Events & Classes
Friday, July 21, 12-2pm
Masterclass Series at
Incite Dance Center, 3915 Oakton St, Skokie, IL 60076
Butoh training is an invaluable tool for dancers, actors, creative people of all types. Zalek leads you in exercises to expand your body physically and energetically through breath and meditation techniques, vocal warm-ups, Tai Chi, Noguchi gymnastics, visual imagery and improvisational scores.
This workshop lights on ideas of the transformative body and the importance of the lived moment, in order to experience some essential concepts in Butoh. Experimenting with distortion in timing, the uncanny, and the grotesque, we explore how presence and space can be activated on different temporalities. Applying these techniques can expand the vocabulary of embodied movement. This workshop encourages participants to find beauty in the horror of the grimace, to transform ourselves from one state to another, and move from deeply internal impulses to find more unique expressions in our outer movements.
There will be time for reflection using automatic writing and/or drawing exercises and short improvised showings to more fully integrate ideas into usable material for making strong choreographic and performance decisions. This is a supportive environment to start an individual and collective process of investigation through creative movement. We will open and expand our awareness, move with our subtler senses, create and witness our personal body language.
Hot Mess! Episode 9
Saturday, July 29
Two sets: 4:20pm & 8:00pm CST
Esteemed artists: Vanessa Skantze (Seattle)
Wannapa P-Eubanks (Chi/Thailand) Michael Zerang (Chi) Carolyn Carney (Chi) Muso (Chi) Juliann Wang (Chi) Anna Oxygen (Ithaca, NY) D Jean-Baptiste (Chi) Jinlu Luo (Chi)
Screenshot of Hiroko Tamano zooming in from Berkeley, CA preparing for Hot Mess! Episode 8, May 27, 2023 with ribbons of white paper with black diamonds flowing behind her.
July 19, 8pm
Elastic Arts, Chicago
Joey Meland -sound/electronics and voice
Nick Turner -sound/electronics
Sharon Udoh -piano/voice
Naydja Bruton -drums
Luc Mosley -sax
Eric Novak -sax
Yvette Mushimiyimana -singer
Kevin Scates -bass
Sharon Udoh -piano
July 15, 5-7pm
Join Norman Long and I for Cycles and Waves. The Soundwalk will begin at the shade structure in the front lawn, in direct view from the parking lot.
Norman W. Long and Sara Zalek lead an interactive walk using mindfulness body exercises, elements of performed sound and electronics, and listening stations for collective reflection. We renew our presence at the marsh while exploring new territories together. How do these changes affect what and how we hear?
#NightOutInTheParks #InTheParks #MyChiParks #TeensInTheParks #QueeringtheParks #soundwalk #mindfulness #mindfulnesspractice #reflection #listening #deeplistening #chicagosummer #chicagoparks #chicagoartist
Curated By Egon Schiele
Opening Reception: Friday, May 26th // 6-10PM
Performances by Burning Orchid x Nunn, Carlos Salazar-Lermont, and Sara Zalek. (May 26 - June 24) An exhibition of paintings, photography, and performance art exploring poisoned joy in expressing our traumas and the sweet sorrow of our consummation. As Capitalism has commodified identity, it corrupts its full expression, hiding the trauma and confusion from which it is actually built. As artists, we orchestrate the demolition of this veil by embracing the pain in our expression with a reckless joy.
@holeboss_remix @fotodecristo @colectivomultipolar @memar__ @sweat.fm_real_dominic @csalazarlermont @01saratonin @shai_grl @efrenarcoiris @nunnband
Saturday, May 27, 2023
Mallory Yanhan Qiu @qiumallory
Va-Bene Elikem K. Fiatsi @crazinist_artist
Riin Peisert @riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin
Hiroko Tamano @tamanokoichi
4:20pm & 8pm
$15 Elastic Arts, 3429 W. Diversey Ave. #208 Chicago, IL 60647
In person or stream it online: elasticarts.org/streaming
No advance ticket sales. Debit/Cash accepted at the door.
