Category Archives: Press Releases

Robyn Mineko Williams’ ‘Undercover Episodes’ returns to Chicago, June 15-18


Robin Mineko Williams Rehearsal

Robin Mineko Williams Rehearsal. © Todd Rosenberg Photography

By Robyn Mineko Williams

Choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams and her creative team, composer/musicians Robert F. Haynes and Tony Lazzara of Chicago band Verger and art director/designer JT Williams, are excited to announce the return of Undercover Episodes to Chicago this summer, June 15-18th, 2018.

Undercover Episodes, the innovative dance-based performance series spearheaded by in demand, award-winning choreographer, Robyn Mineko Williams, is back this summer with a four show Chicago run, including a family friendly matinee*.

Presented by Apologue Liqueurs and danced by Jacqueline Burnett, Elliot Hammans and Michael Gross, all current members of internationally renowned Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the chameleon-like series offers the chance to see extraordinary dance set in a curated melange of distinctly Chicago locations.

Repeat attendance is encouraged – each show will meld to its surroundings and have a signature of its own.

*Undercover Episode 008: The Charleston marks the series’ first family friendly performance.

Williams, choreographer of two critically acclaimed, full length children’s dance works originally presented by the Kennedy Center, Harold and the Purple Crayon in 2010 and Mariko’s Magical Mix in 2015, is thrilled to adapt Episode 008: The Charleston to appeal not only to adults but children, as well. The 50-minute performance is interactive, colorful, fun and engaging for audiences of all ages.

“Rare is the opportunity to see these dancers and this choreographer’s work from an arm’s length away, and her ability to work in intimate spaces might be Robyn Mineko Williams’ best kept secret.” – Lauren Warneke, Art Intercepts

“unforgettable… intimate and irreplicable” — Elena Zinchenko, Host Of Undercover Episode 005: Hyde Park

Undercover Episodes

The performance schedule is as follows:

Undercover Episode 007: Storefront on Damen/Firecat Projects
Friday, June 15th, 2018, 7:30pm
@ Firecat Projects, 2124 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60647

Undercover Episode 008: The Charleston
Saturday, June 16th, 2018, 1:00pm
@ Charleston Bar, 2076 N. Hoyne Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
*** FAMILY FRIENDLY MATINEE – Kids under 10 are free with guardian admission

Undercover Episode 009: Danny’s Tavern
Sunday, June 17th, 2018, 7:30pm
@ Danny’s Tavern, 1951 W Dickens Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

Undercover Episode 010: Mott Street Chicago
Monday, June 18th, 2018, 7:30pm
@ Mott Street, 1401 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60622

Tickets are available online at <A HREF=’http://www.eventbrite.com/e/undercover-episodessummer-2018-tickets-46029259755&#8242; TARGET=_blank>www.eventbrite.com/e/undercover-episodessummer-2018-tickets-46029259755</A>
All performances are limited capacity.

Pricing is as follows:
• ONE SHOW Ticket – $35/one performance
• TWO SHOW Ticket – $60/two performances of your choice ($10 discount)
• THREE SHOW Ticket – $85/three performances of your choice ($15 discount)
• ALL IN Ticket – $110/four performances + Cocktail class with Robby Haynes ($20 discount + lesson)</b>

Undercover Episodes was developed in part during a residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York, NY and awarded through the Princess Grace Foundation-USA Works In Progress program.

