There are few cities in the world that can boast such a colorful powerhouse of creative minds, and when those minds come together, they enrich the fabric of the already lush artistic tapestry that is unique to Chicago
The professional concert dance community in Chicago is one of the most vibrant in the world, with a collection of local, world-class companies as well as smaller, established bodies of artists creating world-class work. There are few cities in the world that can boast such a colorful powerhouse of creative minds, and when those minds come together, they enrich the fabric of the already lush artistic tapestry that is unique to Chicago. Two of the city’s companies, Trifecta Dance Collective and Cocodāco Dance Project, are weaving their creative teams together to present one cohesive evening of dance at Chicago’s historic Athenauem Theatre, titled Mosaic.
With strength in numbers and power in their combined passion, Trifecta Dance Collective and Cocodāco Dance Project have curated Mosaic — a program that will provide us with a deeper connection to ourselves and each other through the art of dance.
While it is not uncommon for companies to come together to present a single program, it is less common that they share similar core values. Trifecta Dance Collective, founded by Co-Artistic Directors Krissie Odegard-Geye and Carrie Patterson, was created with the mission of “igniting community dialogue through an artistic lens.” The founders, along with their team of collaborators, continue to achieve this mission through three main veins: engaging the community through various avenues including education and outreach, empowering individuals by providing a platform for their stories to be told and inspiring others to do the same. Cocodāco Dance Project, under the Artistic Direction of David Maurice, was founded with the intent to use contemporary dance to “enable effectual exchange among choreographers, dancers, spectators and communities.” While the language of their missions may differ, their essence is the same, so it seems only natural for the two to coalesce. With strength in numbers and power in their combined passion, Trifecta Dance Collective and Cocodāco Dance Project have curated Mosaic — a program that will provide us with a deeper connection to ourselves and each other through the art of dance.
DancerMusic Dance Editor Kristi Licera caught up with Trifecta Dance Collective Associate Artistic Director Joanna Paul to learn more about TDC’s collaboration with Cocodāco Dance Project and what is on the program for Mosiac. Here’s what she told us:
As a company, [Cocodāco Dance Project] believes in community engagement and collaboration very similarly to us.
Kristi Licera: Mosaic marks the first shared program and collaboration between Trifecta Dance Collective and Cocodāco Dance Project. The main tenants of Cocodāco’s mission are connection, collaboration and communication through dance; Trifecta’s mission is focused around the art form’s ability to empower, inspire and engage. Can you tell us more about why Cocodāco was a perfect partner for Mosaic? What are the similarities and differences between the two companies that make this collaboration and shared program come to life?
Joanna Paul: The Cocodāco collaboration fell into place quite naturally. As a company, they believe in community engagement and collaboration very similarly to us. We also felt it would be a good fit as our movement aesthetics are different, but complimentary. As part of our vision, Cocodāco dancer Abigail Stachnik set a combined piece on the professional dancers of Trifecta and Cocodāco. Abby’s movement, with the attention to nuance, gesture and groundedness, has been a great landscape for our dancers to explore! We are thrilled to see it come to life on the Athenaeum Theatre stage.
In addition, the youth companies of both Trifecta Dance Collective and Cocodāco Dance Project will each be presenting a work in Mosaic. We believe it is important to include the youth companies in the show because it gives these young dancers the invaluable experience of performing in a professional dance concert. It also gives our audience insight into our youth programming, which is another way in which we work to fulfill our mission to Engage, Empower and Expand the community experience through the arts.
Together we are creating an experience that none of these arts organizations could produce on their own.
Kristi: The evening’s program includes individual works from Cocodāco and Trifecta, as well as the aforementioned youth company piece and collaborative new work choreographed by Cocodāco dancer Abigail Stachnik, that brings both companies’ artists to the stage. How does this collection of works reflect the title of the concert, Mosaic? Can you tell us more about each of the works in the program?
Joanna: The vision for this show began in planning our annual In.Grained community collaboration, this year in partnership with documentary theatre company, Erasing the Distance. After inviting Cocodāco Dance Project to be the special guest company and developing our combined piece, we realized we had created a show with a truly unique blend of artistic voices. Together we are creating an experience that none of these arts organizations could produce on their own. This was the inspiration to title the evening, Mosaic.
…we tell the story of one woman’s experience living with anxiety and depression and her journey toward healing.
The first half of the show features both Trifecta Dance Collective and Cocodāco Dance Project and their corresponding youth companies, with the premiere of the pieces created from our choreography exchange. These will be accompanied by a new repertory piece by Trifecta company member Maxine Patronik and Cocodāco’s new work by Alex Ketley. The second half of the show features In.Grained, our community collaboration with Erasing the Distance. The piece features an original monologue performed by Heather Bodie with dance woven throughout, bringing her words to life. Together, we tell the story of one woman’s experience living with anxiety and depression and her journey toward healing.
After the show, we’ll embody the shared mission of each organization to create and celebrate community, with an after-party at The Diag Bar and Grill! All are invited to join us immediately following the performance, raise a glass and connect!
Trifecta Dance Collective and Cocodāco Dance Project present Mosaic on Saturday, June 1 at 7pm at the Athenaeum Theatre (2936 N. Southport Ave, Chicago 60657).
Tickets are available online at web.ovationtix.com or by calling the Athenaeum Theatre Box Office at 773-935-6875, daily 12-6pm (or the final performance performance time of the day on show days).