Upcoming Events at Pivot Arts

New Works In November

Pivot Arts presents two unique events in November. First, a reading of a new play with puppetry and movement. Second, showings of Dance on Film at Chicago Filmmakers as part of the Video Corpo Festival with Dfbrl8r Gallery and SITE/less Performance Space. Both events include discussions with artists. See below for more information + reservations.

PIT91 by Jenni Lamb
Staged Reading of Play-in-Progress

Saturday, November 17 at 3pm
Jackalope Theater’s Frontier Space
1106 W. Thorndale Avenue
Suggested $5 donation at the door

Join us for a reading of a new play that uses movement and puppetry to explore the ways in which we are all bound together. Therapist-in-training Pauline struggles to help her client who is an excavator at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. When their session goes off the rails, Pauline is driven to a personal excavation, unearthing ancestors from hundreds and thousands of years ago…

Jenni Lamb is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists and her plays have had readings or productions with The Road Theatre (LA), The Goodman Theatre, Route 66, The Gift, American Theatre Company, Stage Left Theatre, Black Box Acting Studio, Commission Theatre, Okapi Theatre, Wordsmyth Theatre (Houston), Northwestern University, and Chicago Dramatists. She also creates site-specific works with Living Room Playmakers where she is a Producing Playwright. Jenni holds an MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage from Northwestern University.

For reservations email info@pivotarts.org.


Video Corpo
An Exploration of  Movement and Video

Pivot Arts teams up with Defibrillator Gallery + SITE/less Performance space to present Video Corpo, a festival of video work celebrating movement-based artists who have used video as an extension of their practice. There are three special events as part of the festival:

Opening Night at Defibrillator
Friday, Nov. 16, 7PM
Defibrillator Gallery at the Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W 35th Street

Opening Night at SITE/less
Saturday, Nov. 17, 7PM
SITE/less, 1250 W. Augusta Blvd.

Dance On Film at Pivot Arts
Friday, Nov. 30, 7:30PM
Chicago Filmmakers, 5720 N. Ridge Avenue
Pivot Arts with In/Motion International Dance Film Festival presents the following screenings of short dance films: ALL by Sarah C. Prinz, Danny Rosenberg, and Amy Wilkinson; SEPARATE SENTENCES by Austin Forbord and Amy Dowling; INSAN by Tommy Pascal and finally, FORMIDABLE DREAMS by Sara Zalek. A panel discussion following the showings will include Executive Director of In/Motion, Amy Wilkinson, along with filmmakers Diana Quinones Rivera and Sara Zalek. Pivot Arts director, Julieanne Ehre, will moderate the discussion.

In addition to the special events, Video Corpo runs from November 16 – December 7 with showings of videos at Defibrillator Gallery and at SITE/less. Featured works at SITE/less include, Short Silent Films (1966–94) by iconic composer, singer, director/choreographer, and filmmaker Meredith MonkWall Dance by Michelle Kranicke and Zephyr Dance and On Falling by Nadia Oussenko.

Admission to each of the openings at Defibrillator and SITE/less, and the screening and panel discussion at Chicago Filmmakers, is a suggested $10 donation. You can reserve in advance HERE


Charged Spaces/Changing Bodies
October 11 – 14, 2018

Pivot Arts presents Charged Spaces/Changing Bodies
Performances in Historic Sites

Works by Anna Martine Whitehead
Carole McCurdy +
Sara Zalek

Co-Curated by Julieanne Ehre and Peter Taub
October 11, 12 and 13 at 7:30pm and October 14 at 4:00pm
The Institute for Cultural Affairs
4750 N. Sheridan Road +
Lawrence House
1020 W. Lawrence Avenue
Suggested Donation $20
SPACE IS LIMITED. TO RESERVE IN ADVANCE CLICK HERE. Please note, there is no late seating…

Pivot Arts presents a series of site-specific performances in two historic Uptown buildings overlapping with Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago weekend. The performance begins at the Institute for Cultural Affairs 4750 N. Sheridan Road with Notes on Territory written, choreographed and performed by Anna Martine Whitehead. Audiences are then led across the street to Lawrence House 1020 W. Lawrence Avenue for Les Chanteuses du Rien created and performed by Sara Zalek, Elaine Lemieux, Hanna Brock — the piece will take place in the Lawrence House lobby and culminate in the swimming pool. Five Stud Stud by Carole McCurdy will take place in the Lawrence House’s gym space. All performance spaces are accessible by elevator, note that the experience includes travel from one building to the next.

