Rethinking Preconceived Notions Of Who’s A Dancer With Heidi Latsky Dance

“Solo Countersolo Excerpt”

[Chicago, IL] – Heidi Latsky Dance, a company that features mixed-ability dancers, comes to The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, 1306 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, November 6–8. The company’s residency coincides with the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) and National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) joint conference November 5–9 in Chicago.

A former dancer with Bill T. Jones, Latsky brings two works to The Dance Center, under the banner “One Hour: Two Works,” which, she said, “evolved out of my investigation of counterpoint and juxtaposition and my desire to be more integrated and also explore age.” Solo Countersolo features Latsky in opposition to the ensemble, weaving through a landscape of vigorously moving bodies to British composer Chris Brierley’s score, commissioned for the piece. “Solo Countersolo is about the soloist versus the group, the mature performer (myself) and the younger group and a slow eruption of movement that is exhilarating and exuberant.”

Somewhere is set to wildly eclectic renditions of “Over the Rainbow,” using the iconic song to frame a series of intimate movement portraits that highlight a diverse unconventional cast. Latsky described the performers: “Somewhere features Rob Simpson, who has Parkinson’s and has a wingspan that is stunning; Alexandria Whailes, who is deaf and an accomplished actress/dancer and an incredibly passionate and voluptuous mover; Jerron Herman, who has cerebral palsy and is dynamic and potent; Jillian Hollis, who is hyper mobile and can contort her body into incredible positions but also dances with everything she has; Brynt Beitman, who is classically trained and beautifully tall and elegant; Meredith Fages, who is also classically trained but is fiercely fast; Gregory Youdan, who is passionate and long-limbed and has a quirky pedestrian quality to him; and Saki Maduda, who is a live wire. I hope audiences will enjoy their unique beauty and walk away uplifted and energized and moved. Intellectually, I hope they begin to rethink their preconceived notions of what a dancer is, if they have any to begin with.”

Residency Activities
A post-performance conversation with the company takes place Thursday, November 6, free to ticket holders. Latsky also will participate in The Dance Center’s FREE DanceMakers series, which features contemporary dance artists offering insight into their choreographic process, Monday, November 3, 6:30–8:30 p.m. at Access Living, 115 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago. Preregistration at colum.edu/dancemakers is required.

The Chicago Humanities Festival presents “A Dancer’s Journey: A Conversation with Heidi Latsky” Sunday, November 2 at 10 a.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 220 E. Chicago Ave.; visit chicagohumanities.org. In addition to hosting the DanceMakers session, Access Living, which is nationally recognized as a leading force in the disability advocacy community, will collaborate with The Dance Center and Heidi Latsky on events engaging the physically integrated community, to be announced at a later date.

Clyde F. Smith

DanceLand founder Clyde F. Smith has a PhD in Cultural Studies from OSU and performs improvisational dance in Working Sessions.