Ensemble Member 2019-2020
Solomon Bowser began his dance training in Atlanta, GA while studying at the Dekalb School of the Arts under the directorship of Zandra Taylor and later Dean Williams. In 2013 Bowser completed his undergraduate studies at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. Bowser has worked with Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts, Momenta Dance Company and a multitude of emerging artists and been involved in many collaborative processes. Bowser was granted a Links Hall Co-Mission residency in 2018. Currently, Bowser collaborates with J’Sun Howard on his long-form project aMoratorium, and also works with Winifred Haun & Dancers, serving as Assistant Artistic Director and company dancer.
Percussion / Composition
Tim Daisy is a Chicago-based drummer and composer working in the fields of improvised and composed music. He has performed and recorded original music for modern dance, sound installations, film, and improvised music ensembles of various configurations since 1997 and has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Tim also owns and operates Relay Recordings, documenting much of the creative work he has been involved with in Chicago and abroad since 2011. Along with his performance and composing work, Tim helps curate the weekly OPTION series at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago. The programming explores contemporary perspectives on improvisation and composition in a ‘salon’ format, enabling local, national, and international artists to publicly discuss their practice and ideas as well as perform. timdaisy.wordpress.com
Ensemble Member 2008-2020
Philip Elson has engaged with various arenas of dance including performance, education, and experimental collaboration involving sound design, video documentation/editing, and web development. He served as Assistant Director for The Seldoms from 2019-2020, and delivered extraordinary, memorable performances in TS works including Power Goes, RockCitizen, and Floe. He has also worked with companies and artists such as Joanna Rosenthal/Same Planet Performance Project, tEEth, Colleen Halloran, Margi Cole/The Dance COLEctive, Jonathan Meyer/Khecari Dance Theater, Paige Caldarella, Liz Burritt, Matthew Hollis, Jyl Fehrenkamp, Laboratory Dancers, and Muscle Memory Dance Theatre. He holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago and is also on faculty at Visceral Dance Center. Philip is currently working in IT for Apex Systems.
Stuart Flack’s work as playwright had been produced at many of the leading theatres in the U.S. including: Southcoast Rep (Costa Mesa, CA), Culture Project (New York), Interact (Philadelphia), Victory Gardens (Chicago), and The Contemporary American Theatre Festival (Washington, D.C.). His plays include, “Sydney Bechet Killed a Man”, “Jonathan Wild”, “Homeland Security”, “For Eddie” and “Floaters”. He is currently creating a new play based on “Black Like Me” that will premiere in the 2015 season at Steppenwolf Theatre. He is the former Executive Director of the Chicago Humanities Festival, the largest festival of arts and ideas in the U.S. and the former Editor and Publisher of the McKinsey Quarterly, a journal of business, economics and policy. He is also a guitarist with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra.
AMANDA MCALISTER HOWARD
Amanda is originally from Nashville and returned there in 2017, where she is the owner of Native Pilates and mother to three. Over a period of 11 years, Amanda danced in many TS productions including company favorites, Marchland (2010) and Power Goes (2015). Amanda's natural comedic talent delighted audiences in works such as Stupormarket and Power Goes. Amanda also lived in NYC from 2006-2007 where she studied and performed works by David Parsons, Labor Force Dances, and worked with the Dance Films Association. She received a BA in Dance from Columbia College in 2006.
