"Triptych: 3 Dance Voices" is the perfect name for a collaboration between Winifred Haun, Jessica Miller Tomlinson and Jacqueline Stewart; each is a multi-talented artist focused in Choreography, but all three are perhaps most recognized for the originality of their artistic expression. Winifred Haun is the founder of Winifred Haun & Dancers, a Company that has produced over a hundred and twenty-five original works since 1991. As impressive as longevity and originality are as separate qualities, very few Companies have combined them as successfully as Winifred Haun & Dancers. Jessica Miller Tomlinson is noted both for her consistently unique choreographic vision, and for her ability to successfully express her remarkable range of inspiration. Jacqueline Stewart, whose early works were Chicago based and who now lives and works in New York, is both choreographer and visual artist, and her multi-faceted view of the world is always somehow woven into the fabric of her choregraphic work.
"Triptych: 3 Dance Voices", which will be presented at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 PM, features six works, two by each Choreographer. Haun's works include "Bemused", an aerial duet inspired by "the tortured relationship between a man and his slowly developing idea", and her acclaimed "Bento". Jessica Miller Tomlinson presents two world premieres, "Run 1, Run 2, Run 3" is a duet for Tomlinson and Joshua Manculich, and "Transient Interactions", an abstract group work for five couples. Jacqueline Stewart will also premiere two works, "Coffee and Alcohol", a quintet inspired "by the sensations of dehydration", and "Manos: FRAME 1", "the story of a woman lost in her own images and movements". (The piece was inspired by the photograph, taken by Stewart, pictured with this article.)
This is a really unique opportunity to see six works by three compelling choreographers; tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets. After Friday's performance, there will be a discussion with the choreographers, and Stewart will teach a Master Class from 5:00 to 6:00 P.M. For more information about each of these remarkable choreographers, check out each of their sites at Winifred Haun, Jacqueline Stewart and Jessica Miller Tomlinson.
Jacqueline Stewart describes Jaxon Movement Arts as "a project-based company that creates dance art inspired by current events and active collaborations with adjacent artistic mediums". The full-length work Dance Gallery 2011 is an especially successful expression of this philosophy. Presented in collaboration with JMT/JLS choreographer Jessica Miller Tomlinson, Dance Gallery 2011 is an embracing journey through the myriad landscapes of artistic collaboration. Naturally, like the JMT/JLS 2010 production that was the first coproduction by the award winning choregraphers, Dance Gallery 2011 moves through the series of unique choreographic visions that Stewart and Tomlinson always manage to conjure. Unique to this project though was the presentation of Concert as Gallery, with each individual work set in a different section of the art gallery-style space. The inevitable interaction between a constantly-moving audience perspective and the inspired performances highlighted ever more vividly the richness of collaborations --- dance, production, design and performance --- woven into the work.
JMT/JLS, the evening of choreography by Jessica Miller Tomlinson and Jacqueline Stewart, is one of those shows that’s really too good to miss. It runs one more night (Saturday, June 5 at 8PM) at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, and if there’s any way you can get to it, do. There aren’t too many other places where you could see such a wide-ranging selection of really imaginative work. It includes compelling ensemble pieces like Jaqueline Stewart’s “Re-directing Fear” and Jessica Miller Tomlinson’s “Let Me In”, a pair of mesmerizing duets (Tomlinson’s “Crimes D’Amour in the first act, Stewart’s “It’s Not Enough To Close Your Eyes" in the second), and five other intricately imagined and superbly executed works: “Aurora”, a solo danced by Cara Sabin, Stewart’s “Nice Women Don’t Crave Disaster”, Tomlinson’s “Forget What You Came For?”, Stewart’s “E-ffect”, and Tomlinson’s “Die Lieder Tanzen”.
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.
Jessica Miller Tomlinson’s choreography has attracted an increasingly dedicated following over the past few years; her 2006 work “Forget What You Came For?”and last year’s “Architecture: Splintered and Cracked” were both commissioned for the Thodos Dance Chicago New Dances series, and both were subsequently added to the Company’s repertoire. This June, Jessica and Jaqueline Stewart will present a special two-night production of their own works at JMT/JLS (June 4-5 at the Ruth Page Center For the Arts, Chicago), where Jessica will premiere a new work entitled “Let Me In”.