Khecari is a project-based company contracting artists in various media in response to the needs of a given production. Current artists are:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.