Hamlin Park Fieldhouse presents STUCK FOOT OPEN HAND RUNNING MOUTH Review- Transformative Movements

Stuck Foot Open Hand Running Mouth opened Thursday, December 14th at the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater. This evening of experimental performances featured ten artists who produced work through a three-month workshop, Art of Now III guided by Chicago-based performance artist, Ayako Kato. Click here to read "Ayako Kato STUCK FOOT OPEN HAND RUNNING MOUTH Preview- "Art of Now".

Featured artists include:

We Are Monsters by Sara Zalek & Molly Whedbee; More ably put (or, Still worth a try) by Wilson Tanner Smith;Formosan Wood by Mitsu Salmon;Nonsense Point Mutant by Harlan Rosen; GRASP by Chrissy Martin**; A Life Well Lived (?) by Mark Kater;Surface by Corinne Imberski; a drop in the dark by Rose Bouboushian; and Aurora Tabar performs the Existential Coat Check in the lobby.

An Experimental Evening

How interesting that all ten artists experienced the workshop yet produced incredibly different works of art! Each story that is told, moved, or spoken is precious and unique.

As we head to our seats, we are greeted by Aurora Tabar's The Existential Coat Check in the lobby. We are presented with the option to leave a written thought behind. Such a friendly and appropriate way to be welcomed into the performance space!

We see moments of seeking energy and transformation in many of the pieces, but especially in Corinne Imberski’s Surface and Rose Bouboushian’s a drop in the dark. Imberski is driven towards light. She greets it and glides towards it. A beautiful moment of bathing in the light still lingers as she rises to the tops of her toes almost as if she will take flight. Bouboushian shows us how the body builds and breaks down. She travels through the space-- questioning her place in it with graceful scrutiny.

Sara Zalek and Molly Whedbee’s We are Monsters and Mark Kater’s A Life Well Lived (?) are animated and refreshingly expressive. Zalek and Whedbee’s movements are driven from a monstrous euphoric state of mind. They indulge together with absolutely no reservations. Kater speaks and sings his story through a series of rhythmic rhymes. He includes us in his journey with moments of audience participation. We are invited to reminisce about our past through his delightful story-telling.

Moments of inquisition and curiosity are evoked in Mitsu Salmon’s Formosan Wood and Wilson Tanner Smith’s More ably put (or, Still worth a try). Salmon questions the interconnectedness of plants’ processes. What roles do they play in nature and with the human body? Smith questions what exactly an individual has control over. His method of presenting this question is very transparent but effective.

Because these stories are so personal it is impossible to connect with all of them. This writer resonated most with Harlan Rosen’s Nonsense Point Mutant. This is an outstanding performance that taps into the concept of impending transformation. However, the feelings leading up to it may involve desperation, emotional overload and slight hubris. Their movements were simple in nature, but very much intentional and urgent.

Hamlin Park Fieldhouse- a welcoming venue

The performance as a whole was pieced together well. Each work stood on its own. Any other performance order would have been just as effective. The venue was well suited for each artist. Because the artists were already accustomed to the space from the workshop, there seemed to be a sense of familiarity and comfortableness in the space which in turn puts the audience at ease. Overall, this writer believes that this performance is perfect for those that are looking for an evening of personal journeys told through a very experimental manner.

**Chrissy Martin did not show work in the Thursday, December 15th evening performance, but will in Friday, December 15th performance.

Learn more about dance by seeing dance through dancers eyes in the Picture This Post series, “Choreographers’ Eyes - Dancers Explain Dance”.  Watch this video preview of the story here— 


December 15, 2017


Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater, 3035 N. Hoyne Ave. 2ndFloor, Chicago, IL 60618


Admission is FREE (Suggested $10 donation), Register online, here.


Editor's Note: The author of this review, like many of Chicago's leading dancers and choreographers, knows the creator of this series, Ayako Kato, and is a keen follower of her work, as well as several of the performing artists in this performance. 

Ayako Kato has contributed to the Picture this Post ongoing series Choregrapher's Eyes: Dancers Explain Dance

Hairpin Arts Center - Element Ballet presents IN THE GARDEN OF ATLANTIS
Tuli Bera PHOTO CREDIT BY Matthew Gregory Hollis

Tuli Bera is a performance artist based in Chicago.  She received her BFA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  She has performed in works by Earl Mosley, Jennifer Archibald, Endalyn Taylor, Catrina Choate and Johanna Meyers. 

Bera is currently a dancer with Project Ishti led by Preeti Veerlapati and Kinnari Vora. Most recently she danced in their new work, "Prakriti" which premiered at the 2017 Chicago Fringe Festival.

She is also the director of J e l l o: performance series housed by Links Hall and Elastic Arts which provides opportunities for Chicago artists to show their work.  This is a great platform to show and perform past work, current work or works in progress.  For more information visit, The Series Website.

Click here to read more Picture this Post reviews by Tuli Bera

Photo of Rose Bouboushian courtesy of Dietrich McGaffey. All other photos courtesy of Ayako Kato.
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