Nathan Tomlinson is one of the most prolific performers in Chicago dance, but he’s only on stage before and after the shows. This Friday and Saturday, he’ll be on stage for the JMT/JLS programs at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts --- not in person during the performances, but in his multidimensional roles of lighting designer, technical director, and just-make-sure-everything-goes-right manager.
Tomlinson is especially respected for his dynamically innovative lighting designs. He is the Resident Lighting Designer and Technical Director for Thodos Dance Chicago and he also works extensively with independent choreographers (including Jessica Miller Tomlinson and Jacqueline Stewart at JMT/JLS). He can also be found in technical fields far from Dance, like lighting the City of Chicago’s annual Michigan Avenue Christmas Display. It’s not surprising that someone with the technical expertise to light dozens of the most high-priced city blocks in the world finds it easy to invent, innovate and explore new ideas in production lighting.
Jacqueline Stewart’s choreography has an unusual depth, an edgy complexity that can be difficult to describe. It’s as if her work conveys some of the dimensions of multi-media productions, even without the presence of explicit multi-media elements. In fact, she is proficient in a variety of different media; she integrates her own video production, graphic arts and photography into a variety of projects, including the promotional developtment for JMT/JLS, her collaboration with Jessica Miller Tomlinson. (JMT/JLS
happens June 4th and 5th at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago.) Even when her work does not include multi-media elements, you can almost see this perspective in things like her inventive sense of balance-in-movement, or in the intriguingly creative titles for her choreographic works.