Heat Lightning is the premiere performance of Contretemps Contemporary Ballet. The mission of Contretemps Contemporary Ballet is to create opportunities for dancers and dancemakers whose bodies and identities have been historically excluded from ballet. Intrinsically radical, we believe in ballet that promotes body neutrality, embraces the non-binary, and subverts expectations. Support from the Awesome Foundation would put Chicago on the map as the first city with an explicitly feminist, anti-racist, anti-patriarchial, pro-worker, LGBTQIA+-affirming ballet company, a mission that is sure to make waves in the dance world at large. Your support will help us to begin establishing ourselves so that we can do this important work, and make Chicago a little more awesome!
Our first piece is in development, directed by MaryAnn McGovern. Heat Lightning is an alternative outdoor performance that illuminates the pervasive and problematic nature that post-truthism is presenting. It is a physical exploration of the feelings that citizens are left with under post-truthism: Disorientation, despair, incitement, hopelessness, and the pull between activism and nihilism. The work is being set in the parking lot of the Drucker Center of Lincoln Park, selected for affordability, willingness to adapt to a new normal, and wide accessibility to public transit. The space will be transformed into an installation with props and scenery that will aid in weaving together metaphors that describe the experience of living in post-truth America.
Heat Lightning is cast with five dancers representing a range of backgrounds, identities, and body types. We have taken every precaution with regards to Covid-19: all dancers were required to be fully vaccinated prior to in-person rehearsals beginning. Our audience will be distanced from one another and masks will be required. We will arrange seating throughout the outdoor installation according to reservations for each performance.
Funded by Chicago, IL (June 2021)