The Technology of the Circle


Fri,  October 9 from 7 - 9pm
Sun, October 11 from 10am - 1pm
Tue, October 13 from 10:30am - Noon
Fri, October 23 from 7 - 9pm
Fri, November 6 from 6:30 - 8:30pm

Onye Ozuzu; Photo Credit: Bill Frederking

"The Technology of the Circle" is a performance process that uses the circle as a structure for diverse dance improvisation practices. From Breaking, Afro-Cuban, Contemporary Ballet, House, West African, these forms will merge with contemporary dance and theatre improvisational techniques and emerge as a fluid tool for the crafting of layered, powerful, individual and embodied civic discourse. Featuring Chicago all-stars—Onye Ozuzu, Paige Cunningham-Caldarella, Edson Cabrera, BraveMonk, and Kelsa Robinson—in locations around the city.

Friday, October 9 from 7 - 9pm,  at Dance Connection, 3117 N Clybourn Ave

This “informance” highlights the House dance community, hosted by Kelsa Robinson, one of Chicago’s own freestyle dancers and member of Venus Fly, a crew of highly accomplished street dancers from across the U.S.

Sunday, October 11 from 10am - 1pm, at Links Hall, 3111 N Western Ave

Hosted by Links Hall, a center for contemporary dance and contact improvisation.

Tuesday, October 13 from 10:30am - Noon, at The Dance Center at Columbia College, 1306 S Michigan Ave

This “informance” highlights the practices of contemporary modern and ballet hosted by Paige Caldarella, a former Merce Cunningham Dance Company member.

Friday, October 23 from 7 - 9pm, at Firehouse Community Arts Center, 2111 S Hamlin Ave

This “informance” highlights the Breakin dance community, hosted by BraveMonk, currently a member of Chicago’s legendary and internationally recognized breaking crew, Phaze II – Crosstown Crew (Est. 1982).

Friday, November 6 from 6:30 - 8:30pm, Red Clay Dance at Fuller Park, 331 W 45th St

This “informance” features the company’s Afro-Contemporary dance aesthetics hosted by Red Clay Dance. 

How is the City your studio?

“The Technology of the Circle” uses the architecture of the circle for improvised group interaction: the circle of playground fights and politics of Brazilian Capoeira, of Jazz music, of B-boying/B-girling, of club culture cyphering and battling, of the swirling interaction of Aikido’s uke and tori, of a salsa couple, and of contact improvisation. The project brings together Chicago’s top improvisational practitioners from distinct and diverse improvisational forms, such as the Street and House Dance communities, the Salsa community, the Contemporary dance community, the Contact Improvisation jams, and the West African dance communities. The improvisational forms under consideration are have been utilizing the circle as a technological tool to elicit participation and interaction for decades and for some centuries. Together, we will distill the tools of the circle structure and use them collaboratively to build new models. We will explore circle as geometry, circle as swarm, circle as mob, circle as protection, circle as satellite, circle as echo, circle as barrier, as container, as concept, as politic. The project specifically uses Chicago as a studio. With Chicago-based improvisers as the artistic experimenters and the workshop sites as culturally specific laboratories to investigate the fusion of distinct improvisational practices, the intended objective of the “Technology of the Circle” performance process will be the crafting of layered, powerful, individual and embodied civic discourse. The circle serves as a structure for communities marked by difference to share a center in order to offer participants the opportunity to cultivate a group mind. As the circle is itself an “audience” of sorts, I anticipate that the binary of audience and performer will be challenged in an activated permeable environment where audience members may seamlessly find themselves crossing the line from observer to participant and back again.