Full descriptions plus artist bios below.

Notes on Territory
Written, Choreographed, and Performed by Anna Martine Whitehead

Damon Locks, Sound; Giau Truong, Lighting

Notes On Territory uses movement, sound, video, and text to address “containment architectures” (prisons, cathedrals, dungeons, and homes) and ask: What is the prison? What is the nature of freedom? The piece considers known architectural shapes and spiritual traditions such as crosses and arches in relation to the hole – a space which is only known by the wall that surrounds it – as a means of exploring the rich tradition of Black liberation practice.

Notes on Territory was developed in part during Pivot Arts’ Incubator Program and has had works-in-progress showings at: ACRE and Ragdale in 2017, Elevate Chicago Dance 2017, Velocity Dance Center in 2018, Whitman College Spring Studio Series 2018, Pivot Arts Festival 2018. Generous support has been provided by Chicago Dancemakers Forum; Headlands Center for the Arts; Daring Dances at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and Pivot Arts.

Les Chanteuses du Rien
Created and performed by Sara Zalek, Elaine Lemieux, Hanna Brock

Les Chanteuses du Rien mashes up classical music, experimental opera, improvised sound and Butoh dance to explore the lobby and swimming pool space at Lawrence House. The performers are a trio of tricksters who desire to communicate intimately with an audience.

Sara Zalek, Elaine Lemieux and Hanna Brock have been making work together for two years in Chicago, including Chicago Cultural Center, Edgar Miller Legacy Studio, Silent Funny, Ragdale Foundation and the Hungry Brain. They have been supported by Chicago Dancemakers Forum, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the City of Chicago, New England Foundation for the Arts, and the Ragdale Foundation.

Five Stud Stud
Created by Carole McCurdy and co-performed with Jon Poindexter

Five Stud Stud explores the spectrum between violence and tenderness. The performance is both intense and absurd, taking place in an installation of inflatable punching bags. Versions of this piece have been performed at Ragdale Foundation; Dogleach/Hume; Comfort Station; OuterSpace; and Defibrillator.


Charged Spaces/Changing Bodies is supported in part by the Alphawood Foundation, FLATSstudio, the Illinois Arts Council, the Institute for Cultural Affairs, and the MacArthur Funds for Art and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Photos above from left to right: Notes on Territory by William Frederking; Five Stud Stud by Sam Chao; and Les Chanteuses du Rien by Rebecca Ciprus.


Anna Martine Whitehead is a transdisciplinary artist interested in the body as material, signal, archive. She’s been presented by Velocity Dance Center; Watts Towers Art Center; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; and the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics. Her work Notes On Territory was developed and then presented as a work-in-progress as part of the Pivot Arts Incubator program. She has contributed to projects by Onye Ozuzu, Jefferson Pinder, taisha paggett, Every house has a door, Keith Hennessy, BodyCartography Project, Julien Prévieux, and the Prison + Neighborhood Art Project. Martine has been published in Art21, C Magazine, Art Practical, frieze; contributed to Meanings and Makings of Queer Dance; and is the author of TREASURE | My Black Rupture. She is a 2018 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist.

Carole McCurdy is a Chicago-based artist whose performance work addresses grief and anxiety, duty and resistance, and the absurd mysteries of embodiment. She received a 2016 Lab Artist award from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum and was a Fall 2016 Sponsored Artist at High Concept Laboratories. She created and directed an ensemble piece, Waver, with support from CDF, HCL, and 3Arts Chicago. Her practices include butoh and Argentine tango, and she has performed at spaces including the Chicago Cultural Center, Epiphany Dance, Links Hall, Hamlin Park, High Concept Laboratories, Defibrillator Gallery, and Movement Research (NY).

Les Chanteuses du Rien is created by a trio of trickster heroes: Sara Zalek (movement), Elaine Lemieux (voice), and Hanna Brock (instrumentalist) who use genres of classical scores, experimental opera, improvised sound, expanded cinema, and Butoh dance in their work. The trio seeks to surprise, disarm, and uplift the spirits of all who witness. They have performed throughout the past two years in Chicago venues, including Chicago Cultural Center, Edgar Miller Legacy Studio, Silent Funny, Ragdale Foundation and the Hungry Brain. Les Chanteuses du Rien is supported by Chicago Dancemakers Forum, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the City of Chicago, New England Foundation for the Arts, and the Ragdale Foundation.