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The Seldoms: Contemporary Dance That’s Always Current

The Seldoms

One of Chicago’s most interesting dance companies, The Seldoms have a strong sense of physicality, flow, and mystery.  It is easy to see the intelligence behind their choreography as the work is not only driven by questions dealing with contemporary issues, but also a personal relationship to the environment.

Artistic director Carrie Hanson, named by Dance Magazine as one of 25 to watch in 2012, founded the company in 2001.  Since then she has created over 20 pieces and has been commissioned to create work for companies such as the National Theater of Mannheim in Germany, the Elena Slobodchikova Dance Company in Russia, and more.  TimeOut Chicago calls her “one of the most ambitious, exacting artists in the local scene” and it is easy to see why the company stands out as an iconoclast amongst the crowd.

Hanson’s choreography has a sense of purpose, even though the movement can appear to be random, as in so much of contemporary dance.  She likes to work in site-specific spaces such as abandoned garages, empty swimming pools, and basic, rough environments.  Sensitive to light and shadow, Hanson creates a relationship to location, often resulting in otherworldly, science-fiction-like, or even dangerous effects.

Using choreography to explore contemporary life, Hanson’s interest is in what is relevant in our world at present such as Stupormarket, which examines the economy and Thrift, her take on the financial crisis.  Working in the abstract, her piece Giant FIX is a spectral piece that has an oriental/molecular feeling as bodies explore an empty Olympic size pool at night.  With her interest in breaking norms, her new work This is not a Dance Concert that debuted in February at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, was limited to 200 audience members who were sent in small groups to different areas around the theater, including backstage, to witness the performance in separate modules.

The Seldoms thrives on collaborations, finding partnerships with international, national and Chicago artists such as the International Contemporary Ensemble; composer Richard Woodbury, visual artists Anna Kunz, Fraser Taylor; architect Joel Huffman; designers Anke Loh and Maria Pinto and many more. The company has performed at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Dance Center in Chicago; Joyce Soho in New York, and festivals in the United States and Russia.

A fascinating company, audiences are invited into a world of exploration, especially with the site-specific work where imagination is ignited through the addition of locations both familiar and strange.

The Seldoms

1010 W. Lake Street

Chicago, IL 60607