Jamal “Litebulb” Oliver is Litebulb is a dancer and dance activist at the forefront of footwork culture in Chicago. Known for the intricacy and velocity of his moves, Litebulb has performed with leading artists like Chance the Rapper and DJ Rashad. Since 2009, he has traveled to international stages, from New York PS-1 to the Barbican in London. In 2014, he co-founded The Era Footwork Crew (The Era). Now touring global venues and Chicago schools with The Era, Bulb’s practice is both intensely local and broadly international. He has received awards and grants for his innovative work, including recognition as a dancer of the year in Dance Magazine, major arts grants from Chicago Dancemakers Forum and University of Chicago/Arts and Public Life, and as a choreographer of the year by NewCity Magazine. He also appeared in a dance cameo with fellow footworker P-Top in the movie, Manglehorn, with Al Pacino. Litebulb was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, where he lives and works today. He recently co-founded a non-profit called Open the Circle, devoted to channeling resources into the arts in poor communities (otcprojects.org).




Oliver, together with the ERA, developed a stage show for international touring, Living at 160, worked closely with DJs from Chicago’s Teklife collective, and collaborated with visual artist and documentarian Wills Glasspiegel. Together, they crafted innovative media strategies that forefront footwork dance and its deep connection to the history of house music in Chicago.

THE ERA’s founding advisor Wills Glasspiegel’s published feature about footwork dancing in Pitchfork Magazine.

Glasspiegel has also produced a series of video that introduce footwork culture for VICE and National Public Radio.


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Photos: Wills Glasspiegel