Links Goes To Japan Because…
Through the National Performance Network’s Asia Exchange, Links Hall was selected in 2014 to be one of three US curatorial partners along with the Flynn Center in Burlington, Vermont and Fusebox Festival in Austin, Texas to join three Japan curatorial partners: Kyoto Experiment Festival, Dance Box in Kobe and NPO Arts Link for the three year US/Japan Connection project to foster meaningful artistic and cultural exchange between our two countries.
Led by NPN’s Kyoko Yoshida, the partners were able to learn about artists and organizations and the strengths and challenges of cultural production in Austin, Burlington, Chicago, Kobe, Kyoto, Portland, Rikuzen-Takada, Shiogama, Tokyo, Tulsa, Yokohama, as well as in Gwangju and Seoul, South Korea.
Together the US/Japan curatorial team developed new model of artistic exchange: providing concurrentresidencies and performance opportunities in both countries for a Japanese dance artist and an American dance artist to create new works by learning from each other’s cultures and ways of making. This would build upon the strengths of Dance Box and Links Hall as incubators and The Flynn, Fusebox and Kyoto Experiment Festival as presenters.
Chicago’s own Darrell Jones was the American artist selectedand Tokyo’s Kaori Seki was the Japanese artist selected by the curatorial partners. The artists agreed to develop new works within
this model. The first leg: a month-long residency in the US in November-December 2016 with Thanksgiving in Burlington, the NPN Annual Meeting in Austin, and three weeks working in the studios at Links Hall. Darrell and Kaori and their collaborators sat in on each other’s rehearsals, participated in each other’s workshops and warm ups, and began their research into creating their separate new works. In May 2017, Darrell and Kaori and their collaborators spent three weeks at Dance Box in Kobe furthering their research and development and offering workshops to the local community of dancers.
Darrell Jones and his collaborators: Damon Green, J’Sun Howard, and Justin Mitchell, will present the Japanese premiere of his new work CLUTCH at Kyoto Experiment Festival in November 2017 prior to the US performances of both Darrell’s CLUTCH and Kaori Seki’s as-yet-untitled work in April 2018 at Links Hall.
To celebrate with Darrell and our Japanese partners, Links Hall staff invite members of Chicago community to join us for Links to Japan: October 28 – November 5, 2017 for the Japanese premiere of CLUTCH at Kyoto Experiment Festival.
This Links to Japan trip will be a chance to celebrate with Darrell, Damon, J’Sun and Justin and to share the remarkable experiences we have had in getting to know the thriving contemporary dance, performance, and culinary arts scenes in Tokyo, Kobe and Kyoto.
The total number of guests we can accommodate is 10.
Dates: October 28 – November 5, 2017
The fee to participate is $5,600 and includes:
R/T Nonstop Flights Chicago/Japan;
Train/bus to/from airport and between Tokyo, Kobe and Kyoto;
Special meals in Tokyo (2), Kobe (2) and Kyoto (2);
Tickets to performances.
It also includes a tax-deductible donation to Links Hall to help support the Chicago premieres of Darrell Jones’ and Kaori Seki’s works at Links in April 2018.
Please contact Links Hall Director Roell Schmidt, rschmidt (at) linkshall.org for more information.
Through years of experimenting and analyzing oppression as it lives in the body, Darrell Jones excavates how individuals accumulate identity and mirror culture through movement. Jones has developed a live art experience that guides participants to resist oppressive corporeal constructs and, in brief transcendent moments, experience consciousness entirely without them.
Jones’ work CLUTCH responds meaningfully to the need to build interpersonal empathetic bridges. In this liminal space, he engages a powerful question about the ontological reality of oppression. Can we transcend oppressive structures through movement? And can we help one another to find restorative moments of liberation?
Meet the Artists
Darrell Jones has performed in the United States and abroad with a variety of companies such as Bebe Miller, Urban Bush Women, Ronald K. Brown, Min Tanaka, Ralph Lemon and KOKUMA DanceTheater. He has collaborated with choreographers (Angie Hauser, Jeremy Wade, Onye Ozuzu), writer (Cheryl Boyce-Taylor), musicians (Jessie Mano, Brian Schuler) and designer (Mawish Syed) in dance films, documentations and interactive multimedia installations. In addition to his collaborative work he continues to work in solo forms. Along with performing, Darrell has taught workshops and master classes in dance technique and compositional processes throughout the United States, South Africa, United Kingdom and South Korea. Darrell is presently a full-time faculty member at the Dance Center of Columbia College in Chicago.
