The Pivot Arts team is thrilled to announce the selected artists for the 2021 Pivot Arts Festival: Reimagining Utopia! Each of our 12 selected artists/organizations have created works in response to both the global health crisis and the Black Lives Matter social movement. 

While our 2020 festival season was conducted entirely online, the Pivot Arts team is committed to bringing artists and audiences together in live spaces while safely following public health protocols. See here for a full listing of event details, performance dates, and times. 

Separately ticketed events take place as:

  1. A performance tour experience at the Edge Theater (starting at 1133 W. Catalpa entrance) and Color Circles Studios (5524 N Broadway)
  2. Two outdoor events at Colvin House (5940 N Sheridan Road)
  3. A video installation at Rivendell Theater (5779 N Ridge Ave)
  4. Video content posted on the Pivot Arts website

The Pivot Arts 2021 Festival will feature the following pieces and installations: 

SolAR* will present Portal to New Earth by Nefertiti Abdulmalik. This video installation combines animation, story and sound to illustrate a reality in unity with nature. 

Propelled Animals will present state(d) by Barber, Heidi Wiren Bartlett, Esther Baker-Tarpaga, and Raquel Monroe. This immersive video experience will interrogate social agency, blending ritual and performance through use of strategies for self-empowerment.

Ishti Collective will present Prana by Tuli Bera, Preeti Veerlapati, and Kinnari Vora. An invitation to rest and recuperate, this live dance performance creates an ethereal space using meditative movement, sound and light. Audience members and performers alike will become aware of their breath while restoring balance and harmony with their natural state. 

Christin Eve Cato (playwright) will present A Woman’s Armor, an homage to the women in our history who have fought for equal rights and protection under the law. Told through physical movements of self-defense, this live theater performance is a testimony of how powerful women truly are.  

Danielle Ross (with Mike Treffehn) will present Granular Peripheries, a live solo dance piece generated from research into how architectures have contained, organized, and directed bodies. This work considers the buildings, bodies, and materials of each performance site as fellow choreographer, while inviting audiences to consider who has passed and continues to pass through the spaces we inhabit. 

Maggie Kubley and Minnie Productions will present Come Over, a multimedia performance experience in honor of the world premiere of their music video for Kubley’s song by the same name. “Self love” and “self care” take on whole new meanings in this piece about one woman’s attempt to still satisfy her sexual urges in spite of the fact that she’s currently living alone through a global pandemic.

KAIA String Quartet will present live performances of String Quartet in B Minor, Scherzo by, Teresa Carreño/ String Quartet No.3 mvt. 1&2 by, Claudio Santoro. Composer Teresa Carreño described String Quartet in B minor as one of her most sophisticated works in spite of certain restrictions she faced as a 19th century female composer. Claudio Santoro, praised by his renown contemporaries Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland, composed String Quartet no.3 during his “Nationalistic Period” after 1953. Although rarely performed, it is one of 500 compositions he wrote throughout his lifetime. KAIA  is excited to bring these pieces to everyone’s ears and hearts. 

The Puppet Wonder Wagon, conceived by Will Bishop and Grace Needlman, brings large-scale, abstract puppets to Pivot Arts. Following the performance will be an outdoor puppet-building workshop, where families can create their own imaginary creatures together.

Laksha Dantran will present Far Within: A Contemporary Dance Production. This video installation is  a visualization of a Trans woman’s nightmare during a global pandemic. She contemplates the challenges of social distancing as well as the notion that humanity has gone so far away within us, all while daymaring a better world.

Nora Sharp will present The Real Dance: A Micro Reality TV Show. This video installation is the true story of five dancers forced to live, dance, and record movement (mostly) alone in their houses. In doing so, they come to learn what happens when people stop being polite and start moving for real.

Perceptions Theatre with Ndgo Blk will present Utopian Views. This virtual event explores what makes a place a Utopia, and the changes Chicago would have to make to reach such a title. Before we build policy, we must center the most oppressed, understanding how our ideals and actions harm one another. 

Sami Ismat will present Nostalgic Buds. This virtual project explores how immigrants shop at ethnic food stores when they move to the US in order to nostalgically remember pleasant moments in their home countries. Through filming and conversation, artists and audiences will attempt to recall beautiful cultural values that might be foundational to imagining (and maybe one day, rebuilding) a utopic version of their home country.

We look forward to sharing these incredible artists and experiences with you!