Founding Artistic Director
Carrie Hanson is a dance artist and educator. Since founding The Seldoms in 2001, she has created over twenty-five new works for the company. She was named the Chicago Tribune’s “Chicagoan of the Year in Dance” in 2015. Her dance theater work, Power Goes, was awarded a New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project award and a National Performance Network Creation Fund. Ms. Hanson has been commissioned by the National Theater of Mannheim, Germany, the Elena Slobodchikova Dance Company in Russia, WCdance of Taiwan, and the Morton Arboretum. Time Out Chicago calls her “a virtuoso of meticulous composition” who makes “clear-edged, challenging dances”. She has designed major multidisciplinary projects with practitioners working in visual arts, music/sound design, fashion design and architecture. Under her direction, The Seldoms has gained a reputation for bold performance in unusual spaces such as cargo containers and truck depots. More recently, her interest in pressing dance to speak to problems of the day, such as the economy, the environment, and power in politics have led to dance theater works noted for their humor and humanity. Ms. Hanson was named one of “25 to Watch” in 2012 by Dance Magazine. She was a Chicago Dancemaker’s Forum Lab Artist, has twice been awarded an Illinois Arts Council Choreographic Fellowship, and received a Ruth Page Award for Performance. She has been named by New City magazine as one of “The Players: 50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago” three times. Ms. Hanson is Adjunct Faculty at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago and conducts residencies at university dance programs, most recently at National Taiwan University of the Arts and the University of Wisconsin/Madison. She is certified in Laban Movement Analysis and earned a BFA from Texas Christian University and an MA in Dance Studies from Laban London.
Past and Current Collaborators
Assistant Director / Performance
Christina grew up in the Chicago area and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she received a BFA in Dance. She later moved to London to pursue her Master’s Degree in Dance Studies at the Laban Centre under the tutelage of Rosemary Butcher and Dr. Valerie Rimmer. During that time she worked professionally with independent choreographers and danced for several companies including BlueWhite under the direction of Melanie Clarke. Christina remained in London to teach at Kingston University and continued to dance professionally until moving back to Chicago. Currently, in addition to working for The Seldoms, Christina is certified in Laban Movement Analysis, and teaches Pilates in the city. Christina joined The Seldoms in 2003.
Lighting Design / Technical Direction
Julie Ballard has served as Technical Director and Lighting Designer for The Seldoms since 2008; collaborations include Power Goes (2015), Exit Disclaimer (2012), Stupormarket (2011), Marchland (2010), Convergence (2009), and Monument (2008). She has worked with many Chicago dance companies including Hedwig Dance, Mordine & Co., Dance COLEctive, Breakbone Dance, Deeply Rooted and Same Planet Different World. Ms. Ballard has been a part of numerous festivals as well as American Dance Festival, and has toured nationally and internationally with David Dorfman Dance. Ms. Ballard is the Stage Manager for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and previously served as Lighting Director and adjunct faculty at The Dance Center of Columbia College 2005-2012. Ms. Ballard earned her MFA from the University of Florida. overlaplighting.com
Percussion / Composition
Tim Daisy is a Chicago-based drummer and composer working in the fields of improvised and composed music. He has performed and recorded original music for modern dance, sound installations, film, and improvised music ensembles of various configurations since 1997 and has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Tim also owns and operates Relay Recordings, documenting much of the creative work he has been involved with in Chicago and abroad since 2011. Along with his performance and composing work, Tim helps curate the weekly OPTION series at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago. The programming explores contemporary perspectives on improvisation and composition in a ‘salon’ format, enabling local, national, and international artists to publicly discuss their practice and ideas as well as perform. timdaisy.wordpress.com
Technology & Media Coordinator / Performance
Philip Elson, originally from Fort Worth, TX, is a dance artist engaging with various arenas of dance research and performance including performance, education, and experimental collaboration. Philip’s collaborative roles with dance include sound design, video documentation/editing, web development, and administrative support. He has had the pleasure of working with companies and artists such as Joanna Rosenthal/Same Planet Different World Dance Theater, tEEth, Colleen Halloran, Margi Cole/The Dance COLEctive, The Open Space Project, Red Tape Theater, Jonathan Meyer/Khecari Dance Theater, Paige Cunningham, Liz Burritt, Matthew Hollis, Jyl Fehrenkamp, Laboratory Dancers, and Muscle Memory Dance Theatre, to name a few. He holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. Philip joined The Seldoms in 2008. philipelson.com
