ABOUT THE ARTISTS
JASON BRICKMAN is a Jewish dance artist from Wilmette, Illinois, specializing in digital interactive systems and contemporary performance. He graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) with a BFA in dance in 2023. Brickman’s technological innovations include Digital Dance Collages, which won Outstanding Research Presentation at the 2021 Undergraduate Research Symposium, and the Mixmaster 9000, which repurposes a DJ turntable in order to manipulate dance videos. His choreographic and improvisational works at UIUC include Duets from the Lunar Colony and Project: UNITY, which was featured in the 2021 Fall Studio concert. While at UIUC, Brickman performed in the works of Roxane D’Orleans Juste, Donald Byrd, John Toenjes, and Sara Hook. In the future, he would like to teach yoga and dance to young men, highschool students, and adults while continuing his work as a technological innovator, performer, and choreographer.
KATIE COOK is a dancer and circus artist creating, performing, and teaching in Chicago, IL. She holds a BA in Dance Performance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she learned to merge her love for dance with the mesmerizing motion of the Cyr wheel. Katie also loves to explore the reach and method of her art with videography. She has worked on several of her own projects and enjoys what the camera brings to a corporeal art form such as dance.
RACHEL DAMON (she/her) is a designer, choreographer, producer, and performer whose career bridges onstage and backstage. As a cofounder and Co-Director of Synapse Arts she has been honored to receive support from MetLife, The Saints, The Illinois Arts Council, and DCASE for projects that have been presented at The Dance Center, The MCA, The Detroit Institute of Art, Ingenuity Cleveland, TEK BOX Minneapolis, The Field Museum, Roy Hart International Arts Centre (France), and Vo’Arte (Portugal).
Damon has developed her dance-theatre, site-specific, film, and kinetic textile works through residencies with The Ragdale Foundation, The Morrison-Shearer Foundation, Links Hall, The Chicago Cultural Center, and South House (England). A Stage Manager at Cirque du Soleil/Blue Man Group and a 2005 graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Damon loves to knit while watching action movies, and she eats dessert every day.
Find out more at SynapseArts.com Instagram @synapse.arts
ZACH DREELIN is a transdisciplinary artist, specializing in painting, lighting design, and dance based currently in Chicago, Illinois. They hold a Bachelor's of Arts in Dance with a minor in Technical Theater from James Madison University. Zach's post-collegiate journey began as the New Dance's 2022 Intern. He then joined We/Are Collective's Wolfpack, as an improvisational dancer, in their debut show 'Ground Up.' Zach is coming off of lighting Simantikos Dance Chicago's 4th Annual Choreo Kick-Off and is currently, sharing his passion and expertise by teaching dance and flag with Allegiance Winterguard.
REIGN DROP is a trans dancer, choreographer, and Co-Founder of We Are Collective. Over the last seven years, they have grown roots in the Chicago dance community focusing on creating sustainable and accessible dance spaces for all ages. They research contemporary movements that demonstrate autonomy, liberation, and connection. In the community, they have led an Improvisers’ Jam for Chicago Dancemakers Forum, performed for Alix Shilaci and Erin Killmurray, presented work at j e l l o dances, created work for Synapse Arts New Works, and have choreographed for New Dances and the iconic Chicago drag queen Shea Coulee’s "Rewind" music video. Their newest role includes being a Company Lead for Queer Dance Freakout, the largest trans dance organization in Chicago which aids them in their mission to be heard—to share their story—to honor the stories of all magical trans people. Stay up to date with Reign on instagram @reigndrop333.
LYDIA FEUERHELM is a contemporary dance choreographer, educator, and videomaker based in the Bay Area, CA.Her choreographic work has been selected for presentation at numerous festivals and conferences, including American College Dance Association, Full Circle Dance Festival, GLO Artist Showcase and was selected as an audience favorite at Dance for $9.99 Festival. She currently works as a performance videographer and editor for Rapt Productions, along with teaching contemporary dance. Learn more about her at LFdance.com
DERRICK GICHABA Aka Chui is a self-taught, Kenyan-born artist based in Minnesota, deeply passionate about dance, photography, film, and fashion. his artistic journey began with family dance sessions, evolving into Breakdancing and Hip Hop freestyle. In high school, he connected with fellow dancers, forming a street dance crew called Squad 7, this dance community is what propelled him into photography and videography. At 16, he purchased his first camera, igniting a self-taught exploration of capturing diverse movement expressions.
