The Retreat

The Retreat
is a long form work of dance, music, light and fabric that interjects itself within a theatrical space, creating a languid, enveloping, technology-free environment that circumvents the habits of audience behavior by gently but radically reframing the performance experience. The project evolved from Orders from the Horse, which began by asking if improvisation could be engaged through surrender, by relinquishing control of the body (and to what was control being ceded)? This manifested a process of sub-cortical movement improvisation, a way of making choices from the low brain. This was performed in multiple iterations before folding into The Retreat, which featured three viewing options: evening-length (2 hrs), long-form (4 hrs), and overnight (12 hrs).

This is an ongoing project. The next installation will be a development residency at DFBRL8R with an excerpted showing at 10pm on Thursday, October 19th.

“…where the daytime exchanges keys with the darkness and stranger bits of information and awareness intersect with the known and familiar.”
Culture Rover
“Powerful… animalistic.”
Chicago Tribune
“[Khecari has] once again productively, ingeniously messed with our environment and our senses to inform our thinking about what dance is and what it can be.”
Chicago Reader
“[Orders from the Horse’s] tiny, mesmerizing dramas resemble those of a live wildlife webcam…. Antonick and Meyer eddy and creep and flash across the stage; they challenge the limits of their prescribed space.”
Chicago Tribune
“Yet the whole semi-morbid movement vocabulary is surrounded by this gorgeously serene, incandescent world…. What is wholly unique about The Retreat is that it gives us permission to fade in and out of attention… even, to fall asleep.”
See Chicago Dance

Iteration 1:
Orders from the Horse

Choreographers & movement performers: Julia Rae Antonick and Jonathan Meyer
Composer & music performer: Joe St. Charles
Presented from 2014 – 2017 at
Links Hall – Chicago, IL
CounterPulse – San Francisco, CA
Revere Auditorium – Chicago, IL
The Graham Foundation – Chicago, IL
The Headwaters Theatre – Portland, OR
Future Interstates at The Cowles Center – Minneapolis, MN
9×22 at Bryant Lake Bowl – Minneapolis, MN
The Yates Gallery at The Chicago Cultural Center – Chicago IL

Iteration 2:
The Retreat: One Night

Choreographers/Directors: Julia Rae Antonick and Jonathan Meyer
Composers/Musicians: Joe St. Charles
Costume Designer: Jeff Hancock
Lighting Designer: Kat Sirico
Environment Construction: Jeff Hancock, Julia Antonick, Jonathan Meyer, Enid Smith, Chloe Bigelow
Performers: Julia Rae Antonick, Chloe Bigelow, Chih-Hsien Lin, Amanda Maraist, Chris Knowlton, John Jandernoa, Precious Jennings, Enid Smith, Mary O’Rourke, Lauren Kunath
Presented in 2016 at
the Indian Boundary Cultural Center