ABOUT ROBYN MINEKO WILLIAMS

Robyn Mineko Williams danced for River North Dance Chicago and was a member of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago for twelve seasons, during which she performed choreography by numerous renowned artists including Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe and Johan Inger, and originated roles in new works by Jorma Elo, Sharon Eyal, Twyla Tharp and Lar Lubovitch, among others. She began making her own work in 2001 through Hubbard Street’s Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop and, in 2010, co-choreographed with Terence Marling Hubbard Street 2’s Harold and the Purple Crayon: A Dance Adventure, designed for young audiences. She has since created multiple premieres for Hubbard Street’s main company including the Art of Falling, a full evening production by the artists of The Second City and Hubbard Street and has made work for Charlotte Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, Visceral Dance Chicago and The Nexus Project, presented at the Kennedy Center, the American Dance Festival, the Joyce Theater and other venues. Named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” for 2014, Williams was one of Northwest Dance Project’s 2012 International Choreography Competition winners, received a 2013 Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship and was selected as an E-choreographer for Springboard Danse Montreal the same year. In 2015 she completed a Princess Grace Foundation–USA Works In Progress Residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center and received a Choreography Mentorship Co-Commission Award from the Princess Grace Foundation–USA in support of Mariko’s Magical Mix: A Dance Adventure, her second full-length children’s program in collaboration with shadow puppetry performance collective, Manual Cinema. In 2016, Williams was selected as one of NewCIty’s Players: 50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago and Best Choreographer in Chicago Magazine’s Best Of Issue. robynminekowilliams.com

ABOUT VERGER – ROBERT F. HAYNES AND TONY LAZZARA

Drawn to its vibrant and eclectic music scene, North Carolina native Robert F. Haynes packed up his gear and moved to Chicago in the early 2000’s. Since then the multi-instrumentalist’s work has run the gamut from the blissed out guitar antics of The Record Low and primal basement fuzz of underground synth punks Treasurer to the fractured electro compositions of Verger. Through Verger, Haynes and collaborator Tony Lazzara (Bloodiest, Atombombpocketknife) create rich narrative landscapes for Robyn Mineko Williams’ choreography, melding seemingly disparate elements – haunting melodies, ambient drone, pulsing rhythms and wire-y guitars – into something otherworldly. Visit verger.bandcamp.com to learn more.

ABOUT JT WILLIAMS

Minneapolis based designer, Jt Williams, has spent his career connecting business and human centered design to guide innovation and nurture creativity. Currently working as a product designer for SportsEngine, Jt spends his most productive time sucking the creative energy from his two daughters to fulfill his endless need to make things. Jt has a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design with a minor in Psychology from Iowa State University. Recent projects include collaboration with Robyn Mineko Williams for Undercover, collaboration with photojournalist Reed Young for Finding Vietnam’s War Children—Chon Thanh Refugees Then and Now (on exhibit this fall at the National Veterans Art Museum), and regular contributor to TheBolg.

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Pittsburgh’s Kelly Strayhorn Theater to Host 2018 National Performance Network / Visual Artists Network Conference


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Photo courtesy of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater.

By Duane Binion

(PITTSBURGH, PA, January 29, 2018) The Kelly Strayhorn Theater (KST) and National Performance Network (NPN), are pleased to announce the 2018 National Performance Network / Visual Artists Network’s Annual Conference will take place in Pittsburgh, PA, December 2018. NPN/VAN’s Annual Conference is a dynamic international forum for artists, arts leaders, activists, organizers, funders, and creative stakeholders to develop a more artist-centered, just, and sustainable performing and visual arts universe.

For over 10 years KST has been committed to serving our community as an inclusive safe space for all, offering a place where everyone’s voices are heard, and responding to community needs,” says Executive Director of Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Janera Solomon. “Now is the perfect time to showcase Pittsburgh based artist. We have a unique voice, and culture, we are proud to welcome our NPN colleagues to experience our city.

Over four days, KST and NPN/VAN will partner to gather more than 400  artists, arts funders, and leadership from arts organizations across the nation to consider current issues, share solutions, examine local, national and international policies that shape the cultural environment, and expand industry and institutional know-how.

In addition to gathering arts leaders from across the country, the Annual Conference also provides opportunities to share the work of local, national, and international artists that include ArtBursts (pop-up performances throughout the Conference), Idea Forums, In the Works, and “Live & On Stage “performance showcases.

The Annual Conference also directly addresses artist equity issues by providing subsidies to NPN/VAN, as well as Pittsburgh artists, selected to mirror the diversity of the NPN/VAN community.

The NPN network includes more than 100 arts organizations in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia. They are committed to investing in artists whose voices and visions illuminate and shape the world around us, and to taking risks in support of artistic expression. Since its inception, NPN/VAN has reached 3.5 million audience members and supported 4,700 artist projects employing more than 21,000 artists. NPN has provided $26 million in direct support to artists and presenters, and leveraged another $44 million, resulting in $70 million in support for artists and arts organizations.

KST and NPN/VAN share a mission to create an arts sector rooted in justice. The conference is designed to foster deeper collaboration among presenters, greater mobility for artists and a stronger collective voice for the arts. Its programs demonstrate the network’s commitment to spaces for expression that are free of racism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, misogyny, classism, or other bias. It is a rare platform where artists and presenters come together as equal peer participants toward greater field-wide goals.

The Annual Conference is held in a different city in the United States each year, and is hosted by local Partners in collaboration with the NPN/VAN National Office. Past meetings have been held in the following cities.

Attendance is open to everyone interested in participating. Local artists wanting to learn more about how you might be involved in sharing ideas, performing, teaching, and/or as a member of the Community Host Committee should email duane@kelly-strayhorn.org for more information.

ABOUT NATIONAL PERFORMANCE NETWORK
The National Performance Network and Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN) believes artists and arts organizations are essential for creating a just and sustainable world, and we believe communities deserve broad access to art and culture that reflect their own experiences and inform about the experiences of others.

We seek to provide risk-taking performing and visual artists with the resources needed to develop and tour new work, to ensure arts leaders have the skills and opportunities to be change-makers in the arts presenting field, and to influence cultural policy for more just and artist-centered practices.

ABOUT KELLY STRAYHORN THEATER
Kelly Strayhorn Theater (KST) uses the arts as a catalyst for community revitalization and plays a key role in the transformation of East Liberty and nearby neighborhoods. In its 16th year as an organization and 10th season of original programming, KST continues to demonstrate its commitment to Pittsburgh artists and audiences, supporting the presentation of risk-taking new work by emerging artists and arts organizations.

KST is also building community through art with the newly formed East Liberty Community Arts Fund, supporting ambitious temporary art projects. The first two projects – Deavron Dailey’s The Arms of East Liberty and Bob Ziller’s 15 Minutes – are now on display at 5906 Penn Ave. in East Liberty.

KST operates two professionally equipped venues along the Penn Avenue arts corridor. The historic Kelly Strayhorn Theater (formerly the Regent Theatre, 1914) is a 350-seat multi-arts venue and the last survivor of East Liberty’s nine original theaters. Noted Pittsburghers and KST namesakes Gene Kelly and Billy Strayhorn are among the 80 area artists honored in the theater’s Gallery of Stars. Just blocks away, KST’s Alloy Studios play host to intimate performance events and provide creative space for artist residencies, Alloy School dance classes, and performance rehearsals, as well as community art and music programs.

Major funding for KST Presents is provided by The Heinz Endowments, Richard King Mellon Foundation, The Benter Foundation, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and Allegheny Regional Asset District.

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STAYCEE PEARL dance project and SOY SOS present interim: THROWBACK


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Photo collage courtesy of STAYCEE PEARL dance project.

By Jessica Marino 

Celebrate STAYCEE PEARL dance project (SPdp) and Soy Sos then and now with interim: THROWBACK. Join us for a fundraising bash at Ace Hotel as we enjoy show excerpts from old and new favorites including FLOWERZ, CirclePop, …on being…., encryption cipher, Playground, and ABBEY: In the Red. Afterwards, enjoy laughs and memories over fun family style dinner service from Ace Hotel’s Whitfield kitchen.

DETAILS

Friday, November 17, 2017
6:30pm – 10:00pm
Ace Hotel – 120 South Whitfield Street Pittsburgh, PA, 15206 
Cost: $50 (includes dinner, signature beverage, performance, & dancing! Cash bar also available)
For ticketing information – info@pearlartsstudios.com or http://www.pearlartsstudios.com

SCHEDULE
6:30 PM Doors open with Happy Hour (Cash Bar)
7 PM SPdp THROWBACK dance performance
7:30 PM Family style dinner service
8:30 PM DJ Soy Sos dance party

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