DANIELLE GILMORE is a Chicago Based artist, and has premiered choreography under mentorship of Shirley Mordine and Ayako Kato’s Art Union Humanscape. Her choreography is inspired by her time with Mordine and Company Dance Theater, her background in jazz and modern dance. Danielle first premiered choreography in 2018, duet “Echoes Within” and solo “ The Places I See”. Gilmore co-choreographed a duet with Melissa Pillarella “To: and From” in collaboration with Shirley Mordine, has been performed in Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio and Wisconsin. Danielle received her BFA from the University of Arizona, studying ballet, modern, jazz and dance injury. Her on camera performances includes Carl Dondrol, “Wayward Wind”, Dove Commercial, and “Seeing more than Stars”. She has choreographed on camera in the One Hour Project, “Lean In “, and Hitchens,” Better Without You”.
DENITA INEZ is a dancer-choreographer and instructor. Denita Inez is known for her energetic style and dynamic musicality. Denita focuses on dance as an accessible form of entertainment and self-exploration. She created Denita Inez Dances to cater to people wanting to have more access to dance in their daily lives. She is currently on staff at Lake Forest Dance Academy. Denita is the Director of Desueño Dance Company. Denita has danced with Chicago Dance Crash, Modern Clave, and Noumenon Dance Ensemble. She also dances alongside various dance partners. She is also an independent freelance dancer. Denita is known as one of the top dancers in Chicago for Latin dancing. Having won numerous contests Denita Inez is admired for her musicality and unique movement style and especially for her ability to use classical dance styling within the realm of Latin dance. Denita Inez received her Bachelors of Science in Dance at Wayne State University. She has also attended various training intensives including Deeply Rooted and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. While in college Denita Inez was affiliated with the Detroit Opera. After dancing in two operas Denita became a member and Technical Director for the Civic Dance Ensemble for the Detroit Opera House. She danced in works by Rosa Mercedes, Samantha Shelton, Christopher Huggins, Kevin Jeff Iega, Gil Mata, Richard Amaro, Lisa McCall and Raymond Robinson. Her early training included working with Veronica Jacobus and Gina Ellis. From those ladies, she learned to incorporate fitness and performance into her movement philosophy. Denita encourages others to be healthy and happy through dance. Denita enjoys dancing and sharing the gift of dance with others. It is her goal to teach people how to enjoy dance in performance, interpersonal relationships, and to be personally enriched by dance.
LYDIA JEKOT is a dancer, writer, and creative from Dallas, Texas. Based in Chicago, she dances in independent choreographic projects and in improvisational contexts, and creates collaborative dance work, often for film. Lydia’s current interests revolve around using dance for the somatic processing of personal histories and thinking about how dance artists exist in the world. She holds BA’s in dance and English from Loyola University Chicago.
PEYTON JONES is a freelance dance and teaching artist in the Chicago area. She earned her BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in 2020 with a focus on choreography, composition, and dance film. She is a returning company member of Darvin Dances. She currently teaches with Momentum Performing Arts, South Chicago Dance Theater, Zephyr Dance, and Park District of Highland Park. Peyton strives to put humanity and empathy at the forefront of her teaching, performance, and choreography. You can catch her current work at Common Ground at the Rooted Space Oct. 20-21.
JESSICA KONDRATH, a Chicago native, holds degrees in dance from UC Santa Barbara (BFA) and California State University, Long Beach (MFA). Her choreography through her company GRAYSCALE has been presented nationally and internationally; and she's had works commissioned by Moorpark College, Mt. San Antonio College, Cyprus College, El Camino College, Rio Hondo College, CSU Long Beach, Santa Monica College, CSU Fullerton, College of DuPage, Stevenson and Beverly Hills High Schools, and Momenta Performing Arts Company for their 35th and 40th anniversary concerts.She has also been a guest instructor/lecturer at Loyola Marymount University, Colorado State University-Fort Collins, University of Wyoming-Laramie, CSU Fullerton, the University of Colorado-Boulder, and Novia University in Finland.As a dancer, Jessica recently performed the works of Carol McDowell, Liz Hoefner Adamis/Immediate Action Dance, Sarita Smith-Childs and in her own work as part of the Hi, Solo series and at Beyond Baroque’s Poetry Series You Can Get There from Herecurated by Liz Hoefner Adamis. Jessica has been part of an ongoing collaboration with visual artists Yumi Janairo Roth as part of her installation Spin (After Sol LeWitt) presented by Grand Central Arts, and Diana Baumbach showing their collaborative works nationally and internationally. She was a recipient of the Professional Artist Fellowship Grant from the Arts Council of Long Beach for her work as the Artistic Director of GRAYSCALE. Over the past twenty years, Jessica has also worked as a lighting designer for dance, a Pilates Instructor certified at the Kane School of Core Integration under the direction of Kelly Kane and she is currently on faculty in the Dance Departments of College of DuPage and Loyola University Chicago. Her most recent projects include an artist residency and premier of the evening length work Invisible Landscapes at The Visionary in Mt. Vision, NY, the One Hour Project with Project Bound in Chicago, and for the dance film Hemlighet in Vassa, Finland.
