Enter our #ELEMENTSOFYOU Dance Video Contest! by Joseph Caruana


Can you embody one of the four elements (earth, air, water, or fire) in a 30-second dance video? 

Submit an original video that shows us the look, feel, or energy of the element that best represents you as a dancer, and you could win Elements wearables or one free week at the Elements Ballet Summer Intensive plus a professional photo shoot!!*

To enter, send content to info@elementsballet.com with #ELEMENTSOFYOU in the subject line or post to Instagram and tag us with #ELEMENTSOFYOU. We will have daily and weekly featured winners, plus one grand prize winner announced on June 25th.**

Be sure to follow us on Instagram @elementscontemporaryballet to see the winners!

Please note: By entering the #ELEMENTSOFYOU Dance Video Contest you are giving permission for Elements Ballet to use your image, name, and likeness in its online advertising and certifying that you own the rights to the material you submit.

*Must be in Chicago to claim grand prize. Transportation and lodging not provided.

**All entries must be received by 11:59pm CST on June 24th, 2018.

To learn more about the Elements Ballet Summer Intensive visit https://www.elementsballet.org/summer-intensive-2018/ 

Elements Ballet presents original short dance films at Elements and Chill: A free one-night dance film festival by Joseph Caruana


As part of Chicago Dance Month, Elements Ballet will present a free mini film festival featuring new original short dance films by local choreographers and filmmakers. Titled Elements and Chill, the event will take place on Thursday, April 19 at WeWork Kinzie (20 W. Kinzie, 17th Floor, Chicago, IL 60654) from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. While there is no cost to attend this event, guests are encouraged to reserve tickets in advance here as space will be limited.

To produce the films, Elements paired five choreographers with five local filmmakers. Each duo was given a modest budget to produce an experimental dance film, approximately 5 minutes in length, that showcases Elements artists and explores the company’s unique movement vocabulary on camera. Participating artistic teams include:

Choreographer | Filmmaker

Mike Gosney & Brian VandenBos

Anna Long & Alexander Perez

Tiffany McCord & Jordan Selander

Callie Croom & Anna Castelaz

Joseph Caruana & Topher Alexander

Four of the five participating choreographers are Elements artists. The fifth, Anna Long, is a Chicago-based choreographer and teacher of the Gaga movement language, developed by Ohad Naharin of the Batsheva Dance Company in Israel. Later this season, she will be setting a new work on the Elements dancers. All five films feature Elements dancers.

“The concept for these films is to see dance on camera, specifically dance that follows Elements’ mission and vision,” explains Joseph Caruana, Executive Director of Elements and a participating choreographer. “Each filmmaker was free to experiment and showcase his or her take on our work, but the artistry of the dancers and choreography are at the core of each film.”

Guests will also enjoy complimentary draft beer, fresh juices and body-nourishing snacks. Staff members from InVision Online School of Psychic Abilities will join Elements on site to offer energy readings themed in growth and vitality.

Elements and Chill is part of the company’s new series of free and low-cost community gatherings, Elemental Events. Featuring stripped-down, improvisational dance and multimedia collaborations in informal spaces, the series aims to engage new audiences and remove barriers to participation. With this series, Elements seeks to present dance through the lens of popular media and other art forms, promoting it as an accessible, vital, and human means of expression.

More information is available at https://www.elementsballet.org/elements-and-chill/

Meet the Faculty and Artistic Team of the Elements Ballet Summer Intensive by Joseph Caruana