Hot Mess! is a play space where we invite the chaos of the unfamiliar into our process, together. We focus on the moments of co-creation, discover new ways of working together, interacting with the audience, connecting both in person and online. Hot Mess! demonstrates the power of working together in the unknown, seeks possibilities for Queering space, and centers the joy and beauty in re-starting while making art. All ages are invited!
VOICE MOOOOVVVVEEE---coming again in fall 2023
last Sundays of the Month, 3-5pm
at Color Club, 4146 N Elston Ave, Chicago
Sliding scale $15-$20 per class
Co-facilitated by Elaine LeMieux and Sara Zalek, each two hour workshop focuses on vocal technique, physical presence, freeing our bodies and voices simply together. We begin by warming up with breathing exercises, gentle repetition of vowels, consonants, bubbling, and babbling, we gradually expand our vocal range. Listening to one another, playfully passing sound and movement, we find our unique songs and create compositions together.
No previous experience necessary, all ages and abilities encouraged.
NW. Long and I will duo, and Lia Kohl and Zander Raymond will also.
Friday May 12, 7pm (indoors!) Compound Yellow
244 Lake St, Oak Park, IL 60302
Freedom From and Freedom To at Family Day at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Saturday May 13, 11am-1pm
Body Resonance with Yumiko Yoshioka
May 4-7, 2023 (Thursday – Sunday)
Thurs & Friday 6-9pm;
at Color Club, 4146 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL
In person only.
The body as a receptacle of time.
A dance of metamorphosis inevitably appears.
Saturday, December 10, 7pm
Freedom From and Freedom To
Curated by Cristal Sabbagh
Elastic Arts Foundation
3429 W. Diversey #208
The show begins at 7:00pm with openers, Douglas R. Ewart, Ben LaMar Gay and Coco Elysses, doing a trio, immediately following will be 6 sets at 15 min each (with a brief intermission after the 3rd set). Audience members will be picking each set by selecting names from a bag.
More information www.ffftchicago.com
Tina LeFauve and I activated Spencer Hutchinson's artworks as part of TRACTATUS 2: Paintings, Combines, and Sculptures at the Intersection of Sound
at the Opening Reception and Art Walk:
Friday Sept 9 and Friday Sept 16
1463 W. Chicago Ave.
FREEDOM FROM AND FREEDOM TO - FT. OPENING SET W/ DOUGLAS R. EWART + JAYVE MONTGOMERY
Saturday, August 27
7:00 - 11:00pm
Freedom From and Freedom To is an exploration and celebration of artistic circumstance. Movement and sound improvisors from all around Chicago gather in front of a live audience, where they are grouped by chance to perform in the moment. FFFT fuses diverse artistic backgrounds and practices to create unique and fleeting worlds.
Performance on Saturday, July 16 at 4 PM
1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
Watchtower is a collaborative performance ensemble comprised of Rosé Hernandez, Ginger Krebs, Bryan Saner, Aurora Tabar and I. United by our desire to realize a fully collaborative and democratic creative process, the group met regularly from 2011 through 2012. Our work culminated in the performance video, Watchtower 12-12-12, which was performed, filmed and presented within one week at New Capital Projects. After a ten year hiatus, the members of Watchtower reunite for a one-week residency at Roman Susan July 12-18.
A CONNECTING PRESENCE SOUNDWALK
Thursday July 7, 5 – 7 p.m
at Big Marsh Park
Norman W. Long and I led an internal body scan for the assembled group; a meditation in finding our presence in places that may not be familiar. Together, we breathed and walked new pathways at Big Marsh Park, with an intention toward immersion, participation, and collective celebration.
7:00 - 9:00pm
Compound Yellow (map)
Saturday, May 28
See the live streams on Twitch until June 11!
4:20pm show: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1311706492
8pm show (even tho it says 420): https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1311862281
Marcy Rae Henry (Chicago)
Shoshana Green (San Francisco)
Harlan Rosen (Chicago)
Meenakshi Marchione (Chicago)
SheenRu Yong (Hawaii)
Join us in person at Elastic Arts, 3429 W. Diversey #208 or online https://elasticarts.org/streaming to watch these artists generate a hybrid singular work woven together from their individual creations and practices. Each SET will be its own performance, two iterations with the same material with time for processing in between.. We invite both a live audience and present a live stream, come to either the early or the late show, or boldly both. We will seriously play, in a together way.
