Your Regional Guide To The Performing Arts

Art In Response
Ebenezer Lutheran Church
Presented By:
Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble
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Presented by Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble

Directors, Ellyzabeth Adler and Sara Maslanka split the bill in, Art In Response, for an evening featuring four works that are either new, in-process and Ensemble repertoire.

I Bet You Think This Dance is About You is an excerpt from a new project by Artistic Director, Sara Maslanka. I Bet You Think This Dance is About You is an exploration of perceptions and realities in attempt how our experiences shape us. This first excerpt is initial exploration of movement and text is based off a collection of poetry written by poet, Rupi Kaur in, milk and honey.

HOPE is a new danztheatre work by Ellyzabeth Adler that asks us, what do we hold onto and where do we find hope at times of struggle, changing political climates and everyday realities.  Weaving together stories, songs and inspirations of multiple generations, the common person is turned into an activist and shouts loudly “I have a voice!”  The work is partially inspired by Studs Terkel's process of collecting stories of the every day person in his book “Hope Dies Last.”  Adler and the ensemble have collected through social media, books and interviews stories and songs that inspire people to become an activist in their communities.  
Unraveling Bill (2006) tells the story of William Blake, a soldier who commits suicide after returning home for the Iraq war. The story is told through the eyes of soldier’s sister, Theresa Blake, who is a close friend of CDE’s Executive Director, Ellyzabeth Adler. Six ensemble members blended acting, dance, physical theatre, and music to tell the story. Theresa shares Bill's experience of returning home, separating from his wife, and eventually, without leaving a note, deciding to take his own life by laying down the American flag and shooting himself in the head. Not until she read her brother's journals from Iraq did she understand how much war changed him. The Blake’s story ends with a dance choreographed to "Here and Not Coming Back," an original song written specifically for "Unraveling Bill" by Tim Hort and Executive Director, Ellyzabeth Adler in 2006. Unraveling Veterans has toured throughout Chicago and for special events at National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum, Chicago Park District, You Spoke/Suicide Prevention, Jane Addams Hull House and at CDE’s Full Circle Festival.

Chapter 3: The Dinner Table is an expanded danztheatre work questioning and understanding the identity of a group seated at the dinner table. The work goes on to further ask how experiences from the dinner table translate from beyond the dinner table and into the world where  coming together counts the most. Originally premiering in Consumed (2017), Sara Maslanka continues her investigation in technology, society and how we come together in the digital age. The third section of Consumed observed individuals return to the table, relearn to acknowledge each other and figure out how to move as one. Chapter 3: The Dinner Table borrows from personal experiences, observations and theories of synchronization and energetic vibrations visualize group intuition and interconnectedness.

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