Robyn Mineko Williams’ ‘UNDER(COVER)’ to premiere in Chicago, May 27-29


By Robyn Mineko Williams

CHICAGO – Robyn Mineko Williams, Robert F. Haynes and Tony Lazzara of Verger and JT
Williams are excited to present UNDER(cover), an independent, cutting edge cross-disciplinary performance at Links Hall in Chicago, May 27-29, 2016.

Spearheaded by Chicago-based, -USA award winning choreographer, Robyn Mineko Williams, UNDER(cover) is an innovative, evening length performance blending together dance, a live original soundtrack and a perspective-enhancing palette of lightscapes in a simple black box studio. Williams brings together a creatively diverse team of artists including her previous collaborators from recent works for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago: composer-musicians Robert F. Haynes and Tony Lazzara of Chicago band Verger, and Brooklyn-based lighting designer Burke Brown. Minneapolis graphic designer and art director JT Williams contributes rich visual environments and “experience direction” to the piece, to be performed in Chicago by dancers Zachary Enquist, Elliot Hammans, and Adrienne Lipson, all current members of Hubbard Street 2, an internationally recognized ensemble for early-career artists.

Set in an intimate, somewhat immersive environment, UNDER(cover) is uniquely built to offer its audiences choices of perspective – different options in which to view the performance’s action, engaging them in a less conventional, more visceral theatre experience. The concept for the new work is in part inspired by varying scales of extroversion vs. introversion. “I’ve long been curious about our various instinctual levels of comfort in showing and communicating thought, emotion, and ideas to others in both familiar and unfamiliar settings. I often question my own comfort levels in this way, both professionally and personally, and how I tend to relate and respond,” Williams explains. “I’m fascinated to observe others’ experiences and choices and to consider the multitude of layers in which we have to play with in the act of revealing ourselves.”

The world premiere of UNDER(cover) will be presented at Links Hall, located at 3111 N.
Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618. The performance schedule is as follows:
• Friday, May 27, 2016, 7:30pm
• Saturday, May 28, 2016, 7:30pm
• Sunday, May 29, 2016, 7:30pm
Tickets for UNDER(cover) are $25 each and available now, online at

UNDER(cover) was developed in part during a residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York, NY and awarded through the Princess Grace Foundation-USA Works In Progress


Robyn Mineko Williams began her career as a dancer at River North Dance Chicago and was a member of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago for twelve seasons, during which she performed choreography by numerous renowned artists including Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe and Johan Inger, and originated roles in new works by Jorma Elo, Sharon Eyal, Twyla Tharp and Lar Lubovitch, among others. She began making her own work in 2001 through Hubbard Street’s Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop and, in 2010, co-choreographed with Terence Marling Hubbard Street 2’s Harold and the Purple Crayon: A Dance Adventure, designed for young audiences. She has since created multiple premieres for Hubbard Street’s main company including the Art of Falling, a full evening production by the artists of The Second City and Hubbard Street and has made work for Atlanta Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, Visceral Dance Chicago and The Nexus Project, presented at the Kennedy Center, the American Dance Festival, the Joyce Theater and other venues. Named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” for 2014, Williams was one of Northwest Dance Project’s 2012 International Choreography Competition winners, received a 2013 Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship and was selected as an E-choreographer for Springboard Danse Montreal the same year. In 2015 she
completed a Princess Grace Foundation–USA Works In Progress Residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center and recently received a Choreography Mentorship Co-Commission Award from the Princess Grace Foundation–USA in support of Mariko’s Magical Mix: A Dance Adventure. In 2016, Williams was selected as one of NewCIty’s Players: 50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago. Visit to learn more.


Drawn to its vibrant and eclectic music scene, North Carolina native Robert F. Haynes packed up his gear and moved to Chicago in the early 2000’s. Since then the multi-instrumentalist’s work has run the gamut from the blissed out guitar antics of The Record Low and primal basement fuzz of underground synth punks Treasurer to the fractured electro compositions of Verger. Through Verger, Haynes and collaborator Tony Lazzara (Bloodiest, Atombombpocketknife) create rich narrative landscapes for Robyn Mineko Williams’ choreography, melding seemingly disparate elements – haunting melodies, ambient drone, pulsing rhythms and wire-y guitars – into something otherworldly. Visit to learn more.


Minneapolis based designer JT Williams has spent his career connecting business and human centered design to guide innovation and nurture creativity. JT has a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design with a minor in Psychology from Iowa State University. He spent his early career focused on brand strategy and digital marketing for companies like Aveda, HaagenDazs, Red Bull, ABC, Schwans and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Since then, he’s focused his unique blend of design thinking and business and marketing strategy to create intuitive user experiences and provide marketing positioning consultation for a variety of tech start-ups in the Twin Cities area. Outside of business, JT is endlessly seeking to experiment with communication in whatever intriguing medium or opportunity crosses his path. Recent projects include collaboration with Robyn Mineko Williams for a Princess Grace Foundation–USA Works In Progress Residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, collaboration with photojournalist Reed Young for Finding Vietnam’s War Children—Chon Thanh Refugees Then and Now (, and regular contribution to TheBolg ( Learn more at or on Twitter @jtwilly.


Burke Brown’s recent designs includes work with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Trick Saddle, Mabou Mines, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Ars Nova, NYSF-Public Theater, Apollo Theater, Ohio Theater, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center. His work has been presented at the Joyce Theater, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, New York City Center, Yerba Buena Center and across North America, Europe and Russia. His regional work includes work at Center Stage, Cleveland Playhouse, Magic Theatre, Northern Stage, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Two River Theater Company, and Playmakers Repertory Company. His international work includes productions at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, the Golden Mask Festival in Moscow, the Seoul Performing Arts Festival in South Korea, the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, Opera Erratica in Toronto and the Bayerisches Staatsballett in Munich. Recent dance design includes work with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Parsons Dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Houston Ballet, St. Louis Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Compañia Nacional de Danza (Mexico), and Aszure Barton & Artists. Mr. Brown volunteers with the 52nd Street Project and is the Director of Wingspace Theatrical Design Professional Mentorship Program. Mr. Brown has a Bachelors of Arts in International Studies and Theater Studies from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. He received his Masters of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama. Originally from North Carolina, Burke Brown has lived in Beijing, Miami, and New Haven, and Brooklyn. His current whereabouts are unknown.

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