Bob Faust is the principal and creative director for Faust, a cultural branding and communications studio whose work straddles the line between art and design. His collaborative and non-secular approach to his work results in functionally expressive visual experiences that inspire and instigate. He has been recognized as a design leader nationally and internationally and has received many awards from publications and institutions such as Communication Arts, Print and How magazines, the Society of Typographic Arts and the London Creative Competition. He also is the studio/special projects director for Nick Cave’s studio practice and currently serves on the Appleton Coated Design Council as well as the School of the Art Institute’s Fashion Committee. faustltd.com
Composition / Sound Design
Mikhail Fiksel is a composer/designer/dj based in NYC and Chicago, but living at the intersection of classical, jazz, electronic music, and sound design. His dance projects include design for The Seldoms, Lucky Plush, The MCA Chicago, The Nexus Project, and others. Other recent endeavors include theatrical designs and compositions for Manhattan Theatre Club, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Goodman Theatre, The New Victory, The Old Globe Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, American Conservatory Theatre, Victory Gardens, Dallas Theatre Center, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Geffen Playhouse, Second Stage Theatre, Writers Theatre, Timeline, The Hypocrites, Redmoon Theatre, Tukkers Connexion (Arhnem, Holland) and Festival FILO (Londrina, Brazil). Recent film work includes scores for feature films “Glitch”, “The Wise Kids” and “In Memoriam”. As a dj, he has been exploring and blending genres for the dance floors and cerebral playground since 1997, sometimes with his live music ensemble “Seeking Wonderland”. He has received 7 Joseph Jefferson Awards for Sound Design and Composition, a Lucille Lortel Award, a Garland Award, an AfterDark Award for a New Original Musical and the Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award. He is an Artistic Associate with Timeline Theatre, Teatro Vista and Redmoon and faculty at Loyola University Chicago and University of Chicago. mikhailfiksel.com
Stuart Flack’s work as playwright had been produced at many of the leading theatres in the U.S. including: Southcoast Rep (Costa Mesa, CA), Culture Project (New York), Interact (Philadelphia), Victory Gardens (Chicago), and The Contemporary American Theatre Festival (Washington, D.C.). His plays include, “Sydney Bechet Killed a Man”, “Jonathan Wild”, “Homeland Security”, “For Eddie” and “Floaters”. He is currently creating a new play based on “Black Like Me” that will premiere in the 2015 season at Steppenwolf Theatre. He is the former Executive Director of the Chicago Humanities Festival, the largest festival of arts and ideas in the U.S. and the former Editor and Publisher of the McKinsey Quarterly, a journal of business, economics and policy. He is also a guitarist with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra.
Damon D. Green
Damon D. Green was born in Champaign, and has been a Chicago resident for thirteen years. Green’s dance education began at Christine Rich Studio, with training in classical ballet and jazz in 1996, and then at the Champaign Park District, under Kimberly Burson from 1997-2002. Green continued his studies at Columbia College Chicago in 2003, where he was introduced to modern/contemporary, African and Vogue. Vogueing is currently Damon’s focus, working frequently with choreographer Darrell Jones, and keeps a foot in the contemporary dance world with The Seldoms. He operates his own studio called TextureDance, a home for the contemporary dancer, and offers training in Vogue, Modern, Street Jazz and Hip-Hop to youth, teen and adults. Damon joined The Seldoms in 2007. texturedance.com
Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Sarah is a dance artist, fitness instructor and arts educator. She received her early training from the Milwaukee Ballet School and Joffrey Midwest Workshop. She continued her education at the University of Iowa, receiving a BFA in Dance and a BA in English (2011), with a concentration in Creative Writing. She has worked with artists and companies including Nina Watt, Harrison McEldowney, Carl Flink, Melina Jean Myers, The Moving Architects, Mario Zambrano, Danceworks Performance Company, Piel Morena Contemporary Dance, Netta Yerushalmy, Niv Sheinfeld /Oren Laor and Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre. Sarah is an active stilt performer with Kristina Isabelle Dance Company. She also teaches dance and fitness at Kaleidoscope Dance & Movement, Chicago Athletic Clubs, and FlyBarre Old Town. Sarah joined The Seldoms in 2015.
