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New Works Initiative

In Progress | Cat Mahari

December 06, 20226:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Tickets are free, and walk-ups are always available. Reserve a ticket for pre-show reminders. 

Livestream with captioning available.

Photo: Elizabeth Seonwoo

About the Event

Dance-maker Cat Mahari shares a new performance process, Blk Ark: the Impossible Manifestation, which ruminates on ties, binding, and community. Through Mahari’s movement practice of anarcho-choreographic hip-hop, Blk Ark asks: “What will it take to get free?” and “Can we see a new world from here?”

In Progress is a series designed to give artists, thinkers, and curators a platform for developing new works with input from audiences, and to give patrons a glimpse into the creative process. This program is organized by Tara Aisha Willis, Curator.

About the Artist

Cat Mahari. Photo: Maria J. Hackett.

Cat Mahari’s practice is built from a richly layered body history, stemming from an archive of research, physical training, and intent to manifest an intellectual, material, and informal legacy of Black liberation through documentation. By examining personal marks and socio-genealogical maps, she explores inner and outer environments. Her upcoming film, Sugar in the Raw, is a surrealist-inspired exploration of Black intimacy, trust, and touch via Chicago house and stepping. In 2021 she was named the City of Chicago Esteemed Artist Awardee in Dance and received a 2021 3Arts Award in dance. Her works include the Afro Sci-fi Krump film Imprints & Traces, and the multi-disciplinary performance BAM!, for which she received a CSF Generative Performing Artist Fellowship. BAM! is an immersive ensemble work, focusing on Blackness, Amerikkka, and violence. Her post-disciplinary work, the mixtape series violent/break vol i and vol ii, has received national and international development support at Brink Festival (London), High Concept Labs (Chicago), and Imir Scene Kunst (Norway). Mahari is a culture bearer of hip-hop and house music; a former member of the Krump family Gool; and holds a BFA in dance performance from University of Missouri, Kansas City, and an MA in performance, practice, and research from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama at the University of London.


In Progress is supported by The New Works Initiative which puts the creative process at the heart of the MCA’s relationship with Chicago by supporting the development of new performances and creative projects.

Lead support for the New Works Initiative is provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman.