of ...


Gay News

LGBT HISTORY Legendary Maurice Hines talks seven decades of keeping toes tapping 2018-10-29 - Out dancer, performer, choreographer and actor Maurice Hines has been in show business since he was 5 years old, which means almost 70 ...


Gay News

HedwigDances Futura World premiere begins Nov. 1 2018-10-24 - Hedwig Dances choreographer and artistic director Jan Bartoszek has taken the company's reputation as an interdisciplinary creative force to new heights in her ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.