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 humans, 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 design projects: Khecari –The Retreat, Winifred Haun –trashed, Page Cunningham – On the Verge, 25th Anniversary Dance For Life Finale-Choreographer Randy Duncan, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project– Jimmie Blues, Walkabout Theater – the cure, Curmudgeon Productions – Fantasmagorie, Lucky Plush – Super Strip, Parsons Dance Co. –Train. 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.
Painting / Animation
Jackie Kazarian is a Chicago painter, video and installation artist whose intense colors and complex surfaces explore utopian impulses in the face of emotional and physical upheaval. Her visually challenging and kinetic landscapes integrate different languages of painting and drawing with screen-printing, stamping, flocking and collage. Ms. Kazarian’s work has been exhibited in Chicago, New York, Miami, California, Armenia, Syria and Japan. Ms. Kazarian has been a frequent instructor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and created public works for The U.S. Embassy and the City of Chicago. She received her graduate degree in painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1989 and bachelor’s of science degree from Duke University in 1981. jackiekazarian.net
Michael J. Kramer
Michael J. Kramer holds a visiting assistant professorship at Northwestern University, where he teaches history, American studies, digital humanities, and civic engagement. He also is an editor in the Design, Publishing, and New Media Department at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. His book, The Republic of Rock: Music and Citizenship in the Sixties Counterculture, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013, and he has written about history, art, culture, and politics for numerous publications. His current book project, “This Machine Kills Fascists: Technology and Culture in the US Folk Music Revival,” revises understandings of the folk revival as an anti-modernist movement. As part of the book project, he is developing a multimedia project (website, coffeetable book catalogue, exhibition) about the Berkeley Folk Music Festival (1958-1970). He is also in the early stages of a book on the poet, folklorist, Lincoln biographer, and socialist Carl Sandburg. He is on the steering committee of the Chicago Dance History Project, an oral history and archival digital documentation of dance in the city and its Midwest surroundings, and he serves as the dramaturg for The Seldoms, a contemporary dance company in Chicago. He graduated from Columbia University and received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He is the co-founder of the Northwestern University Digital Humanities Laboratory, writes about digital topics at Issues in Digital History, and blogs about art, culture, and politics at Culture Rover. michaeljkramer.net
Installation / Visual Design
Anna Kunz is an artist who makes works on paper, paintings, sculptures, installations and projects that seep out of the rectangle, often using materials that function to capture and manipulate light and color. These experiential works are often combined with objects or surfaces that add conceptual complexity and invite viewers to structure the space in time. Anna’s work has been included in numerous national and international exhibitions in NYC, Los Angeles, Houston, Brooklyn, San Antonio and the UK and Poland. Recent exhibitions include “ Registers” at LVL3 in Chicago, curated by Andrew Blackley of Golden Gallery, “Luninae” at White Box NYC, a group show featuring the work of Louise Fishman and Alexandra Phillips, curated by Juan Puentes, and “Spectral Landscape” at Gallery 400 UIC, curated by John Neff and Pamela Fraser. In 2009, her work appeared at The Smart Museum on the University of Chicago’s campus. In 2010, she was a resident artist in the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Program in NYC. Anna has also worked collaboratively with dancers and musicians to create Décor for theatrical and dance productions, namely for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in 2009. Often Kunz presents curated group exhibitions and events in the experimental space that she co-runs with Niels Vis in Amsterdam. The space, KUNZ, VIS, Projects features events that pair local, contemporary work in many creative forms with complementary work from around the globe. annakunz.net
Faheem Majeed (American, b. 1976) is a builder—literally and metaphorically. A resident of the South Shore neighborhood in Chicago, Majeed often looks to the material makeup of his neighborhood and surrounding areas as an entry point into larger questions around civic-mindedness, community activism, and institutional racism. As part of his studio practice, the artist transforms materials such as particle board, scrap metal and wood, and discarded signs and billboard remnants, breathing new life into these often overlooked and devalued materials. His broader engagement with the arts also involves arts administration, curation, and community facilitation, all which feed into his larger practice. Majeed received his BFA from Howard University and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). From 2005-2011, Majeed served as Executive Director and Curator for the South Side Community Art Center (SSCAC). In this role he was responsible for managing operations, staff, programs, fundraising, curation, and archives for the SSCAC. During his time with the SSCAC, Majeed curated exhibitions of numerous artists including Elizabeth Catlett, Dr. David Driskell, Charles White, Jonathan Green, and Theaster Gates. Majeed was selected as the inaugural artist in residence for University of Chicago’s Arts in Public Life Initiative (2012), MANA Contemporary Chicago (2014), and Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (2015). From 2013 – 2015 he served as the associate director and faculty of UIC’s School of Art and Art History. While at UIC he taught classes in museum collections and socially engaged art practices. Currently, Faheem is a full-time, practicing artist and creates in his South Shore studio. faheemmajeed.com
Amanda MCALISTER HOWARD
Amanda is originally from Nashville where she danced extensively with the Nashville Ballet and Epiphany Dance Company. In 2006 she received a BA in Dance from Columbia College, where she discovered her love for modern dance. She has had the opportunity to work with Lar Lubovich, Banu Ogan, Michael Cole, and Angie Hauser. Upon graduating, Amanda moved to NYC where she studied and performed works by David Parsons, Labor Force Dances, and worked with the Dance Films Association. She currently teaches Pilates, while choreographing and exploring her love for dance films. Amanda joined The Seldoms in 2007.
