Laboratory Dancers got their start performing at a friend's loft space three years ago. With no dance jobs available, the band of post-grads forged their own opportunities. They plundered rehearsal space, racked up credit card debt, befriended other artists and always said "yes." The company whirled into the world of Chicago performance art.
They conducted their first major show at Links Hall, June 2009. After this proud moment, they continued self-producing large dance concerts at Hamlin Park(2010), The Viaduct Theater(2011) and 1804(2011).
In between and during the process of preparing, rehearsing, and fundraising for their formal productions, Laboratory Dancers keeps their performance muscles honed with smaller shows. They have contributed work to CFANN (2009), The Open Space Project (2010, 2011), Fresh Dances (2011), and many others. For their full performance history, please refer to the Repertoire.
The lack of dance jobs wasn't the only fuel to their fire. Most of the founding members of Laboratory Dancers could not afford to take dance class. They decided to hold their own, rotating teachers within the company. For 2 years, Laboratory Dancers offered a weekly "modern" technique class at Rumble Arts Center. Now, they continue to teach it at the Fulton Street Collective. It is an open environment for exploration, artistry, and experimentation. It has been and will always be donation based. The sensation and experiential based movement delves into new exploration while building upon classic Laboratory Dancers vocabulary.
Along the way, Laboratory Dancers has received help and partnered with many artists. In December 2009, they were Bjorn Kavanaugh's photography subjects and he remains, to this day, one of their closest artistic allies. In May 2010, the dance company joined musicians and participated in a Midwest tour. The company values these relationships and the mutual trust, creative energy, and vigorous work ethic strengthens Chicago's network of artistic resources and helps all parties further their artistic goals.
It is one of Laboratory Dancers' top priorities to keep dance performance and education available to all and strip away the misconceptions barring the general public from attending a dance class or performance. The company is currently working with Sam Hertz, data programmer, and Fulton Street Collective in their 2011-2012 season. They are looking forward to their spring concert showcasing these collaborations April 20-22.