Of Whales, Time, and Your Last Attempt to Reach Me

Event Type
Event Description

Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak presents Molly Shanahan's ensemble dance "Of Whales, Time, and Your Last Attempt to Reach Me," the choreographer's most recent evening-length work featuring performances by Shanahan, Maria DiMarzio (recently added to the ensemble), Kristina Fluty, Jeff Hancock, and Megan Klein.

"Of Whales..." premiered at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago last spring as part of the Process v. Product festival. In the upcoming engagement, Shanahan seeks to share the work's development since its premiere, and offer it to Chicago audiences in a studio setting, reflecting the tone and tenor of the creation of her dances. Shanahan says, "the work is meant to be seen close-up, where the relationships dancers create with each other, themselves, and observers can be felt on a subtle physical and intuitive level."

Performances are April 5 and 6 at 7:30pm at Dovetail Studios, 2853 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618. 

This work is set at the intersection of paradoxical states, where constantly shifting input confirms identity in one moment and then throws it off-kilter the next. This performance mines a virtuosity that only comes with maturity and lived experience.

Alyssa Motter of New City Chicago wrote: 
"Part exercise in collective memory, part exploration of choreographic craft, Shanahans new work is a forty-seven-minute quartet that engages viewers at the convergence of conscious, subconscious and unconscious memories...the individual dancers collate past experiences into a loose narrative that employs the body as storyteller."

Molly is recognized as a singular voice in Chicago dance (TimeOut Chicago); for her a distinctive movement vocabulary characterized by virtuosic fluidity and a performance ethic that researches the release of muscular armoring that privileges the shared humanity of observer and observed. 

Shanahan is a Canadian-born, Chicago-based choreographer; she formed Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak in 1994 as the hub for her dancemaking and collaborations. Molly's work has been performed extensively in Chicago, also in New York, Milwaukee, Detroit, Montreal, Columbus, Miami, among others. Molly has received two National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Awards, two NPN Community Fund Awards, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award, an Illinois Arts Council Choreographic Fellowship, and a Meier Mid-Career Achievement Award, among others. She received a Presidential Fellowship from Temple University for doctoral study in Dance, and recently was one of twelve Chicago artists who participated in the New England Foundation for the Arts, the National Dance Projects, and the Chicago Dancemakers Forums Regional Dance Development Initiative. She teaches locally and nationally, and has been on the faculty at Northwestern University, Wayne State University, Denison University; she has taught at Temple University, Bryn Mawr College, The University of Chicago and has conducted guest residencies at North CarolinaSchool of the Arts, University of Alaska-Anchorage, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Lawrence University, Kenyon College, The Ohio State University, among others. Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak has for almost twenty-five years provided a facile and adaptable support structure led by Shanahan in partnership with an international board of directors. 


Performance Details
Of Whales, Time, and Your Last Attempt to Reach Me runs:
Friday, and Saturday, April 5 and 6; 7:30pm.
Dovetail Studios, 2853 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Tickets are $18/15.

For photos and more information, email Kristina Fluty at mollyshanahanmadshak@gmail.com.

Funding Credits
Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak's funding from foundation and government sources varies from year to year and project to project. In 2018-19, the Company received the support of The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, and a CityArts grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Special thanks to DePaul University, Northwestern University, Denison University, and Wayne State University.

Board of Directors - Dan Brescoll, Kristina Fluty, Jane Koster, Michael Rogalski, Kevin Simmons, Molly Shanahan.

Individual Donors for 2018 - Paul and Linda Abbehaus, Erica Adams Busillo, Jacquie Dumas Albert, Julia Antonick, Emily Bartsch, Carrie Brescoll, Kris Brescoll, Amber Brown, Peter Carpenter, Margi Cole, Pamela Crutchfield, Pam Michell Curry, Chris Demay, Alan Donohue, Emma Draves, Diana Fluty, Dardi and Patrick Gallivan, Jeff Hancock, Christina Harcar, Winifred Haun, Beth and Bruce Holmquist, John Honos, Janet Kim, Carly Kontra, Katherine Dreher Korey, Sharon Lanza, Laurie Macklin, Madeleine Mason, Stephanie McCarthy, Jonathan Meyer, Gill Wright Miller, CJ Mitchell, Carrie Murphy, Mackenzie Nilsen, Carla Nuzzo, Marysue Miller Reese, Josh Shanahan, Scott Silberstein, DR Smith, Diana Stewart, Janet Suhr, Marian van Noppen, Amy VanBaecelar, Jeff Wallace, Josh Weckesser, Nora Woodman.

Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak is an Illinois nonprofit corporation.

Running Time
55 minutes


Dovetail Studios

2853 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60618