Damon D. Green is a Chicago-based dancer and was born in Champaign, Illinois, where his dance education and training began at The Christine Rich Studio under the direction of Christine Rich. Green began his training in classical ballet and jazz in 1996, continuing with the Champaign Park District under Kimberly Burson from 1997-2002. Green furthered his education at Columbia College Chicago starting in 2003, where he was introduced to Modern/Contemporary, African and Vogue dance. Voguing is currently Damon’s specialty and he continues to explore and perform in this form, in its fusion with contemporary vocabulary, with choreographer and Associate Professor of Dance Darrell Jones. Damon maintains his presence in the contemporary dance world with The Seldoms, led by Artistic Director Carrie Hanson. Additionally, Damon has worked with choreographer and dance educator Paige Cunningham, fusing Contemporary Ballet and Voguing in a piece called “Werk” in 2011. Green has traveled abroad, performing in Siberia and Taiwan and introduced Voguing to Russian students as a master teacher at the Isadora International Festival of Contemporary Dance. TimeOut Chicago rated him one of the “Top 10 Men of Dance” in 2010.
J’Sun Howard is from Chattanooga, TN. A Chicago Dancemaker’s Forum grantee, 2014, his choreography has appeared at local venues Links Hall, Northwestern University, Sonotheque, Lincoln Square Theatre, Insight Arts/Center for New Possibilities, Epiphany Church, and Rumble Arts. In 2009, J’Sun was selected to be a LinkUp Residency to deepen his artistic practice at Links Hall and in 2010 he was granted the Julius Margolin “Youth in Labor” Award to protest at the gates of the School of Americas in Fort Benning, GA. He has also performed at Patrick’s Cabaret (Minneapolis, MN), had work commissioned by the Chicago Academy School for the Arts, and been a sponsored artist at High Concept Laboratories. J’Sun has performed for many choreographers including Malcolm Jason Low, Asimina Chremos, Sara Wookey, Paige Cunningham, Selene Carter, but most extensively with collaborators Darrell Jones and Damon Green in their research of (e)feminized ritual performance, which received a 2013 Juried Bessie Award in support of Hoo-Ha (for your eyes only). His collaboration, Utopic Monster Theory, with poet Jennifer Karmin has been performed in exhibitions “I Can’t Breathe” at ARC Gallery, “Law and Disorder” at Women Made Gallery, and Small Traffic Press’s production of Poets Theater Festival (San Francisco, CA), and the IN>Time Performance Festival. His literary work can be read in the journals: Chicago IRL, Inkwell, Danspace’s Constellations and Influences, Garland Court Review, Storyglossia, 3rd Language, Bird’s Thumb, and Manifold, The Body.
Justin I. Mitchell is a Chicago based DJ and multimedia artist performing under the moniker Hijo Pródigo. The sound Mitchell cultivates through their DJ work spans sub-cultural club music movements found across the world, experimenting with dissonance, disparity and aggression while exploring themes of excess, chaos, destruction, redemption, and rebirth.
Mitchell is currently working on music production with Chicago born/New York based, indie record label #FUTUREHOOD, as well as soundtracking various film and television projects.
Kyoto Experiment Festival
Kyoto Experiment: Kyoto International Performing Arts Festival has taken place every autumn in Kyoto since 2010, bringing together leading examples of theater and dance from around the world. The eighth festival will be held for 23 days between October 14th and November 5th, 2017, with ROHM Theatre Kyoto as the main venue. As always, the festival will include specifically commissioned new work by international artists. By serving as an experimental place for creativity and interchange, the festival aspires to transform Kyoto into a platform for the global performing arts.
This year’s programming is themed around encounters with the “inner other.” The participating artists will present work that transcends familiar contexts of geography, genre and style to uncover what is “different” within society and us.