Orders from the Horse collaborators
The Retreat – Bios
Julia Rae Antonick is a contemporary choreographer and dancer whose movement reflects a digestion of modern and classical dance forms from American, European and Indonesian roots. Her choreography emphasizes the creation of worlds the audience can enter, disrupting ingrained patterns of attention and reawakening a viewer to a language of kinetics, filigree and partnering work. Running the gamut from bizarre to beautiful, she prioritizes deeply engaging her audience over eliciting a specific aesthetic response. Julia has been immersed in an ongoing collaboration with Jonathan Meyer (dance) and Joe St.Charles (music) over the past decade. With Meyer, she has served as Artistic Director for Khecari since 2010. Antonick has received choreographic residencies at Djerassi, Ragdale, Hambidge, Links Hall (LinkUp), The Chicago Cultural Center (DanceBridge), Mordine&Co.’s Emerging Artist Program and was presented in the 40th anniversary season at The Dance Center of Columbia College. She has received grants from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Illinois Arts Council, Driehaus Foundation, Chicago Seminar on Dance and Performance, was awarded the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Grant for 2009, received honorable mention for the 3Arts award in 2012 & 2013, was nominated for a US Artists Fellowship along with Meyer in 2015, was one of six US dance projects shortlisted for The Kevin Spacey Foundation’s Artists of Choice Award in 2015 and was Links Hall’s Midwest Touring Nexus project in 2016. Julia teaches Modern Dance at Hubbard Street’s Lou Conte Dance Studios and is an artist in residence at Indian Boundary and Revere Parks in Chicago through Khecari.
From Lemont, Illinois, Chloe Bigelow began her dance training at the American Dance Center directed by Kathleen Villari. Continuing her education with tutelage from Jen Donohoo, she spent a year at the University of Iowa’s Dance Department. After returning to Chicago in 2013, Chloe joined the Lou Conte Dance Studio’s Scholarship Program under the direction of Claire Bataille, and has participated in summer intensives at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. In 2015 Chloe performed in Khecari’s Cronus Land, and has most recently completed her first season with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theater, where she originated roles in works by Stephanie Martinez, Sherry Zunker, Monique Haley and Wilfredo Rivera. Chloe is thrilled to return for a second project with Khecari.
Jeff Hancock designs and constructs movement and costumes, examines their overlap, and sometimes mutual influence. Since 1990, throughout his years dancing for River North, Hubbard Street, Same Planet Different World and many others, his dance and design life collided, supported and informed each other. The study of movement, and curiosity about the semiotics of clothing has fueled a long history of aesthetic exploration ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime, minimalism to excess. Recent projects include 25th Anniversary Dance For Life Finale, Choreographer Randy Duncan, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, Jimmie Blues, Walkabout Theater, the cure, Curmudgeon Productions, Fantasmagorie, Khecari, Cronus Land, Lucky Plush, Super Strip, Parsons Dance Co., Train.
He was a founding member of River North Dance Chicago, danced for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Dance Kaleidoscope, and Same Planet Different World Dance Theater, where he was a Co-Artistic Director. Recent choreography: Rid of Them, a collaboration with Molly Shanahan/MadShak, ellipsis NU Danceworks, The Great Gatsby and Grapes of Wrath NU, Impolite Society at The Kennedy Center. He has created work for River North Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Repertory Ensemble, Columbia College, Northwestern University, Paramount Theatre, the Edinburgh Festival, Same Planet Different World, The Dance COLEctive, Pegasus Players, and Ohio Northern University among others. His company -ish design was formed in 2007.
He was nominated for a McCormick Distinguished Lecturer Award, Ruth Page Awards for his dancing and choreography, and is an Illinois Arts Council grant recipient.
John Jandernoa grew up in the small town of Portland, Michigan. He began his dance journey in middle school, largely inspired by the moves of Michael Jackson. John began his formal dance training during his senior year of high school, and then moved to Chicago in 2011 to attend Columbia College. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance in 2015. Since then he has worked on projects with Khecari and Mordine & Company. He also teaches children and performs at Studio Jump. In his free time, John enjoys practicing gymnastics and tricking as a way to broaden his movement vocabulary, as well as increase his bodily strength and awareness.