These inventive hybrids of tech / media / film / music / theater / noise / talk show / jazz / low brow / cabaret / glitch / queer family / dance score / improvs are riveting and in the moment! We set the stage for never-before-seen combinations of sounds, images, text, motion, and concepts simultaneously. Expect to flex your VR and interpersonal skills while also adapting to new tools, technology and experiences.
Watch footage from past events on our video playlist.
$15 - Tickets Available at the Door
In person audience size will depend on Covid conditions, please check the current policy on Elastic Arts website.
Hot Mess! is a quarterly series produced by Sara Zalek in partnership with Elastic Arts. If you are an artist interested in participating, complete this survey to get a sense of your ideas and the program. This is a paid opportunity.
Blank Box: New Dimensions in Sense-uality
Composition for multimedia ensemble
Sunday, May 22nd
@ Elastic Arts
8:00pm doors / 8:30pm show, $15
Sara Zalek - movement
Hyun Kim - movement
Sam Lewis - lighting/tech
Tselanie Townsend - video projections
Paul Giallorenzo - piano/electronics/composition/direction
Macie Stewart - violin
Hunter Diamond - reeds/percussion
Soundwalk at Northwestern University for Earth Day 2022 with Veronica Salinas.
Freedom From and Freedom To is an exploration and celebration of artistic circumstance. Movement and sound improvisors from all around Chicago gather in front of a live audience, where they are grouped by chance. Each group performs an improvised set. We fuse diverse artistic backgrounds and practices to create unique and fleeting worlds Curated by Cristal Sabbagh. More information www.ffftchicago.com
Saturday, April 2, 2022
Streaming LIVE from Elastic Arts - 7:30pm CST
Saturday, April 9, 2022
Museum of Contemporary Art - 11am
HOT MESS! Hybrids in live and streaming environments
Quarterly Series in partnership with Elastic Arts
Saturday, March 5, 2022 @Elastic Arts
Yumiko Yoshioka @yumiko-yoshioka
Charles Joseph Smith @charlessmith702210
Carole McCurdy @carolemccurdy
Kikù Hibino @kiku.hibino
[️ ] pronounced "Hypothetical Star": M_m<M & nulltopia @mmmtvdotnet
Save the dates for May 28, August 13, November 12, 2022
<<<<<<<<< See Trailers & Archive of 2021 Hot Mess! Events >>>>>>>>>>
HOT MESS! is an opportunity to explore promiscuously inventive
hybrids of performing in physical and virtual space.
We flex our VR and interpersonal skills while also adapting to new tools,
technology and experiences.
This series focuses on the moments of co-creation and gives the artists a play-space to discover new ways of working together and interacting with each other and the audience. The "double header" gives the artists space to find the power of working together in the unknown, possibilities for Queering space, and the beauty in re-starting while making art!
We are always seeking new relationships to open our perspective and learn from others. If you are interested to be involved, contact me and/or check this survey to get a sense of what it's all about.
(Image Description: An abstract image of a face wearing glasses, a lamp post, telephone wires, a record, and a crosshatch of indigo, blue, magenta, orange. It reads: HOT MESS!
January 11-22, 2022
Roman Susan Gallery
WATCHTOWER 12-12-21 (with Edited Captions) will be on view directly from the street in front of Roman Susan each evening after sunset, while the space is closed to the public. During this period, the artists will be in residence at the storefront in many capacities.
Created together in democratic collaboration among artists Rosé Hernandez, Ginger Krebs, Bryan Saner, Aurora Tabar, and Sara Zalek, with videography by Rustel Weiss.
"WATCHTOWER is a temporary collaborative performance ensemble. We move and use the body in alternative ways in order to challenge its domestication. We inhabit socially abnormal behaviors, for example the body as animal, aging, multi-gendered, deformed and full of contradictions. The decision to be in relation to otherness is central to the work we make. We create a way of being that allows us to be ourselves in good faith with each other and this practice is healing. Our work is responsive rather than scripted. We prioritize taking time and attending to place."