JOANNA MECCIA is a dance artist, choreographer, and director, with an interest in exploring the human experience through multi-disciplinary dance experiences. Her choreography has been supported by grants from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs (2018), and Activate! Chicago (2018), and performed in theaters such as the Athenaeum Main Stage, Stage773, Links Hall, as well as Chicago Public Schools and public spaces. In addition to producing her own work, she has been commissioned for companies including the Trifecta Dance Collective, Project606 Dance, and Esoteric Dance Project, and most recently for New Dances (2020) by Thodos Dance Chicago and Dance Works Chicago. Most recently she developed a new work blending film and live dance through Dovetail Studio’s 3for3 Artist Residency
MICHAEL NGUYEN is a creative with a passion for film, dance, and storytelling. Let's collaborate!
www.mnguyenfoto.com // @mnguyenfoto
DANI OBLITAS, originally from Houston, Texas, is a dance artist and educator currently based in Chicago, IL. Dani is passionate about the intersections between movement, sovereignty, environment, and justice, as well as making movement accessible to all. Since graduating from St. Olaf College, Dani has collaborated on a dance film for the UW Madison P.O.W.E.R. Collective CYPHER performance for restorative justice and they have additionally worked with Liz Sexe Dance, KLJ Movement, We Are Collective, and 773 Dance Project. She has worked as a dance educator for Performing Ourselves, KLJ Movement, and Senior Movement Meditation classes and is currently a Teaching Artist for NorthShore EliteTalent and IdeaBox Integrated Arts at Prescott Elementary.
COLE ORLOFF is a multi-disciplinary creative director that writes, directs, and designs in multiple dimensions and media. Check out his portfolio at generalspecifics.xyz.
LAUREN REED graduated from Butler University with a BFA in Dance Performance. Upon moving to Chicago, Lauren trained in Lou Conte’s scholarship program and participated in summer programs including Springboard Danse Montréal, Luna Negra Dance Theater, and SpringboardX. Lauren has danced professionally with Project606 Dance, Aerial Dance Chicago, Ensemble180, and is currently dancing with Still Inspired and Ishti Collective. Performance credits include Jessica Miller Tomlinson Choreography, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, Jin Wen Yu, and Todd Rhoades. She has choreographed for Momenta Dance Company, Project606 Dance, Aerial Dance Chicago, and the Knox College dance department. Lauren has a passion for exploring social dance communities and is an avid Lindy Hopper. Lauren is a professional grant writer and arts administrator, and has led a youth development program called Teen Leaders Club since 2013.
CHARLIQUE C. ROLLE is an arts administrator, interdisciplinary artist, choreographer, director, producer, playwright, actor, and poet. Rolle holds a BA in Dance (Summa Cum Laude) from Missouri Valley College with minors in Theatre and Business, an MA in Ministry Leadership from Moody Theological Seminary, and an MBA from Concordia University Chicago. A Bahamas-native, Rolle's passions are telling Black stories, creating works that catalyze healing, freedom, and transformation, and providing resources and structures for communities to breed creative freedom, sustainability, and longevity. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Congo Square Theatre, President of the African American Arts Alliance, and National Associate Director of the August Wilson New Voices Competition. Rolle is also a member of the Arts Alliance Illinois' Arts Leadership Council, Board Member of the League of Chicago Theatres, a member of Chicago Women in Philanthropy, Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy, the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, was named as one of Newcity's Players 2022: The Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago, and is a 2023 IMPACT Fellow with the Chicago Urban League and University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. IG: @cdot_dacelife FB/LI: Charlique C. Rolle
KATE ZIEBART is an interdisciplinary visual artist, improvisor, and educator for Chicago based arts-enrichment programs. As an improvisor and student of somatic practices, she has studied with teachers such as KJ Holmes, Kieth Hennessy & Ishmael Houston Jones and has gained immense knowledge from the greater Contact Improvisation community. She has performed and collaborated with Ione Sanders in 'Things in Our Capacity' as part of Elastic Arts JELLO series (2019) and under the artistic vision of Chrissy Martin in 'Sound Moves' at Links Hall (2019), Anya Smolnikova in 'This is Heaven' at 6018 North Gallery (2021), and Lisa Claire Greene in 'Shadow Work' at No Nation Art Lab and the Physical Theatre Festival at The Den Theatre (2022).