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 Certificate of Completion in Authentic Movement Training from the European Society of Authentic Movement in Munich, Germany. For the past decade, 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 is the founder of The Melting Pot, an Art, Dance and Music Festival held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam which has served as a platform for the arts, encourages engagement in cultural exchange and has brought greater access to the Arts for the general public of HCMC since 2011. 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. Emily was featured and recognized in the Contemporary Performance Almanac 2015 for Standpoint Theories. In 2015, she founded and created her alias, The Movement Kitchen – which offers creative experiences and movement based workshops for the general public in a welcoming environment by spreading knowledge about movement as a therapy, 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 Cultural Exchange Collaboration in the Arts. She is the recipient of two Public Diplomacy grants from The United States Consulate of Ho Chi Minh City. She resided overseas for the past decade in North Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia – and moved back to Chicago in May of 2018 with her better half and their cat named Chicken where she co-founded Holding Common Ground: Pathways to Cultural Exchange in Vietnam – an annual dance seminar that brings together dance artists and scholars from the USA, Vietnam and beyond to participate in panel discussions, lectures, workshops and dance performances that celebrate diversity, inclusivity and our common vision of dance as a universal language. It focuses on the insight into the process and development of an educational, artistic and cultural dance seminar between Vietnam, USA and other countries. In August of 2019, she joined Khecari 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.
Aren Viramontes is a freelance videographer, photographer, and an apprenticing Director of Photography. He is a specialist in visual color theory and was classically trained in the humanities with an eye for anything that abstracts. Aren has documented Khecari’s The Retreat : One Week and in-progress movement material from Marginalia.
Jenny Oelerich is a dance artist originally from Winnetka, Illinois and received her BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. During her time as an undergraduate she had the privilege of working with Jan Erkert, Renee Wadleigh and Abby Zbikowski, among others. Choreographically, Jenny is interested in floor work, partnering, and navigating full-bodied movement phrases that eat up space. Jenny is a dance and yoga instructor in the Chicagoland area with students ranging in age from two-years-old to adulthood.