Sunday, July 18, 2021. Norman W. Long and I led a soundwalk at Marian R. Byrnes park, 2200 E. 103rd St., 4-6pm. We set up listening stations with contact mics and hydrophones for participants to tune into this unlikely prairie zone. A little bit about the radical work of Marian Byrnes and how she worked to save Van Vlissingen prairie.
I'm not gonna lie, its a long way to come! You can take the bus from downtown, the J14103rd/Stony Island and get off about 45 minutes later at 103rd Street & Luella. Check out the full summer calendar of events with the Midwest Society for Ecology here.
We played at the Comfort Station in Logan Square on August 8 and hoping to do another one really soon. Stay tuned to either of our Instagrams for those details.
Columbia College Chicago Digital Residency
From On the Ground, the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago’s blog, I wrote "Transitions"
I want to be someone else, other than who I am. Constantly and always. Forever transforming. When I dance, I am no one. I am all energy and sensation. I am a body of cells responding to other bodies of cells, to space, to sound, to subtle forces of physics.
It is related to a poem I wrote under another name, published in the gorgeous new zine called The Understory (Winter 2021)
Image on page 24, poem on pages 59-61
OOPS! POW! SURPRISE!
Archive of Performance Premiered April 15, 2021
Dance and Music performance with Cristal Sabbagh, Erin Peisert, Scott Rubin, Keisha Janae, & Ramah Malebranche, and myself.
OOPS! POW! SURPRISE! takes a deep look at Cristal Sabbagh’s interdisciplinary practice that includes traditional portraiture, ceramics, and performance. While movement is the spine of her practice and the core that all her other work emanates from, intentional spontaneity, reverence, and bliss are threads woven throughout.
Freedom From and Freedom To
Archive of Performance
April 2-3, 2021
Cristal Sabbagh production in partnership Elastic Arts
(All the sets are archived on the Elastic Arts YouTube channel)
Hosted Yumiko Yoshioka April 9-11on zoom
Friday, February 26, 2021
The Quarantine Concerts: OUT OF SITE in collaboration with Experimental Sound Studio PRESENTS FLOW
When making a live work, as a performance, as an artist who poets and sounds and makes movements and moments as rituals, as possibilities for existence, in this work I used sound and video images from the island of Oahu, Hawaii, mixed with live moments from my home, asking for input from my audience, to questions about secrets and holding and requesting space. The performance is a live poem, a song; with the artist as mixer, as presenter, as witness, as dancer, conspirator and space creator.
Virtual Soundwalk curated by Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology. Marian R. Byrnes Park, previously known as Park No. 562 or Van Vlissingen Prairie, is located in the Jeffery Manor neighborhood. At approximately 135 acres, it is one of the largest natural areas in Chicago. The site includes marsh, wet prairie, prairie, savanna, and woodland and is a great place to observe wildlife including frogs, snakes, birds, and deer.
By 1982, the steel industry in Chicago was only a skeleton of what it once was, and thousands of people lost their jobs. This industry crash affected workers in diverse sectors that either relied on the steel plants for business or served the employees of the steel plants and their families. Aside from mills and processing plants, stores, restaurants and country clubs all went out of business, leaving vacant lots, industrial grounds and many open spaces that remain today.
The video provides a brief history of the park and neighborhood from Norman W. Long’s personal perspective as a local resident of Jeffery Manor. Norman and Sara guide us visually and sonically in a relaxation and sensation, listening to the sounds provided by this diverse ecology.
Artist Focus: Random Acts
Conversation with Carron Little with Out of Site, Chicago
Archive of conversation: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/795339631
TAPE RELEASE PARTY
@Elastic Arts, Chicago
A series of duos with me and these fellow brilliant artists, musicians, available on bandcamp.
Chicago based artist, multi-instrumentalist and resident at The Hunter Radcliff House, Espinoza explores art and music as technology for self-transformation and liberation, consciously obliterating distinctions between mediums. Member of David Boykin's Sonic Healing ministries, The Participatory Music Coalition, Angel Bat Dawid's Brothahood, . He has performed with Sura Dupart's Side Pocket Experience, MicroCosmic Sound Orchestra and Chicago Modern Orchestra Project.
Norman W. Long
An artist/composer. His practice involves walking, listening, collecting, improvising, performing and recording to create objects, environments and situations in which he and the audience are engaged in dialogues about memory space, value, silence and the invisible. Norman has performed with Angel Bat Dawid's Brothahood, Standing On The Corner, Sara Zalek, Chicago Phonography, Todd Carter, Carol Genetti, Eli Namay, Peter Maunu, Jim Baker, Damon Locks, Dan Bitney, Isaiah Spencer, Lia Kohl, and Andrew Clinkman.
Cruising Poem for Walt Whitman
Two events co-sponsored by Touchless Entry & Red Rover Series
Site-specific outdoor events designed with safety concerns in mind.
at the Formal Garden in Humboldt Park
Writeup on sixty inches from center: https://sixtyinchesfromcenter.org/touchless-entry-a-socially-distant-art-collective/
Heavy Air Happy Hour
Experimental Sound Studio (ESS)
ARCHIVED PERFORMANCE: https://youtu.be/eazbzORaLAU
Heavy Air Happy Hour was a monthly series at Cafe Mustache
hosted by Andrew Scott Young centered around strictly acoustic
small-group free improvisation. Today it happens online.
Andrew Scott Young
Aug 22 & 23
Freedom From and Freedom To
Archive of Night One, Set One: https://youtu.be/M1axTSCEP7c
all curated and produced by the brilliant Cristal Sabbagh.
Angel Bat Dawid (clarinet, voice)
Johanna Brock (violin, voice)
Olivia Harris (cello)
Ramah Malebranche (guitar)
Janice Misurell-Mitchell (flute)
Luc Mosley (saxophone)
Ugochi Nwaogwugwu (voice)
Julian Otis (voice)
Scott Rubin (viola)
Eli Sabbagh (percussion)
Jeffrey Thomas (guitar)
Adam Zanolini (multiple instruments)
Event Homepage : https://www.ffftchicago.com/
Random Acts: Out of Site Chicago
in collaboration with ESS
Remote performance and discussion with Cristal Sabbagh and Scott Rubin
ARCHIVED PERFORMANCE (In three parts):
March 28, April 4, April 11
OPEN VOICE is a voice and body workshop focusing on vocal technique and improvisation, hosted by the performance group, the Trickster Quartet. If the sound of your voice is always something you've wished to explore, come and join! Discover the possibilities and uniqueness of your voice, individually and with a group. Learn to deepen your listening skills. Get in touch with your inner child and create through playful improvisation. No previous experience necessary. Everyone is worthy of expression!
Elastic Arts, 3429 W Diversey Ave #208
Freedom From And Freedom To is an an Improvisational cross-medium event curated by Cristal Sabbagh. Due to the overwhelming response from the first performance it will be a quarterly event, look out for us in April, August and beyond!! Over 20 musicians and dancers will converge, and audience members will pair them into small groups by chance. Buckle up for a wild ride!
"It's so deeply moving when improvisers open themselves to risk, fully revealing without hiding anything or pretending to be somebody" - Erin Peisert
Visit www.ffftchicago.org for more information.
There's No Edge to Imaginary Things
3914 N Clark St, Chicago
The Runways Lab is thrilled to announce the THIRD & FINAL DOING DRUGS AND DYING IN SPACE RITUAL. I will be performing in one play out of thirteen, "There's No Edge to Imaginary Things by Olivia Cronk & Philip Sorenson, directed by the illustrious Logan Berry. It is GORGEOUS.
13 short plays about DOING DRUGS and DYING IN SPACE by: Corie Anderson, Lizzie Bourne, Shani Bensman-Correa & Maximillian Correa, Olivia Cronk & Philip Sorenson, Logan Hart, Colton McCarty, Jessie Mccarty, Daniel Mozurkewich, Nic Park & Alissa Guerra, Barbara Reedy, Gannon Reedy, Casey Toney, Samantha Westlake
Aaron Arbiter, Logan Berry, Dakota Brown, JD Caudill, Niky Crawford, Seraphina Violet Cueller, Danielle Elizabeth, Daniel Mozurkewich, Jillian E. Mueller, Alec Martin Plant, Steak Richardson, Gwen Wiegold
5 November 8pm-8am
We Series: Sleep
This chapter is a ritual for rest, sleepers, and insomniacs. Also lullabies, existential exhaustion, cuddling, dreams, sleeplessness, nightmares, snoring. Guests are invited to sleep over, but it is not a requirement.*
We Series is a festival presenting live art that blurs the boundary between performance and reality. Every Tuesday in November, the We Series offers rituals, participatory performance, and immersion in artist-led experiences.
