The Victory Project: Detailed Description and History

The Victory Project is a series of works that incorporate image, text, movement and elements of puppetry to dismantle body parts and allegories that confuse and conflate patriotism and perversity. It is presented as a series of delicate and intimate duets between mundane objects and the human body awkwardly juxtaposed with visually arresting and sometimes disturbing chorus pieces creating darkly humorous shifts in tone and rhythm.

Personal and private acts are contrasted with global catastrophe: kneading dough/the first tests of the atomic bomb, sex/diplomatic negotiations, surfing the net/building drones, learning an intricate waltz with a third leg/going through a border check point.

Erica presented works in progress of The Victory Project in July, August and October of 2011, divided into three parts at three distinctive locations in Chicago. Erica Mott received support from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum to create new performance work synthesizing her work with movement and objects. This project includes study and collaboration with award-winning director Sara Shelton Mann. Erica is writing about her process in collaboration with writer and performer Justin Cabrillos as well as teaching her unique process in object manipulation and choreography (established over an extended period of in-studio research) to a select group of performers. The sound score is mixed live by Ryan Ingebritsen and triggered by the dancers’ bodies and objects interacting with one another.

The Victory Project aims to bring divergent communities together into a space of politicized and gendered tension, with moments of calculated grace, uncomfortable jesting and Darwinian disfigurement.

The Victory Project is a multi-year inquiry and thematic umbrella for multi-disciplinary artitistic responses to women’s bodies and notions of victory. This inquiry will be investigated through installation, dance film, sound and performance.

Erica shared Works in Progress Performances of the Victory Project at Chicago’s Links Hall on January 28-30th, 2011 and at Ruth Page Center for the Arts on April 1 -2 and at 9 x 22, an ongoing series at Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 27. Further work in progress showings took place on July 19, 2011 at Chicago’s Beauty Bar and at Chicago’s Womanmade gallery on August 26-27. A series of site specific installations from the Victory Project took place September 16-18 on Veterans Memorial Bridge in Downtown Cleveland as part of Ingenuity Fest. A larger full length workshop production was mounted at Chicago’s Northerly Island in October of 2011.

The Victory Project Cast, Northerly Island, Chicago Production 2011

Joy Davis graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Performing Arts through College Scholars, an interdisciplinary honors program. She performed and choreographed with the UT Dance Company, Circle Modern Dance, Art n’ Motion Aerial Dance, and Go! Contemporary Dance Works in Knoxville. Her intrigue with multi-media collaboration led her to co-found the Birdhouse Laboratories, a successful art collective, gallery and performance venue, as well as the three-time annual artist festival, Knoxville Convergence. She served as Executive Artistic Director of Circle Modern Dance, was on dance faculty at the University of Tennessee, and directed the Creative Movement for Children Program at the Community School of the Arts. Joy regularly collaborates with Meg Anderson of Kinetic Dust, has worked with Erica Mott, Redmoon Theater, and Striding Lion Performance group in Chicago. She has traveled to and lived in the Netherlands to study the Countertechnique with Anouk van Dijk, the technique’s originator, and the Alexander Technique with Tom Koch, an acclaimed practitioner. These two methods, along with various forms of Yoga and the Brazilian martial art, Capoeira, greatly influence her movement and teaching styles. She graduated from the yogaview Teacher Training and Practice Intensive in May 2010. Joy is a recipient of the Chicago Dancemaker’s Forum 2011 Greenhouse Grant and will be premiering her new work, The Queen’s and The Magician, in late June, 2011.


Silvita Diaz Brown is a choreographer, dancer, yoga instructor and movement teacher.  She has a BFA in Dance from Universidad de las Americas (UDLA) in Puebla, Mexico and danced with, UDLA-Danza, from 1997 to 2001 under the direction of contemporary choreographer Sunny Savoy. She received her MFA in Theater from York University in Toronto, Canada in 2008 along with a Movement Teaching Diploma and a Hatha Yoga certification.  In the past 2 years she has lived in Chicago and has performed her own choreographic work in various venues and was a recipient of the 2009 CAAP grant. Silvita also has danced for David Dorfman, the Epiphany Church Experiment and is a member of the Antibody Dance and OOsimaginary ensemble. Silvita has created and presented her own works in various venues in Chicago: “Deep into the Voice”, “En Falda Roja,”, “Supple: Becoming a Woman,”  “Supple: Childhood,”  and most recently “The Supple Trilogy” in February 2011 at Links Hall;which also traveled in March 2011 to the Susana Alexander International Theater Festival in Mexico.

Currently she is in collaboration with Nicole Garneau and Lani Montreal for The To Art and Profit Artistic Associates Festival, with a new work that will blend dance, storytelling and streaming images at Links Hall May 20 – 22, 2011.


Karen Faith is a mover and thinker with interests in ceremony, vibrational practices and movement-based work. An orchestral violist from age 15, she diverted a career in music in 2002 to pursue an expansive performance practice at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Working intimately with her audience, Karen assembles sacred and vernacular material with an intention to invite integral presence. She has presented collective rituals, performative lectures and other arms and legs events at Performance Studies international (Providence, RI, London, UK, and New York, NY), Contemporary Artists Center (North Adams, MA and Troy, NY), and throughout Chicago. Karen is a writer and teacher of an esoteric form of transubstantiative self-actualization called “yoga.”


Suzy Grant is a dancer and improviser whose solo work examines the intersection of text and movement in relation to identity, race, gender, and appearance.  A graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Suzy has performed the works of many local choreographers, including but not limited to Peter Carpenter, Jyl Fehrenkamp, Matthew Hollis, and Atalee Judy.  In 2009, Suzy’s solo work spawned Rocco Granite who emerged as an explosion of hair, machismo, and swagger.  Since 2008, Suzy has been fortunate to provide freelance PR/marketing, administrative, and production support to many wonderful artists and companies in the Chicago dance community including her current work with Julia Rae Antonick, Khecari, Synapse Arts, and her positions with The Chicago Moving Company as Special Projects Coordinator, The Open Space Project, and The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago as Community Outreach and Education Manager.


Melissa McNamara is a theatre artist, improviser and movement specialist, recently relocated to Chicago from Boulder, where she received her MFA in Contemporary Performance at Naropa University. She has created, performed, and directed original works in Toronto, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Boulder, and NYC, where her solo show won the Audience Choice Award at the NYC Frigid Festival. She is a Pilates Instructor Trainer for STOTT Pilates and creator of m.a.c. pilates for kids! In Chicago, you can find her performing improv with the Schoolyard Dealers or at Scooters on Belmont.


Creative Team

Kristin Mariani is a Chicago based dressmaker, designer and artist. In her art and design practice she investigates hidden layers of labor discovered inside found clothand garments, incorporating physical responses to material that emphasize process,chance, and patience. In 2000 she founded her label RedShift; a line of contemporarycouture created from salvaged materials and found garments. Her designs havebeen described as work “that elevates the unique and the unrepeatable, and openlyacknowledges a connection to the material world of production and consumption.”She maintains an interdisciplinary practice creating works for dance, performance, andinstallation. These designs have been featured at The Museum of Contemporary Artand Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, The Kitchen and Joyce Theater Soho in NewYork, Conduit Gallery, Dallas, and CAM Houston.

Composer, sound designer, and electronic performer Ryan Ingebritsen‘s recent composition projects include Audio Playground — an interactive playgroundsound installation commissioned by the Chicago Park District; Train Time: a collaborativesound installation on the theme of trains for the state of the art J. Pritzker Pavilion sound systemin Chicago as a part of the 2008 Chicago Humanities Festival; New Music Plus Painting: acollaboration with 4 composers, International Contemporary Ensemble, and Chicago basedChinese visual artists the Zhou Brothers; and sound design and programming for MarekCholoniewski’s interactive multi-media “GPS-trans” project.Ingebritsen was recently awarded an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Composition aswell as the Mc Knight Foundations Visiting Composer Fellowship to produce a newcompositionally guided sound tour of a Minnesota State Park. Visit Ryan on the web at