Molly Shanahan founded Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak in 1994 as the home for her movement research, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and performance experiments. Since that time the company has supported Shanahan's work -ranging from large ensemble works to extended solo, duet, and multi-collaborator projects - through programs that engage the public in a deeper understanding and appreciation of the creative process. 


My Name is a Blackbird is Shanahan's multi-year collaboration with seven artists working in sound, costume, dramaturgy, video and design. Molly engaged in multiple forms of creative research, notably intensive private study of the Felenkrais Method, Authentic Movement, and other somatic modalities for her project. She also worked in close collaboration with Chicago dramaturg, Leslie Danzig. Blackbirdpropelled Shanahan into new movement terrain, and premiered in April 2007 at The Building Stage in Chicago. 


These programs have included public presentations in Chicago and nationally, as well as written and video/film documentation, community workshops and classes, and public discussion.








Following Blackbird's April 2007 premiere at The Building Stage in Chicago, Time Out dance editor Asimina Chremos described it as: "Lush, super-rich, exquisitely detailed and extremely sensual...Shanahan's ability to 'invite being seen - (a phrase from postmodern choreographer Deborah Hay) - is remarkable."