Mike Gosney (Artistic Director), co-founder of Elements Ballet, has been teaching and privately coaching ballet for over 20 years. In addition to training many of the dancers in Elements Ballet, his students have been accepted into prestigious programs and schools such as American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet School, The Juilliard School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, Milwaukee Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Academy, LINES Ballet, Tisch School of the Arts, and many others. As a choreographer, Mr. Gosney’s work has appeared in St. Louis Spring to Dance, The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2010 at Dance Center of Columbia College, The Best of Dance Chicago, Looptopia, Around the Coyote Arts Festival, The Atlas Agenda, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, Evanston Arts Week, On the Prairie at the Chicago Cultural Center, productions with the Evanston Dance Ensemble and Evanston Symphony, and in many other Chicago area festivals and dance performances. In 2015 and 2016 Gosney co-conceptualized and co-choreographed Surge, and AYA, An Aerial Ballet with Elements’ Joseph Caruana and Chloe Jensen and Karen Fisher Doyle of Aerial Dance Chicago. Mike is on faculty at Extensions Dance Center, Dance Center Evanston, and Steps Dance Center, and has previously taught at Visceral Dance Center, Chicago Dance Academy, Joel Hall Dance Center, Lou Conte Dance Center, Gus Giordano Dance Center, DancenterNorth, Eastern Illinois University, and College of Lake County. Mr. Gosney has orchestrated events for Evanston Arts Week and DanceArt Outreach Program, and formerly served as Artistic Director of Koslynn Dance Academy and SASS Productions.

Joseph Caruana (Assistant Director) is a co-founder of Elements Ballet. In addition to his work with Elements, he has performed with River North Chicago Dance Company, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theatre, Sonia Dawkins/Prism Dance Theatre, Haymarket Opera Company, New York Baroque Dance Company, Alchymy Viols,the MasterWorks Festival, Civic Ballet of Chicago, Evanston Dance Ensemble, Ballet Legere, and in numerous trade shows as well as worked in TV and film. He trained on full scholarship at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School Professional Division, with The Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles’ apprentice program, and as a private student of Elements' Artistic Director Mike Gosney. Caruana has also attended workshops with the Boston Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, and the Lou Conte Dance Center, and studied . As a choreographer, his work has been performed at the McCallum Theatre’s Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival and presented as part of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) DanceBridge program and On the Prairie at the Chicago Cultural Center. Caruana was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship and a Richard H. Driehaus Professional Development grant to develop his original one-act ballet, The Sun King, which premiered in November 2014 as part of DCASE’s SpinOff series at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Caruana also co-conceptualized and co-choreographed Surge and AYA, An Aerial Ballet, with Elements’ Artistic Director Mike Gosney and Chloe Jensen and Karen Fisher-Doyle of Aerial Dance Chicago. His most recent collaboration, HUMAN with performing artist ALEXA GRAE, premiered at The Inconvenience's The Fly Honey Show 8 and performed again at the closing night program for Salonathon at Beauty Bar.

Ivan Bruns-Trukhin was born in Siberia, Russia. When he was ten years old he was admitted to the Novosibirsk Choreography College, Russia. He graduated in 2002. Ivan has performed as a soloist dancer with multiple Russian ballet theaters and other foreign dance companies and is currently in his second season working with Elements Ballet. Ivan has also performed in musicals including the Russian productions of "Cats" as well as "Billy Elliot (Chicago). In 2009 he entered the Russian University of Theatre Arts (GITIS) graduating in 2014 as teacher of Ballet. In 2015, after finishing a contract with a ballet company, he decided move to Chicago where Mr. Ivan continues to teach and perform.

Callie Croom  began her training under Barbara Pontecorvo in Dayton, Ohio. After graduating high school, she was accepted to Butler University on an academic scholarship. She received her BFA from Butler University in 2011. Following graduation, she relocated to Chicago, accepting a position with Visceral Dance Center’s Work Study/Scholarship Program. Shortly after, she began dancing with Elements Contemporary Ballet. Since 2012, she has remained a company dancer and choreographer for Mike Gosney. Additionally, Callie is a member of the teaching staff for Extensions Dance Company, Seth Robinson and Jeff Wolfe's TRIBE and Ballet Matters intensives, and has served as an adjudicator for Fire and Ice Talent Competition. This is her 5th season with Elements.