6 October Sunday | 9PM
Akiyama/Boyd, Krausbauer/Suzuki, Inglizian/Faber, Brock/Alvarez/Zalek/Young
Maverick improvising guitarist Tetuzi Akiyama joins conceptual sound artist Mykel Boyd and many others for an exciting lineup of innovative new music.
12 September Thursday, 9pm
Freedom From and Freedom To
Freedom From And Freedom To is an an Improvisational cross-medium event curated by Cristal Sabbagh.
Participants (Dancers): Cristal Sabbagh Jasmine Mendoza Andrea Wukitsch Wannapa P/ Eubanks Sara Zalek Peter Redgrave Zach Nicol Erin Peisert Ed Clemons Keisha Bennette
Participants (Musicians): Eli Sabbagh (percussion) Ramah Malebranche (guitar)
Angel Bat Dawid (clarinet, voice) Adam Zanolini (Bass) N.w. Long (electronics/sound effects) Janice Misurell-Mitchell (flute) Ugochi Nwaogwugwu (voice) Dan Schwarzlose (trumpet, theremin) Lia Khol (cello)
20 July Saturday
MSAE Summer Soundwalks: Listening for Resilience
@Big Marsh Park, 11155 S. Stony Island Ave, Chicago
Norman W. Long and Sara Zalek lead an exploration of resiliency through Big Marsh Park. Includes exercises which ready the body for listening acutely and sharing our encounters. Presented by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Night Out In the Parks brings arts and culture to over 500 parks across the city, free and open for public participation.
1 June Saturday
As a part of “What’s behind this door?” exhibition
@Oliva Gallery, 3816 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
We add water to wine
art to life wine to ideas
water to art art to words
We will ask each other and you about the ways our art-making
reflects, influences or resists the world we live in and vice versa.
31 May Friday
Hautnah "Close to the Skin"
Six day Intensive Butoh Workshop culminating in a student performance.
Truly a family experience, we will provide light snacks and beverages, feel free to BYOB.
10 May Friday
Gold Test: Intestine
The Inside is Not Different than the Outside
The International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago, IL
Spend the evening awake in your senses with three visceral Butoh performances by Jon Poindexter, Sara Zalek, and Holly Chernobyl.
This is from a series of improvisations on reflection, repair, and cyborgs.
In this work, I explore relationships between metal and body, iteration and instance, presence and absence. I aim to create mythologies which question the nature of how stories are created and reiterated, and examine our human condition to search for the magic elixir.
26 January Saturday
Gold Test: Ears
Light Box Performance
Performing as a visiting artist in residence @LightBox, from a series of experiments on reflection, repair, and cyborgs. In this work, we explore relationships between metal and body, iteration and instance, presence and absence. There will be both sound and movement created in the moment which aim to question the meaning of our lives together in the moment of creation. This performance suggests a story rather than narrates one - we invite viewers to find their own relevance and meaning in the work. We aim to create mythologies which question the nature of how stories are created and reiterated, and examine our human condition to search for the magic elixir.
11 January Friday
Sivan Cohen Elias, Mabel Kwan
Transparent Bodies is an exploration of hybrid theater that unifies the physical and sonic dimensions of performance using movement, sound, objects, and sensory technological interventions. The project is a collaboration between composer/multimedia artist Sivan Cohen Elias, butoh dancer/choreographer/artist Sara Zalek and pianist/performer Mabel Kwan. At its heart: the theme of secrets. Hidden secrets, revealed secrets, reflections, distorted truths, illusion, hyperrealism and the in-between.
We invite you to come investigate with us, this world of secrets, created during our unique residency period of December 24-Jan 12. Our incubation period is brief, so through our performance, your interaction, and the in-between, we create stories that begin with diamonds in haystacks, and end as forgotten dust bunnies under the bed.