ADC and Elements Artistic Directors on collaborating for Silk & Steel

From Mike Gosney, Artistic Director of Elements Contemporary Ballet

I have always enjoyed setting goals for myself and challenging my dancers in every endeavor. I am attracted to artists that thrive on hard work, dedication, and individuality. But now, after our year-long collaboration with Aerial Dance Chicago, my concept of our art form has grown in unexpected ways. Thanks to the expertise of Karen, Chloe, and the dancers of ADC, I have been exposed to the sublime art of air, giving me an even deeper appreciation for the balance of grace and athleticism that is possible through dance.
This collaboration exceeds my expectations on so many levels. At our shared concert you will see the unique style of Chicago's only contemporary ballet company, the seamless aerial work of Chicago's best airborne dance company, and a finale that is the result of a true collaboration and newfound friendship. Surge represents a flow of immense energy – the energy felt by all artists involved throughout this very special project. While a narrative in Surge may also be present, I hope you will join us on July 19th to enjoy the spectacular visual effect of our new work.

From Karen Fisher Doyle, Artistic Director of Aerial Dance Chicago:

Ever since joining ADC in 2003 as a choreographer and dancer I have been thrilled to explore both the traditional and contemporary forms of dance through landscaping horizontal and vertical spaces. I have been truly moved over the last decade by the joy of watching dance take form and the human body embracing movement through emotion, strength, and vulnerability. This year, when I was given the opportunity to direct Aerial Dance Chicago and collaborate with our Executive Creative Director Chloe Jensen and Elements Contemporary Ballet directors Mike Gosney and Joseph Caruana on a new work, I swooned. Could this be a dream come true? Yes, it has indeed materialized.
We began our inspiration for this collaboration from a Max Richter song titled The Trees. The music evoked a flow of ideas and movement that seemed to whisper between dancers from both companies as their bodies began to learn each other's language. Questions arose; what does our soul have to say....or feel...and how can we communicate this energy to our audience? By working together, these questions have seemed to manifest organically and solidify for me in many ways beyond words.
For me, this collaboration has released my fears and nourished my love for what I do. I look forward to celebrating with our dancers, Mike, Joe, and Chloe, and most of all, with our audience on Saturday, July 19th at the beautiful North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. As Martha Graham once said, "Dance is the hidden language of the soul." With this concert, and the viewing of our new work, Surge, I invite our audience to walk away with our story, our hearts, and our discoveries in this lovely art form.

Watch a 1-minute trailer from our concert Silk & Steel:

Silk and Steel is partially support by New Stages for Dance II. New Stages for Dance II is administered by Dance/USA in partnership with Audience Architects. Leadership Support for the New Stages for Dance II Initiative is provided by MetLife Foundation.