Precious Jennings is a performer and teacher in Chicago. She has been seen performing with companies such as The Humans and Chicago Moving Company, has created in collaboration with Ayako Kato, K.J. Holmes, Amelia Charter and Julia Antonik, Khecari and various improvisational performances. Teaching in the Theater Department at Columbia College Chicago has brought her to study acting practices and theories utilizing vocal and physical directives in developing how we come to work and create. The last few years her practice and research has been in Body-Mind Centering® and theater practices such as Lucid Body technique and Grotowski-based practices. Her work is driven by collaboration and the development in clarity of relationship with those she works with; as mirrored by the physical, energetic and vocal body. She is a certified Massage and Thai-bodywork practitioner as well as a Certified yoga teacher.
Christopher Knowlton is a freelance movement artist based in Chicago. He has worked previously with Khecari as an understudy/performer for Esther & the Omphali. He is also a collaborative performer with many other Chicago-based artists, including technology performance group ATOM-r/Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality (Mark Jeffery & Judd Morrissey), Erica Mott Productions, Same Planet Different World (Joanna Rosenthal), Synapse Arts (Rachel Damon), Sildance/AcroDanza (Silvita Diaz Brown), The Power of Cheer (Matthew Hollis), The Inconvenience (Erin Kilmurray) and visual artist Claire Ashley, among others. His own work, which ranges from dance, comedy, storytelling, film, education and puppetry has been featured locally and internationally. In addition to performing, Chris is currently completing his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a published researcher of joint replacements at Rush University Medical Center.
Lauren Kunath arrived from Waukee, IA five years ago to continue her formal training in dance at Columbia College Chicago. While attaining her BA in dance, she would work on broadening her techniques in dance making. Lauren graduated in 2014 and has since presented her work in shows such as Fraction and Delve. Working as a freelance dancer, Lauren continues to create work for the Adler Planetarium, the Coincidentals and now Khecari. She is a certified Stott and Balanced Body Pilates Instructor.
Chih-Hsien Lin received a MFA in Dance from The University of Iowa, a MA in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling (DMTC), and graduated from Movement Pattern Analysis (MPA) certification program from Columbia College Chicago. A native from Taiwan, where it served as an incubator for her dance training and artistic life, Chih-Hsien has established herself as a contemporary movement artist and a registered dance/movement therapist since moving to Chicago in 2012. Her movement language reflects a rich cultural bearing from traditional Asian ethnic dances and martial arts foundation, to somatic modern integration. As she works as both a movement artist and a therapist, Chih-Hsien strongly believes in creating circular worlds of kinesthesia, juxtaposition, and reflection to attend to the subtlety, complexity, and fluidity of living. Chih-Hsien has been a LinkUp residency artist, a Moving Dialogs panelist with Carrie Hanson, a visiting faculty at Cornell College, an adjunct faculty and a touring company member at University of Iowa. She has worked with a variety of national and international artists, including Khecari, Chicago Moving Company, The Inconvenience, Mid-to-West Dance Collective, WC Dance Company (Taiwan), Sunshier Dance Theatre (Taiwan), Kaitlin Fox, Jennifer Kyle, Lisa Gonzales, Megan Pitcher, Michel Rodriguez and many others. Participated in projects such as Bodies in Urban Spaces, Peep Show, Amsterdam-Berlin-Chicago project of improvised dance and music, Kate Corby’s 2016 Compass, and Rachel Damon’s upcoming commissioned duet in 2017. Chih-Hsien has newly launched a collaboration with her life and dance partner Ben Law to carry out their humanistic and exploratory visions of movement and its both artistic and therapeutic values in their dance and DMT-Feldenkrais practices.
Amanda Maraist comes to Chicago from Beaumont, Texas. She received her BFA in Dance from the University of North Texas in 2014, and has since performed throughout the US and Mexico with Gaspard & Dancers, Contemporary Ballet Dallas, DGDG, and currently performs with BodyCompass Dance Project and Salty Lark Dance. In her own work she is motivated by authentic movement experiences, nostalgia, coincidences, accidents, animation and illustration, and memory.
