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, MadShak 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 – The 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 includes 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, 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.
Emily Navarra is a B.A. Dance Studies graduate from the University of South Florida and holds a certification from the European Society for Authentic Movement in Munich, Germany. She has worked under various choreographers such as Iñaki Azpillaga and Wim Vandekeybus (Ultima Vez) and Lloyd Newson (DV8 Physical Theatre) as well as presented her work in the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia, North Africa and the United Kingdom.
She formed Standpoint Theories in 2012, a collaborative project which began as an experimental multimedia performance. From 2013-2015, it transformed into its next installation – “Legends of Vietnam” which retold six Vietnamese legends through dance, visual art, text and live music featuring singer/songwriter Le Cat Trong Ly. In 2015, she founded The Movement Kitchen which offers creative experiences and movement based workshops in a welcoming environment by spreading knowledge about movement as a therapy with a focus of bringing cultures together and encouraging self-expression.
Emily was also a TED Talks key note speaker in 2016 speaking on the topic of The Importance of Collaboration in the Arts. She is the recipient of two Civil Society grants from The Department of State and the United States Consulate of Ho Chi Minh City. She resided overseas for the past decade in North Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia – and recently moved back to Chicago with her better half and their cat named Chicken. Emily joined Khecari this August as an Operations Assistant.
Chien-An Yuan is an inter-disciplinary artist based in Ann Arbor, MI. His work has been featured in The New Yorker, Salon, ArtSlant, Huffington Post, and WNYC.
Past exhibitions include The Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Gene Siskel Film Center, Museum of Chinese in America NYC, Syrup Loft, Zhou B Arts Center, Asian American Cultural Center of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Hyde Park Art Center, and Gallery 312.
He is a member of Chicago/Ann Arbor based performance collective IS/LAND.