Toolbox @ Twenty: The Seldoms

Experimental dance troupe, The Seldoms reinvigorate their program by partnering with visual artists to create unique multidisciplinary art installations that are activated by choreographed bodies. Titled Toolbox, the program pairs a dance artist with another creative practitioner to collaborate on a new combined work and share their processes, techniques and values with one another. From this conversation, the dancemaker identifies one essential word that undergirds the visual artist’s practice, and translates it to a choreographic one. This performative installation and exhibition marks the Seldoms’ twentieth year of performance in Chicago. The dancer/ artist pairings include Damon Green/ Sadie Woods, Sarah Gonsiorowski/ Jacqueline Surdell, Dee Alaba/Edra Soto and Carrie Hanson/ Jackie Kazarian. This exhibition is curated and choreographed by Carrie Hanson, Director of the Seldoms in collaboration with Allison Peters Quinn, Director of Exhibitions at Hyde Park Art Center.

  • September 24 – November 13, 2022
  • Gallery 1 & Jackman Goldwasser Catwalk Gallery

About The Seldoms

In its 20th Anniversary Season, The Seldoms creates multimedia performance charged by bold, exacting physicality, and believes that dance can inspire thinking about critical social issues. Each project is fueled by an appetite for research and incubated with partners from fields including history and science. Under the direction of choreographer Carrie Hanson, the company designs expansive productions with practitioners of visual arts, architecture, theater, sound, and fashion. Making works on topics such as the 2008 recession, plastic and landfills, climate change, and power and powerlessness in America, they have 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, “Best Local Dance Company” 2012).


The Seldoms has performed in twenty US cities and developed international connections, touring in Russia, Canada, Taiwan, and Scotland where they exchanged with Glasgow visual artists to create Toolbox, a sourcebook for makers. Their 2015 work, Power Goes, about the legacy of Lyndon Baines Johnson was commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art, received a National Performance Network Creation Fund and NEFA National Dance Project Award, and toured to nine US venues, engaging a community cast in each city. Locally the company has performed at a range of venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art and Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater. In 2012, they created a roaming performance through the entirety of the Harris Theater of Music and Dance in Chicago, with 12 musicians and 12 dancers. The Seldoms has also designed spectacular works for sites including a truck garage, an outdoor pool, the Morton Arboretum, and a Chicago Landmark park fieldhouse. They’ve partnered with local entities including Chicago Humanities Festival, Newberry Library, Experimental Station, and many more.

Featured Artists

Edra Soto with Carrie Hanson

matinee, Sadie Woods with Damon Green

Jackie Kazarian with Dee Alaba

Jacqueline Surdell with Sarah Gonsiorowski