Kristen Evans emerged as a hidden artistic (dance/choreography) and athletic (track & field) talent at Whitney Young High School where she explored many styles of movement and dance including Modern, Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Liturgical, African and Pilates, and earned athletic scholarships. Sidelined with a severe injury, Kristen focused on earning degrees in Kinesiology and Business (University of Michigan) and a Masters in Communications (Gonzaga University). She re-entered the movement world with a focus on 3 C's: conditioning, cross-training and choreographing. As a certified Yoga/ Pilates teacher she works with diverse communities ranging from active youth to artistic performers to everyday workers; her coaching / training emphasizes holistic, total-body conditioning for functional performance. Kristen is thankful to have found choreography early in life. Her lens of human storytelling and cultural insight have resulted in choreographic works showcased in the U.S., China, and Italy. Kristen has served on staff at University of Illinois (Chicago), Praize Productions School of Performing Arts, LulaFit and Free Movement Shop as well as guest taught at Oakland University, Concordia University, Northeastern Illinois University, Red Wall Dance Company and national-brand Athleta. Beyond cross-training and choreographing, Kristen owns Strength & Grace Group, LLC. a collection of holistic fitness + wellness brands.

Tiffany McCord is a former Tennessean who cherishes the performance and education of dance. She received her BA in Dance from Western Kentucky University, with a minor in Business Entrepreneurship. With the WKU dance company, she performed and studied at the American College Dance Festival and performed on tour to Civitavecchia and Tolfa, Italy. Tiffany has also studied at Atlanta Ballet’s Summer Intensive and Belhaven University. Tiffany has been a full-time company member with Elements Ballet since 2012, and with Elements has also had the privilege of collaborating as a dancer with Aerial Dance Chicago. In 2014, she was choreographer’s assistant to Joseph Caruana for his original work The Sun King, along with playing the lead role of Lully, presented in Millennium Park. In May 2015, her work Coalesce was presented in the premiere of Elemental Components, and then in Core Project’s Going Dutch 2015. Tiffany’s choreography has also been presented in the 2015 Bonesbare 9, provided by Core Project, and in the New Moves 2015 Choreography Competition, provided by Noumenon Dance Ensemble. Tiffany teaches throughout the Chicagoland area in genres of Ballet/Pointe, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Tap.

Shelby Moran began her early training at Bataille Academie of the Danse and continued at Dance Center Evanston under the direction of Béa Rashid. During her early education, Shelby had the opportunity to perform with the Evanston Dance Ensemble and Elements Ballet. Shelby continued her dance education at The Juilliard School (BFA ‘15). While at Juilliard, she performed repertory such as Jose Limon’s Missa Brevis; William Forsythe’s One Flat Thing, reproduced; Twyla Tharp’s Baker’s Dozen; and Merce Cunningham’s Biped. She also performed original works by Monica Bill Barnes, Emery LeCrone, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Larry Keigwin, and Danielle Agami. She also participated in summer programs including the Contemporary Program at Jacob’s Pillow, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Shelby began her professional career performing with Thodos Dance Chicago for two seasons. In her time there, she had the opportunity to dance starring roles in director Melissa Thodos' original story ballets including "Anne Sullivan" in A Light in the Dark and "Sono, the Matriarch" in Sono's Journey. In addition, she performed world premieres by Robyn Mineko Williams, Brian Enos, and Kevin Iega Jeff. She also had the opportunity to perform as a soloist in renowned repertory such as Bella Lewitzky’s Nos Duraturi and Melissa Thodos’ original role in her Wheel Trilogy. Most recently, Shelby was an apprentice with Visceral Dance Chicago. This season she will be performing with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre. In addition to performing she has taught at several schools in the Chicagoland area including Dance Center Evanston, Extensions Dance Company, Visceral Dance Center, R&B Dance Center, AMA Academy of the Arts, and Alma Dance School.

Brennen Renteria began his dance training at the age of 10 in Corona, CA. In 2011, he attended the American Academy of Ballet summer intensive and trained with ballet masters David Howard, Sean Lavery, and Galina Samsova. After earning his B.A. in Dance from Cal State Fullerton in 2014 he joined Thodos Dance Chicago as a dancer and has choreographed for the company’s annual New Dances. There he worked with choreographers such as Lucas Crandall, Brian Enos, Garfield Lemonius, Brian McGinnis, and Kevin Iega Jeff. In 2017 Brennen began dancing with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theater and also Elements Ballet. He is currently engaged with both companies for 2018 in addition to his work as a dance instructor.

Seth Robinson is a graduate of Ball State University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Dance. He is currently working on TRIBE Dance, an in-house Intensive designed for dancers looking for an extra push and its now sister company, BALLET MATTERS. Upon moving to Chicago, Seth trained with Visceral Dance Center through the work-study program for a year and performed as a company member with Elements Ballet for three years. Seth is now on faculty with two national touring dance convention circuits, The Streetz Dance Convention & Revel Dance Convention.

Dr. Lisa M. Schoene has been practicing for 28 years and is a Dance and Sports Medicine Podiatrist. She is double board certified and is a Certified Athletic Trainer. She has treated, lectured to, and has written numerous dance medical articles including 2 sports medicine textbook chapters on Dance injuries. She treats all dancers from professional to the aspiring young dancers at two Chicago area offices. She has worked with Elements Ballet for almost 10 years by supporting the company and by lecturing on dance injuries and prevention at the summer intensives. Dr. Schoene’s focus is always thorough evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of every dancer she works with. 

Jeff Wolfe received his training through the Academy of Ballet Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida followed by the Houston Ballet Academy in Houston, Texas, which he attended for two years on scholarship and was accepted into Houston Ballet’s second company. He spent the following four seasons dancing with the A.G.M.A. company BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio. Wolfe joined River North Dance Chicago the following season. Wolfe has spent the past six years freelancing around the United States and Canada, dancing with many companies including Elements Ballet, Montgomery Ballet (Soloist), Eugene Ballet Company (Principal), Ron De Jesus Dance, Owen/Cox Dance Group, and Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance. In the past 3 years he has taught ballet in conventions such as Epic and Dance Fever and has spent the past year teaching on ballet faculty at ChiArts. Wolfe currently co-directs two national dance intensives TRIBE and BALLET MATTERS and is a regional director for Fire & Ice National Talent Competition.



Frequently Asked Questions for the Elements Ballet Summer Intensive by Joseph Caruana

Is there an audition process for the intensive?

There is no audition required for the Elements Summer Intensive, all dancers who fit the level recommendations are welcome to attend.


What level should I sign up for?

Level I is intended for intermediate level dancers (ages 10-16 with three-five years dance training) while advanced, pre-professional, and professional dancers should sign-up for Level II (recommended ages 15 and above with five or more years dance training). If you would like us to help you decide what level to sign up for, you can email a video and/or dance photo(s) to Executive Director Joseph Caruana at joseph@elementsballet.org with the subject line “Summer Intensive Level Placement”.


What date do I need to register by?

Registrations are accepted until the intensive start date of July 22nd for Week One or July 29th for Week Two, though class size is limited and will likely fill up so early registration is recommended.


Do I need to sign-up for the full two-weeks of the intensive?

Dancers have the option of registering for Week One, Week Two, or Both Weeks when signing up. Single day rates are available upon request (please email Executive Director Joseph Caruana at joseph@elementsballet.org if interested). Note that only dancers who attend Week Two or Both Weeks will be invited to perform in the intensive concert.


Will there be an intensive performance?

Yes! Dancers who attend Week Two or Both Weeks of the intensive will be invited to perform in The Fifth Element Concert, Friday August 2nd, 2019 at 7:30pm at Extensions Dance Center. This professional-style dance concert will feature intensive dancers performing with Elements Ballet company members in company repertory and new works. Tickets are $15 General Admission and will go on sale July 1, 2019 (Elements Ballet subscribers will receive a free ticket to the concert. Click here to learn more about our season subscriptions).


Who are the intensive instructors?

Classes will be taught by Elements company and guest artists including (but not limited to) Mike Gosney, Joseph Caruana, Callie Croom, Kristen Evans, Tiffany McCord, Brennen Renteria, Jeff Wolfe, Seth Robinson, Shelby Moran, and Ivan Bruns-Truhkin. Check out our Intensive Faculty blog post for artist bios.


What will dancers study at the intensive?

Daily classes will include conditioning (pilates, yoga, or stretch and strength-training), classical technique (barre, center work, and variations), guided improvisation (both solo and with a partner/in groups), and contemporary repertory/choreography. Each day will also end with a concert repertory rehearsal. Levels I and II will combine for some classes and rehearsals and separate for others.


Do dancers need to wear pointe shoes for any classes?

Dancers are encouraged to work en pointe in any of the classes at their own discretion, but it is not required. Teachers may also recommend whether certain material is better suited for pointe, but again it will not be mandatory.


