Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Dance Center Presenting Genre-Bending Abby Z and the New Generation to Close out Season
Members of Abby z and The New Generation (photo courtesy of the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago).
To conclude its 2019–20 season, the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago will present the Chicago debut of choreographer Abby Zbikowski and her company, Abby Z and the New Utility, in their athletic, multi-genre-influenced work Radioactive Practice April 9–11 at the Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.
Drawing on distinct histories in hip hop, modern dance, West African, tap, synchronized swimming and even basketball, Abby Z and the New Utility explores the conflicts and possibilities created from aesthetic and cultural collisions in this new work. Radioactive Practice pushes its collaborative team of 10 dancers beyond perceived limits as they create a new tradition built from the inner workings of established forms.
There will be a post-performance conversation with Abby Zbikowski following the Thursday, April 9 performance and a pre-performance talk with Zbikowski on Friday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m., both free to ticket holders. Additional residency activities with Columbia College community partners and students take place throughout the week leading up to the performance weekend.
Abby Zbikowski, an assistant professor of dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, created her company, Abby Z and the New Utility, in 2012. Her work uses the physical aspects and psycho-emotional experience of rigorous training in African and Afro-diasporic forms, as well as playing sports and performing other acts of manual labor. In 2017, she received the juried Bessie Award for her “unique and utterly authentic movement vocabulary in complex and demanding structures to create works of great energy, intensity, surprise and danger.” United States Artists recently named her a 2020 USA Fellow.
The Dance Center’s presentation of Abby Z and the New Utility is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Tickets are $30, $24 for seniors and $10 for students, available at dance.colum.edu or 312-369-8330. All programming is subject to change.