Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak's "Ex/Body: strike, vibrate, shatter"

Event Type
Event Description

For years, Molly Shanahan, independently and through her company Mad Shak, has meticulously examined the alchemy that occurs between performer and audience. Not just what happens to the performer on stage—the gaze of an audience cloaked in darkness is a fearsome, intoxicating force any performing artist can attest to—but what happens to the observer through the act of watching, and the energetic space between all involved. Sharon Hoyer, New City Chicago.

Critically-acclaimed Chicago dance company Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak returns to live ensemble performance with the premier of Ex/Body: strike, vibrate, shatter, October 21 and 22, 2023 at 7:30pm at Studio5 Performing Arts Center. This new work was created by Shanahan with Chicago ensemble members Kristina Fluty, Jeff Hancock, and Diana Stewart; Detroit-based dancers Maria DiMarzio and Jaicee Partridge; and Los Angeles-based dancer Vaval Victor. Zachery Meier's original score was created in the studio live during the company’s creative process, and longtime MS/MS collaborator Joshua Paul Weckesser will design the lighting.

The first iteration of the larger Ex/Body project premiered pre-pandemic, in November 2019 at Dovetail Studios in Chicago. called the work, "an ode to exploration. The quintet of dancers…give themselves over to the study of their bodies, the space, and the energy that fills the room…At first, the choreography seems improvised in nature as they morph in and out of specific shapes through visibly structureless movement, yet this is foiled by the interspersed strict unison movement.”

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Running Time
50 minutes
Dance Styles
Modern / Contemporary


Studio5 Performing Arts Center

1934 Dempster St
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 328-6683