Painting / Animation
Jackie Kazarian is a Chicago painter, video and installation artist whose intense colors and complex surfaces explore utopian impulses in the face of emotional and physical upheaval. Her visually challenging and kinetic landscapes integrate different languages of painting and drawing with screen-printing, stamping, flocking and collage. Ms. Kazarian’s work has been exhibited in Chicago, New York, Miami, California, Armenia, Syria and Japan. Ms. Kazarian has been a frequent instructor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and created public works for The U.S. Embassy and the City of Chicago. She received her graduate degree in painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1989 and bachelor’s of science degree from Duke University in 1981. jackiekazarian.net
Michael J. Kramer works at the intersection of historical scholarship, cultural criticism, the arts, and digital technology. He is an assistant professor in the Department of History at SUNY Brockport, specializing in modern US cultural and intellectual history, transnational history, and public and digital history. Kramer is the author of The Republic of Rock: Music and Citizenship in the Sixties Counterculture (Oxford University Press, 2013; paperback, 2017). His current book project, This Machine Kills Fascists, explores the relationship between technology and tradition in the US folk music movement. He has written for numerous publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Salon, First of the Month, The National Memo, The Point, Theater, and Newsday, blogs at Culture Rover, and has served as dramaturg and historian-in-residence for The Seldoms. michaeljkramer.net
Installation / Visual Design
Anna Kunz is an artist who makes works on paper, paintings, sculptures, installations and projects that seep out of the rectangle, often using materials that function to capture and manipulate light and color. These experiential works are often combined with objects or surfaces that add conceptual complexity and invite viewers to structure the space in time. Anna’s work has been included in numerous national and international exhibitions in NYC, Los Angeles, Houston, Brooklyn, San Antonio and the UK and Poland. n 2009, her work appeared at The Smart Museum on the University of Chicago’s campus. In 2010, she was a resident artist in the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Program in NYC. Anna has also worked collaboratively with dancers and musicians to create Décor for theatrical and dance productions, namely for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in 2009. Often Kunz presents curated group exhibitions and events in the experimental space that she co-runs with Niels Vis in Amsterdam. The space, KUNZ, VIS, Projects features events that pair local, contemporary work in many creative forms with complementary work from around the globe. annakunz.net
MATTHEW KESSLER MCMUNN
Matthew Kessler McMunn most recently lived and worked in Durham, NC, teaching and presenting his work at Durham Independent Dance Artists and Biped. Matthew's skills in theater and his uninhibited sense of play made him an extraordinary contributor in our creative process. While in Chicago, in addition to his work with The Seldoms, he also performed for choreographers Kristina Isabelle, Philip Elson, Peter Carpenter, and Chicago companies The Humans, The Dance COLEctive, Synapse, and Lucky Plush Productions, and his choreography was presented by Dance Chance Redux, Links Hall, Core Project, Blunt Objects Theatre, Red Tape Theatre, and The Leopold Group. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Studies from Columbia College Chicago, and is a new dad!
JAVIER MARCHAN RAMOS
Javier Marchan Ramos is a dancer, performer, and bodyworker, currently specializing in therapeutic Thai massage and somatic education. He contributed to key repertory works of The Seldoms, including Stupormarket (2011) and Power Goes (2015). Javier was an exciting performer onstage, always delivering something a little unexpected. Javier earned a BFA in Dance with Dean's Honors from UW-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts in 2010. He is currently living, making and working in Philadelphia, where he maintains an active and creative yoga practice.
Visual Designer / Installation
Faheem Majeed (American, b. 1976) is a builder—literally and metaphorically. A resident of the South Shore neighborhood in Chicago, Majeed often looks to the material makeup of his neighborhood and surrounding areas as an entry point into larger questions around civic-mindedness, community activism, and institutional racism. As part of his studio practice, the artist transforms materials such as particle board, scrap metal and wood, and discarded signs and billboard remnants, breathing new life into these often overlooked and devalued materials. His broader engagement with the arts also involves arts administration, curation, and community facilitation, all which feed into his larger practice. Majeed received his BFA from Howard University and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). From 2005-2011, Majeed served as Executive Director and Curator for the South Side Community Art Center (SSCAC). During his time with the SSCAC, Majeed curated exhibitions of numerous artists including Elizabeth Catlett, Dr. David Driskell, Charles White, Jonathan Green, and Theaster Gates. Majeed was selected as the inaugural artist in residence for University of Chicago’s Arts in Public Life Initiative (2012), MANA Contemporary Chicago (2014), and Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (2015). From 2013 – 2015 he served as the associate director and faculty of UIC’s School of Art and Art History. Currently, Faheem is a full-time, practicing artist and creates in his South Shore studio. faheemmajeed.com
Lara Miller has 20 years of experience in Fashion, Textiles and Fiber Arts, and earned her BFA at the School of the Art Institute Chicago. She designed her own line of sustainable women's clothing from 2002-2014. Born and raised in Chicago, her design work was strongly influenced by the city’s architectural and cultural landscape. While still an undergraduate at SAIC, Lara’s garments electrified local audiences and her costume work for a number of the city’s dance companies was widely acclaimed. She was named “Top 40 Under 40” by Crain’s Chicago Business as well as “Indie Designer of the Year” by Chicago Magazine. In addition to designing her label, Lara served as the Executive Director of the Chicago Fashion Incubator (CFI) at Macy’s on State Street. Her line was carried in over 50 stores throughout the world including the UK, Australia, and Japan. She has been a teaching artist at Lil Street and is currently a photo stylist at Crate and Barrel, as well as being a mom to two. Lara created costumes for many TS projects, including Ode (2002),GIANT FIX (2005), and Marchland (2010).
