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Chicago Dancemakers Forum announces the 2021 Digital Dance Grantees
--From a press release

This article shared 1302 times since Mon Feb 1, 2021
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CHICAGO, IL, 2/1/2021 — To support the growth of local Chicago dancemakers in the era of COVID-19, Chicago Dancemakers Forum is pleased to grant $10,000 each to ten dance creators and their collaborators for the development of new dance works that use digital, online, mobile, and/or virtual technologies.

The ten grantees are:

- Alyssa Gregory collaborating with Anjal Chande/Soham Dance Space

- Annie Franklin collaborating with Kenny Washington

- Antibody Corporation collaboration with Adam Rose, Andrew Braddock, April Lynn and Thorne Brandt

- Ashwaty Chennat collaborating with Abhijeet Rane, A Queer Pride, and Transit Productions

- B'Rael Ali Thunder collaborating with local artists

- Maria Luisa collaborating with Que4 Radio and Taylor Street Media

- ReinventAbility collaboration with Ladonna Freidheim, Ginger Lane, and Jon Satrom (studiothread)

- Silvita Diaz Brown collaborating with Alexandra Yasinovsky

- Yoshinojo Fujima aka Rika Lin collaborating with Subhash Maskara, Hekiun Oda, Matsuya Nozawa and Toyoaki Sanjuro

- Zachary Nicol

113 artists applied for the 2021 Digital Dance Grants. Executive Director, Ginger Farley, shares, "We were blown away by the range, diversity, and creative energy of the artists who applied for this opportunity. CDF is eager to support the Digital Dance Grant awardees in their explorations and help each of them realize their unique visions in the new digital space that has opened up during this startling time. Art and artists help us heal and tell the stories of our era, now more than ever."

The ten grantees and their projects reflect a spirit of collaboration, experimentation, and exploration. Within five months, these artists will develop digital dance works that will be showcased via a virtual platform by Chicago Dancemakers Forum during the summer and fall of 2021. Grantees will receive technical assistance and opportunities for relationship building and cross learning. Continue reading below for more information on the grantees' projects.

Supporting the grantees with resource sharing, advising, and auxiliary technical guidance will be Jonathan Alsberry, Christopher Knowlton, and Catherine Sullivan.

For more information on the 2021 Digital Dance Grants, contact Shawn Lent, Programs and Communications Director at or 312-550-9172.

Chicago Dancemakers Forum 2021 Digital Dance Grants

Alyssa Gregory collaborating with Anjal Chande/Soham Dance Space

Through a collection of 45-minute podcast episodes, Alyssa Gregory in collaboration with Anjal Chande (2019 Lab Artist)/Soham Dance Space, will be exploring the processes of individual Chicago artists in a work that they have either created or performed in. "The Process" aims to demystify dialogue about making dance through inquisitive conversational interviews.

Annie Franklin collaborating with Kenny Washington

Through a four-episode docuseries titled, "Shaping Lens," Annie Franklin and Kenny Washington will be collaborating to both educate and highlight artists and non-artists on the process of creating strong visual screen productions. This project will work off the intersection of movement and cinematography to showcase a five-step process from brainstorming to producing a dance film.

Antibody Corporation

Antibody Corporation, through a project titled, "Hypostasis of the Aetheric Body," will feature three main components that aim to capture the astral body: 1) documentation of physical reality, the outside world, with emphasis on its deterioration; 2) exploring the purely digital and virtual through digital animations, the semblance of the aetheric; 3) mind-body practice in the form of dance and lucid dreaming practice. Collaborators: Adam Rose (2014 Lab Artist), Andrew Braddock, April Lynn, with Thorne Brandt.

Ashwaty Chennat collaborating with Abhijeet Rane, A Queer Pride, and Transit Productions

Ashwaty Chennat and Abhijeet Rane will continue their collaboration of "Moods of Nayika" as they explore gender, queerness, and the body in South Asian arts and traditions. This project distorts and amplifies the recurrent theme of the "Nayika" through 8 mini-episodes that combine the art of dance and drag with cinematography, digital aesthetics and artistic post-production.

