Debate over climate change explored via dance

The Seldoms — a Chicago-based contemporary dance company with a reputation for nontraditional performances — will stage a theater work at Northwestern University from April 24 to 27 about the national discourse on climate change.

Presented by the School of Communication’s dance program and open to the public, the hourlong production will reflect the many ways in which climate change is greeted — from indifference to urgency. The piece incorporates humor, physical action, spoken word and athletic dance.

Pre- and post-performance talks and a special free event on April 22 (Earth Day) will take place during the group’s late April residency on the University’s Evanston campus.

THE SELDOMS APRIL 2014 EVENTS                                         

• “Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead” will be performed at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, April 24, 8:00 p.m. Friday, April 25, 8:00 p.m. Saturday, April 26 and 2:00 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at the Marjorie Ward Marshall Dance Center’s Ballroom Theater, 10 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus. Tickets are $20 for the general public; $15 for Northwestern faculty and staff and $10 for full-time students with IDs and seniors 62 and older. For group discounts call(773) 859-3030. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Marshall Dance Center prior to each performance. The box office opens two hours prior to each performance.

• A pre-performance discussion at 6:45 p.m. Friday, April 25, at the Marshall Dance Center’s Ballroom Theater will feature Carrie Hanson, The Seldoms artistic director, and Michael J. Kramer, The Seldoms dramaturge and Northwestern visiting assistant professor of history and American studies and co-director of the University’s Digital Humanities Laboratory in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

• A post-performance conversation will follow the Saturday, April 26 dance concert. Panelists will include Northwestern faculty members Keith Woodhouse, assistant professor of history; Sarah Lovinger, M.D., adjunct lecturer, environmental policy and culture, Feinberg School of Medicine; Kimberly Gray, professor of civil and environmental engineering; Tania Munz, lecturer in the Science and Human Culture Program; Susan A. Lee, professor of dance in the department of theatre; and D. Soyini Madison, professor of performance studies.

• “Dancing Around Climate Change,” a special, admission-free event, will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, in Ryan Auditorium, located in Northwestern’s Technological Institute, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston. The Seldoms will celebrate Earth Day 2014 by performing excerpts from “Exit Disclaimer,” with responses from experts on climate change, sustainability and other environmental topics. The April 22 event is sponsored by Northwestern’s Institute for Sustainability and Energy (ISEN) and ETOPiA: Engineering Transdisciplinary Outreach Project in the Arts, an outreach initiative at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

“Exit Disclaimer” premiered at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago in 2012 and toured Taipei, Taiwan.


Carrie Hanson, The Seldoms’ artistic director and one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2012, has choreographed more than 25 original works for the company that have been performed nationally as well as in Germany and Russia. Interested in unconventional performance settings, Hanson has staged dance performances in a cargo container, Olympic-sized outdoor pool and an architectural salvage store. Her focus recently shifted to issue-based work, including “Stupormarket,” about the economic meltdown. Hanson finds satisfaction in making dance speak to contemporary issues.

Support for The Seldoms spring 2014 campus residency is provided by Northwestern University’s Institute for Sustainability and Energy (ISEN), ETOPiA: Engineering Transdisciplinary Outreach Project in the Arts at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Communication’s department of performance studies, and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, including The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Mellon Dance Studies in/and the department of humanities, the department of history, Nicholas D. Chabraja Center for Historical Studies, the American Studies Program and Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.


In its 11th year, the Chicago-based dance company is known for making intelligent, visually rich dance theater driven by inquiry. For more on The Seldoms and the ensemble’s artists, visit www.theseldoms.org.

For more on Mikhail Fiksel, the “Exit Disclaimer” production’s composer, sound designer, musician and disc jockey, visit www.mikhailfiksel.com.

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