The Dancer’s Cooperative is a process-driven contemporary dance theater project led by emerging Chicago artists MaryAnn McGovern, Gretchen Soechting, Deborah Byczkowski, Kellyn Jackson, and Jasmine Mendoza. Acting as co-directors and ensemble, we aim to address the challenges of the traditional single-artist, not-for-profit model in a post-recession world. We posit that a small group of equal directing partners can achieve more in collaboration than in competition with one another.

With the overarching goals of sustainability and longevity, all cooperative members will have the chance to direct processes of their own, employing a democratic structure of leadership and support. Our co-active studio practice originates with a somatic approach to movement exploration, with a collective aesthetic that is shaped according to shifting inquiry.

The Dancer’s Cooperative is a recipient of the 2015 Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Individual Artist Grant.