Somatically driven, Jonathan Meyer works to develop an idiosyncratic movement palette blurring grace and awkwardness, building strange lands that can delight, baffle, and open new possibilities. A gymnast in high school, Jonathan Meyer discovered dance at Oberlin College in where he studied release technique and critical theory with Nusha Martynuk and Ann Cooper Albright. After a capoeira immersion in Brazil with Maestre Medicina, he returned to college to receive an undergraduate degree in dance from the UNC Greensboro. Meyer has danced for The High Risk Group, Pierre-Paul Savoie, Asimina Chremos, and The Seldoms. In addition to dance, Meyer has worked with at-risk youth in wilderness therapy programs in Utah teaching primitive skills, and has studied at The School for Body-Mind Centering® from 2000 to present. In 2002 Meyer founded Khecari in Taos, New Mexico. In 2006, Meyer moved Khecari to Chicago, and shortly thereafter he began his intensive collaboration and partnership with Julia Rae Antonick, with whom he runs the company. Through Khecari, Meyer and Antonick create and present their own work, in addition to choreographing collaboratively. Meyer has been a CDF Lab Artist and an artist in residence at Djerassi, Ragdale, and Hambidge and through LinkUp and DanceBridge in Chicago.
Mary O’Rourke began her dance training in Buffalo, New York, and received her B.A. in dance from Loyola University Chicago. While at Loyola, she received several awards for her choreography, leadership, and research in dance. She has previously worked with Khecari as an understudy/performer in The Cronus Land and is currently a performing artist with CDI/Concert Dance, Inc. She has presented her choreography at the American College Dance Festival, Noumenon New Moves Choreography Competition, Going Dutch Festival, and at the Conservatory of Music in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She holds a deep interest in the relationship between dance and theatre and was able to explore this partnership in a collaborative process with director/deviser Ann Kreitman on a devised physical theatre work Les Innocents performed in Mason Hall at the Preston Bradley Center. Most recently, she traveled to Havana, Cuba to participate in a cultural exchange with Danza Contemporanea de Cuba as well as collaborate on a dance for camera.
Emma Reeves grew up in Bolivar, Missouri, then went on to receive a BS in Biology with a minor in Dance from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee and graduate Cum Laude in 2013. After graduation she moved to Chicago to attend Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s 2013 Pre-Professional Summer Intensive. Since moving to Chicago, she has performed with and choreographed works for J. Lindsay Brown Dance, and performed with Perceptual Motion Inc. Dance Company, Matter of Reaction Movement Project, and Core Project. In 2014 she studied privately with Sam Weber in San Francisco, CA for a five-day tap intensive. Currently Emma is a dance instructor at studios and schools in the Chicagoland area.
Joe St.Charles is a percussion performer, improviser and teacher who has been working in Chicago since 2001. He has performed at various galleries, music venues, festivals, and institutions throughout the city including The Chicago Cultural Center, Links Hall, Pritzker Pavilion, Curtiss Hall, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Arts Club of Chicago and the Ruth Page Center for Dance as well as commissioned performances at The University of Chicago and The Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago. He has also been a guest accompanist working with students through the dance department of Columbia College, a resident artist at The LaSalle Language Academy as well as a guest composer/performer at The Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids Michigan and has received the CAAP grant from the city of Chicago and a grant from the Reva and David Logan Foundation. He has worked in close collaboration with choreographers Julia Rae Antonick and Jonathan Meyer over the past 10 years as well as collaborating with many other Chicago artists. Joe releases percussion recordings under the name Owleater and will be releasing a new album early 2017. Joe also teaches students both young and old at Flatt’s and Sharpe Music on Chicago’s north side.
Kat Sirico is currently the Master Electrician at Court Theatre, and has worked as the resident lighting designer or lighting supervisor at the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, Texas A&M University, Northern Stage, Sunrise Theatre, and Freeport Performing Arts Center, among others. Kat is a proud alumna of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Nazareth College of Rochester, and Yale School of Drama. Kat was a collaborator on The Cronus Land and is thrilled to be working with Khecari again.
Enid Smith earned her BFA from the North Carolina School of the Arts. In New York City she danced with Ivy Baldwin Dance, the Merce Cunningham Repertory Understudy Group, Anita Cheng Dance, and MAC Cosmetics among others. She has been making work in the Chicago area under the name enidsmithdance since 2008. Enid teaches ballet, modern, and the Cecchetti Method at Dance Center Evanston where she also choreographs for the Evanston Dance Ensemble and ede2. She is a graduate of the Swedish Institute of Massage Therapy and currently works as an LMT.