We want to create an interactive, Halloween-themed event that links the sensory experiences we value as dancers with the sensory experiences we all love about Halloween. Spanning two stories of Fulton Street Collective, a large and diverse artist cooperative in Ukrainian Village, the multi-media collaboration is structured as a haunted house of sorts, minus the vampire-witch-psychokiller thing. Small groups of brave guests step into the freight elevator at the back of the building (creepy but safe, we promise) and off the elevator into a world made surreal by various installations of music, video, performance art, live painting, dance, and theatre. As participants inch down hallways and peek around corners, they come across peculiar and downright chilling performances that craft a multi-sensory, spooky atmosphere. For instance, situated close enough to the walking path to be noticed but far enough to seem a bit unusual, is an upright bass player, filling the space with eerie and original sounds. Add to the mix a small studio overtaken by a brazen theatre company, dancers silently and subtly haunting passersby, a staccato, live painting installation, and the lingering, melancholic notes of a cello, to name a few, and you have an integrated happening that exposes art novices to the work of the local arts community in an engaging and welcoming fashion. The “haunted house” guides guests toward the programming in the building’s gallery space, also clad with artwork by local artists. Dance performances include new works by Laboratory Dancers’ artistic co-directors Emily Lukasewski and Alexandra Subak that highlight each choreographer’s distinct voice. The evening ends with a bang as Chicago band “She Speaks in Tongues” plays us out. The project’s goal aligns with our mission, constructing an environment in which people not often exposed to art can learn about and enjoy the remarkable Chicago arts scene. Halloween provides a platform for open minds and adventure seeking!
Funded by Chicago, IL (October 2013)