B'Rael Ali Thunder collaborating with local artists

In collaboration with multiple local artists, B'Rael Ali Thunder will be creating an interactive dance mural on Chicago's South Side, through virtual and augmented reality technologies. Audiences will be invited to scan their smartphones over painted dancers to bring their movement to life and experience the stories they are showcasing. The work will center on topics such as freedom, resistance, evolution, and the human spirit.

Maria Luisa collaborating with Que4 Radio and Taylor Street Media

Inspired by the partnerwork found in Afro-Latin social dances, Maria Luisa, in collaboration with Que4 Radio and Taylor Street Media, will be building a virtual social dance experience. With the use of live-broadcasting, green screen technology, and video editing, this project will explore socially distant social dancing by reimagining the partner cueing and physical connections embedded in these dance forms.

Inspirado por el baile en pareja que se encuentra en los bailes sociales afrolatinos, María Luisa, en colaboración con Que4 Radio y Taylor Street Media, construirá una experiencia de baile social virtual. Con el uso de transmisión en vivo, tecnología de pantalla verde y edición de video, este proyecto explorará el baile social socialmente distante al reinventar las señales de la pareja y las conexiones físicas integradas en estas formas de baile.

ReinventAbility collaborating with Ginger Lane, and studiothread

Ginger Lane, Ladonna Freidheim (ReinventAbility), and Jon Satrom (studiothread) will explore the intersections of inclusive dance, disability culture, and digital art through, "Digitally Reinventing Imperfection." These artists hope to examine the false promises of digital art and bring imperfection and distortion forward as they explore the change of stage. They will create a virtual performance piece and a digital dance creation tool that will find its home as a software and will be open to the community for online experimentation.

Silvita Diaz Brown collaborating with Alexandra Yasinovsky

Silvita Diaz Brown, in collaboration with film artist Alexandra Yasinovsky and other artists will create a dance film titled, "Visita a Nuestros Muertos," inspired by Día de los Muertos. Dedicated to Brown's mother, this film will follow four individuals as they connect and dance with loved ones whom they have lost. The film will culminate in the celebration and joy surrounding death in Mexican culture and hopes to capture the emotional process of mourning through the juxtaposition of indoor filming on phone cameras and outdoor filming on professional cameras.

Silvita Diaz Brown en colaboración con cinematógrafa Alexandra Yasinovsky y otros artistas colaboradores crearan un cortometraje de danza llamado "Visita a Nuestros Muertos," inspirado por la celebración de El Dia de Los Muertos; la obra estará dedicada a la madre de Diaz Brown quien falleció cuando Silvita era niña. La película relata la historia de 4 personas que visitan a sus muertos y bailan con ellos para festejar sus vidas. El cortometraje terminará con una danza en grupo que celebrará con color y alegría las vidas de los que han dejado este mundo material. La idea es capturar el proceso emocional de perder a un ser querido a través de la yuxtaposición de filmar con teléfonos los altares de los muertos en casa y filmar con cámara profesional en la naturaleza el baile de los vivos con sus muertos como un ritual de amor y celebración.

Yoshinojo Fujima aka Rika Lin collaborating with Subhash Maskara, Hekiun Oda, Matsuya Nozawa and Toyoaki Sanjuro

Rika Lin aka Yoshinoji Fujima (2017 Lab Artist), Subhash Maskara (Mumbai), Hekiun Oda (Kobe/Chicago), Matsuya Nozawa (Kyoto), and Toyoaki Sanjuro (Tokyo/Chicago) will be creating an interactive dance film based in virtual reality and interactive website / 360 camera technologies that will allow audience members to choose what components of the work they experience. Pushing away from expected norms and expectations, this project aims to experiment with Japanese classical dance and the new boundaries that a virtual world creates.

Zachary Nicol

Zachary Nicol will be exploring questions of visibility, concealment, and paradox in a two-part work, with support from advisor Catherine Sullivan (2016 Lab Artist). The first part, a short dance film, will feature two dancers and the second part, a website, will act as a virtual repository for twelve commissions by Black artists as they digest, exchange, and respond to questions of generating into a space of refusal.

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