The Seldoms

RockCitizen (excerpts)


Sidney R. Yates Gallery

This multimedia work is inspired by 1960s counterculture, and its relation to a larger history of people pursuing transformations in their lives and worlds.  


Philip Elson

Damon Green

Sarah Gonsiorowski

Matthew McMunn

Cara Sabin

Hannah Santistevan

Production Credits

Choreography: Carrie Hanson

Sound Design by Mikhail Fiksel

Visual Design by Bob Faust

Projection by Liviu Pasare

Text Design by Stuart Flack

Dramaturgy by Michael J. Kramer

Additional Direction by Christina Gonzalez-Gillett


About the Piece

"RockCitizen" sits within The Seldoms' trilogy of performance works about power and powerlessness in America, the other two being "Power Goes" (2015, a commission by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago) and "The Making" (2017, a commission by Texas Performing Arts at the University of Texas at Austin).  The full version of "RockCitizen" was just performed at the Union Theater at UW-Madison, with a community cast who joined the company in song, movement,and raising voices to speak truth to power.


The development of "RockCitizen" was made possible in part by DANCECleveland as part of the pilot residencies for the establishment of the National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron. The Seldoms were selected as the first resident artists in NCC’s pilot summer; in July 2015, the company spent nine days on campus developing "RockCitizen", and also made research trips to the Kent State May 4 Memorial and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. These visits — walking the grounds where the National Guard opened fire on Kent State students and exploring artifacts and exhibitions from popular music history — fed our thinking and imagination about "RockCitizen", a work that draws upon the intersections of these political and cultural legacies.


"RockCitizen" was created with major support from Elizabeth A. Liebman. Additional support came from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the Arts Works Fund for Organizational Development, a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, and through the 28-Hour Workshop program at Chicago Dramatists.

About the Artist

Website: theseldoms.org


Social Media: 

Facebook & Instagram: @theseldoms

Twitter: The_Seldoms

Executive Director / Booking & Management: Carrie Hanson


In its seventeeth season, The Seldoms makes dance works of bold, exacting physicality driven by inquiry in contemporary issues. Under the direction of choreographer Carrie Hanson, the company is committed to bringing audiences an expanded experience of dance that ignites thought around real-world issues. The company’s vision extends to a total action and environment, involving collaboration with practitioners in fields including theater, architecture, installation, video, sound, fashion, and science. Nationally recognized collaborators include visual artists Bob Faust, Fraser Taylor, Faheem Majeed, Jackie Kazarian, and Anna Kunz, composer/sound designers Richard Woodbury and Mikhail Fiksel, playwright Stuart Flack, musicians Chihsuan Yang and Timothy Daisy, and fashion designer Maria Pinto.


With works on issues such as the 2008 recession, climate change, and most recently a trilogy about power and powerlessness in America, The Seldoms has built a reputation for “well-crafted and researched works that don’t hold forth a political agenda, but look instead at how these towering issues reflect back on our own humanity” (New City, naming The Seldoms Best Local Dance Company in 2012). Power Goes (2015), a commission by the Museum of Contemporary Art, was awarded a NEFA/National Dance Project Grant, and has toured to nine US cities. Local venues and institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the Dance Center of Columbia College, Chicago Humanities Festival, and LUMA (Loyola University Museum of Art) have presented the company. The Seldoms has developed international connections in Russia, Taiwan, and Scotland, where in 2017 they exchanged with Glasgow visual artists to develop a resource for dancemakers, “Toolbox”, funded by the MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund. The company is also known for works in unconventional sites such as a truck garage, an Olympic-sized outdoor pool, and a Chicago Landmark park field house. In 2012, they designed, with Tim Daisy, a site-specific promenade performance by 24 dancers and musicians through the Harris Theater of Music and Dance. The Seldoms have been an Arts Partner in Residence at Pulaski Park since 2013, providing free dance classes to neighborhood youth.