Matthew has been engaged in modern dance in Chicago since 2005. Last year Matthew danced for Kristina Isabelle in Levels & Lines, for Philip Elson in Terms and Conditions, and with The Humans in my my grey sky. He also performed in three installments of Peter Carpenter’s Rituals of Abundance for Lean Times. Matthew choreographs and has been presented by Dance Chance Redux, Links Hall, and Fused Muse Ensemble. He has danced for Winifred Haun, Lucky Plush Productions, Synapse Arts Collective, Kate Corby and Dancers, and The Dance COLEctive. Matthew studied theatre and dance at Columbia College Chicago. He graduated with a B.A. in Cultural Studies in 2010. Matthew performs and teaches through Michael Lee and Opus Mime Theatre Company of Ann Arbor Michigan. Matthew joined The Seldoms in 2015.
Born and raised in Chicago, Lara Miller’s work is strongly influenced by the city’s architectural and cultural landscape. Ecological sensitivity and fascination with both the built and moving form flow through each piece. While still an undergraduate at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Lara’s garments electrified local audiences and her costume work for a number of the city’s dance companies was widely acclaimed. Lara has made repeat appearances in GenArt’s Fresh Faces as well as the Macy’s on State Chicago Designer Shop. She has been named “Top 40 Under 40” by Crain’s Chicago Business as well as “Indie Designer of the Year” by Chicago Magazine. In addition to designing her label, Lara serves as the Executive Director of the Chicago Fashion Incubator (CFI) at Macy’s on State Street. Her line is carried in over 50 stores throughout the world including the UK, Australia, and Japan. Lara Miller is represented by The Four Hundred, New York’s first sales and press showroom exclusively dedicated to contemporary sustainable design. laramiller.net
Maria Pinto is a graduate of Chicago’s School of the Art Institute and attended New York’s Parson’s School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Soon after graduation, Pinto landed a coveted position working for legendary designer Geoffrey Beene. It was while working with Beene that Pinto learned the importance of ‘paying attention to detail’, the techniques of draping, and the art of editing. Pinto’s collections have been featured in major fashion publications, including Vogue, WWD, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and InStyle. She has received many prestigious design and fashion accolades throughout her career, including the opportunity to design costumes for the Joffrey Ballet, the Best of Fashion Award, Chicago Magazine (2000), and the Gold Coast Fashion Award, previously awarded to Anne Klein, Donna Karan and Bill Blass (1998). In 2009, Pinto was honored by the Anti-Defamation League as the recipient of their Women of Achievement Award, and the School of The Art Institute’s Legend of Fashion Award. mariapinto.com
An athlete all her life, Cara discovered dance while in her senior year of high school. She received a BFA from The Dance Center of Columbia College under Bonnie Brooks. She has had the opportunity to perform independent works at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., at Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival and around the globe with The Seldoms. Aside from dance, Cara has reconnected with her athletic roots and is a Strength & Conditioning Coach at CrossFit Defined where she combines her love of movement and teaching. Cara joined The Seldoms in 2005.
From Denver, CO, Hannah Santistevan is a performing dance artist, educator, and choreographer. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Columbia College Chicago. Prior to her education at Columbia, Hannah attended Denver School of the Arts 6th-12th grade, training in Ballet, Pointe, Modern (Limon, Horton, Graham), West African, Hip Hop, Tap, and Flamenco. She gained a passion for improvisational practices during her time at Columbia. Upon Hannah’s completion of her undergraduate education, she pursued dance education at Boston P-8 (a public school in Colorado) as their first Dance Specialist. Hannah has had the opportunity to perform in work choreographed by Onye Ozuzu, Erika Randall, Victor Alexander, Kristina Isabelle, Margi Cole, Keesha Beckford, Scott Putman, and Kyle Seguin. Hannah joined The Seldoms in 2017.
Brian’s work as a performer and director spans theater, dance, film and voice over/commercial work. He was a founding member of the physical theater company Plasticene, with whom he created and performed original work for 17 years. Brian has performed with numerous theaters in Chicago including recently playing Clov in Endgame with The Hypocrites, and appeared off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theatre in The Strangerer by Mickle Maher. He has worked with choreographers Erica Mott, Rachel Damon, Jan Erkert, Julia Rhoads and Nana Shineflug. He directed the short film Four Monologues about Russian poets in the Stalinist period, written by Aram Saroyan. He has appeared in Chicago Fire, Boss and Detroit 1-8-7, as well as numerous independent films, commercials—and spots for The Onion. Brian is a Professor in the Theatre Department at Columbia College where he teaches movement, acting and on-camera, and runs international exchange programs in the UK and Ireland.
Founding Member / Visual Art & Dramaturg
Doug Stapleton is an artist, curator and educator. He is an Associate Curator of Art with the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery and a former adjunct faculty in the Interdisciplinary Arts graduate program at Columbia College Chicago. Stapleton’s work has been the subject of two solo exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center and Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago in 2012. A former Artistic Associate with the Chicago based contemporary dance company The Seldoms. he had worked on eleven evening length dance performances in the capacity of dramaturg and as a performer. Prior to his work with the Seldoms, he has performed in over forty solo and collaborative performances since 1989. He received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1989, and a BA in Anthropology from University of Delaware with a minor concentration in Art History and Ceramics. dougstapleton.com
Video / Installation
Born in the UK, Fraser Taylor is an interdisciplinary artist who works with a range of media. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in printed textiles from Glasgow School of Art, Taylor went on to complete his Masters in Fine Art at the Royal Collage of Art, London. In 1983 he co-founded ‘The Cloth’, a studio established to enable artists to move freely between fine art and design projects. The Cloth designed numerous textile collections, which were manufactured in Tokyo, Milan, Paris, London, New York and Los Angeles. Taylor has exhibited internationally; venues include Jill George Gallery and StART Space, London; Mackintosh Museum, Glasgow; Gallery Boards, Paris; Galeria Jorge Alcolea, Madrid; Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney. Since 1983 he has lectured at fine art and design schools across the UK. In 2001 Taylor was appointed as Visiting Artist in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute Chicago. frasertaylor.com
Richard Woodbury is a composer and sound designer working in theater, dance and media arts. His career has spanned a wide variety of musical endeavors including, in his early teens, a rock band in Pakistan; jazz bands, new music ensembles, and forays into electronic music while in college in Minnesota; over a decade as an accompanist for dance and, over thirty years as a Chicago-based composer and sound designer for theatre and dance. From 1985 to 2014 Richard served as Music Director and Associate Chair at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago where he was an Associate Professor and “Distinguished Faculty Artist”. richardwoodbury.com
Performance and Composition
Chihsuan Yang is a winner of the 3Arts Award in 2015 and the 2016 Carmargo Foundation Fellow in France. Born and raised in Taiwan, Chihsuan moved to the United States at age 15. Being a classically trained violinist/pianist her whole life, Chihsuan acquired the skills to expand horizons beyond tradition, and it also granted her fluency in the universal language of music. As an eclectic and versatile violinist, erhu player, pianist, and composer actively engaged in the music scene around the globe, Chihsuan’s body of work spans a multitude of genres and reaches beyond borders. Chihsuan is a winner of the 3Arts Award in 2015 and the 2016 Carmargo Foundation Fellow in France. She has performed with artists ranging from Yo-Yo Ma and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, to Kings of Leon, Lana Del Rey, and Regina Spektor, and has even played for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She is a member of the legendary, Chicago-based Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues, and of the flamenco ensemble, Las Guitarras de España. Chihsuan continues to work and record with a variety of world class artists, and in 2014 released her debut solo EP Ways to Say Hello, a mix of original compositions. In 2016, she started the electronic/world duo ESCP with Bob Garrett, and is currently recording her next studio album. chihsuanyang.com