An athlete all her life, Cara discovered dance while in her senior year of high school. She received a BFA from The Dance Center of Columbia College under Bonnie Brooks. Cara helped to create and perform (at least) 12 major projects of The Seldoms, a key voice in our collaborative process. Cara is now a full-time Strength & Conditioning Coach and General Manager at CrossFit Defined where she combines her love of movement and teaching, and the co-founder of Lunge Ladies, an all-female strength training collective, with TS member, Sarah Gonsiorowski. Cara serves on TS Board.
Guest Performer, 2016
Brian’s work as a performer and director spans theater, dance, film and voice over/commercial work. He was a founding member of the physical theater company Plasticene, with whom he created and performed original work for 17 years. Brian has performed with numerous theaters in Chicago including recently playing Clov in Endgame with The Hypocrites, and appeared off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theatre in The Strangerer by Mickle Maher. He has worked with choreographers Erica Mott, Rachel Damon, Jan Erkert, Julia Rhoads and Nana Shineflug. He directed the short film Four Monologues about Russian poets in the Stalinist period, written by Aram Saroyan. He has appeared in Chicago Fire, Boss and Detroit 1-8-7, as well as numerous independent films, commercials—and spots for The Onion. Brian is a Professor in the Theatre Department at Columbia College where he teaches movement, acting and on-camera, and runs international exchange programs in the UK and Ireland.
Founding Member / Visual Art & Dramaturg
Doug Stapleton is an artist, curator and educator. He is an Associate Curator of Art with the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery and a former adjunct faculty in the Interdisciplinary Arts graduate program at Columbia College Chicago. Stapleton’s work has been the subject of two solo exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center and Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago in 2012. A former Artistic Associate with the Chicago based contemporary dance company The Seldoms, he worked on eleven evening length dance performances in the capacity of dramaturg and as a performer. Outside of his work with The Seldoms, Doug performed in over forty solo and collaborative performances since 1989. He received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1989, and a BA in Anthropology from University of Delaware with a minor concentration in Art History and Ceramics.
Video / Installation
Born in the UK in 1960, Fraser Taylor is an interdisciplinary visual artist who works with a range of media including, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking and animation. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in printed textiles from Glasgow School of Art, Taylor continued his studies at the Royal College of Art in London where he earned a Master of Arts. Taylor co-founded The Cloth, a creative studio focused on exploring fine art and design practices, which lasted from 1983 to 1988. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, including major cities such as Glasgow, London, Paris, Madrid, Sydney, Tokyo, Chicago, New York, Boston, Detroit, and San Francisco. He has collaborated with choreographer Rashaun Mitchell for Interface, presented at the Baryshnikov Art Center, New York and Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2012-13). His projects with TS include Marchland (2010), which premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and The Making (2017), a site-specific project at Pulaski Park, a Chicago Landmark field house. In 2017, Taylor and AD Carrie Hanson initiated Toolbox, an exchange between visual artists and dancemakers to share and translate tactics for making. frasertaylor.com
Sound Design / Composition
Richard Woodbury is a composer and sound designer working in theater, dance and media arts. His career has spanned a wide variety of musical endeavors including, in his early teens, a rock band in Pakistan; jazz bands, new music ensembles, and forays into electronic music while in college in Minnesota; over a decade as an accompanist for dance and, over thirty years as a Chicago-based composer and sound designer for theatre and dance. From 1985 to 2014 Richard served as Music Director and Associate Chair at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago where he was an Associate Professor and “Distinguished Faculty Artist”. Since 2014, he has worked extensively with theater companies including the Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf, and Writers Theater in Chicago, and Second Stage Theater in New York. richardwoodbury.com
Performance and Composition
Chihsuan Yang is a winner of the 3Arts Award in 2015 and the 2016 Carmargo Foundation Fellow in France. Born and raised in Taiwan, Chihsuan moved to the United States at age 15. Being a classically trained violinist/pianist her whole life, Chihsuan acquired the skills to expand horizons beyond tradition, and it also granted her fluency in the universal language of music. As an eclectic and versatile violinist, erhu player, pianist, and composer actively engaged in the music scene around the globe, Chihsuan’s body of work spans a multitude of genres and reaches beyond borders. Chihsuan is a winner of the 3Arts Award in 2015 and the 2016 Carmargo Foundation Fellow in France. She has performed with artists ranging from Yo-Yo Ma and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, to Kings of Leon, Lana Del Rey, and Regina Spektor, and has even played for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She is a member of the legendary, Chicago-based Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues, and of the flamenco ensemble, Las Guitarras de España. Chihsuan continues to work and record with a variety of world class artists, and in 2014 released her debut solo EP Ways to Say Hello, a mix of original compositions. In 2016, she started the electronic/world duo ESCP with Bob Garrett, and is currently recording her next studio album. chihsuanyang.com