Will there be any seminars offered at the intensive?

Yes, there will be one lunchtime lecture each week of the intensive focusing on injury prevention, health, and nutrition. Lectures will be presented by podiatrist Dr. Lisa M. Schoene and Athletico physical therapist Melissa Hayman.


Are there any scholarships offered for the intensive?

At this time Elements only offers intensive scholarships through Bella Moxi Dance Conventions. Visit bellamoxi.com for more info.


Are there any other chances to attend for free?

Yes! You can enter our Elements of You photo contests on Instagram for a chance to win one free week in the intensive (winners who have already registered for the intensive will receive a full refund of their tuition payment). Contests are held in January/February and May/June of each year. Check out our website blog page and Instagram page for more details.


What is the refund policy?

Dancers who have registered but are unable to attend may receive a full refund of their tuition if requested at least two weeks prior to the intensive start date of July 22nd. Due to the limited number of spots in the intensive, we are unable to offer refunds after this date.


Have any questions we haven’t answered yet? Send your question to Executive Director Joseph Caruana at joseph@elementsballet.org and we’ll get right back to you!


Ready to sign-up? Visit our registration page here!

Tuli Bera's review of In the Garden of Atlantis from Picture this Post by Joseph Caruana

Article originally appeared November 21, 2017 at PicturethisPost.com

Elements Ballet presents In the Garden of Atlantis at Hairpin Arts Center - ballet meets interdisciplinary arts                   

Elements Ballet, led by Artistic Director Mike Gosney and Executive Director Joseph Caruana, shares with us an evening of watercolor and photography exhibits, compelling readings, interspersed fashion shows, and stunning dance pieces at Hairpin Arts Center in Logan Square.

We are welcomed into the warmly lit space. Feelings of anticipation for what could be in store for the evening fill our thoughts. As more guests arrive, jubilant conversations begin to drown out the energized music. A full spread of delicious refreshments provided by Hearty Boys and a selection of wines, cocktails, and nonalcoholic beverages keep us quite content us as we freely move around the space admiring the artwork by watercolor artist Chloe Feldman Emison and photography shot by company photographer Topher Alexander.


Fashion and Dance mélange

The program commences with the first runway show, Wildflower. Clothes by Amara Black are modeled by Elements Ballet dancers. Black’s clothing features crisp and vibrantly colored dresses that are reminiscent of springtime flowers. Expecting to see dancers strut down the catwalk, we are pleasantly surprised with fluid, improvised movement instead. As the dancers and designer, Amara Black, take their final “strike-a-pose” and exit, we turn our attention to the performance space just behind us. Nine dancers* take their places for The Moon Harvest, choreographed by Mike Gosney and Joseph Caruana;  the first excerpt of Atlantis, The Ballet ©. Alexa Grae reads an excerpt from Miata Boayue’s companion novella, evoking themes of the powerful and the powerless.

Attired in neutral, bare-minimum clothing, the full musculature of the nine bodies are revealed. Music by Vangelis from Mythodea plays as four female dancers begin a fluid phrase chock full of extended limbs reaching and taking in the space around them. The remaining dancers join in. The simplistic yet provocative phrase is repeated in different facings and in canon. The music crescendos and the full-bodied movement continues to draw us in.

The group, as one entity, takes the choreography to the floor--crawling and reaching. Our gaze is invited  to follow their journey which soon reveals a pas-de-deux between a female and male dancer in the midst of a circular formation. The pas-de-deux breaks from the formation for a brief moment but the group latches on bringing our focus to the female dancer. The dance culminates in the cumulative effort to partner her-- encircling and holding her in a sacrificial manner.

Dance of the Therian

As the evening progresses more themes of Atlantis are revealed to us. The second runway show, The Blessed Isle, features clothing by Mary Jo Ernst of MJ Ernst Couture. The metallic colors and silky texture of the fabric gives the clothing more of a “high-fashion” vibe. The clothing, like Blacks, is also reminiscent of garden foliage. Again, improvised movement is utilized. However this time, slightly more full-bodied and valorous.

We then make our way to gather around for the second piece, Dance of the Therian, choreographed by Tiffany McCord and Callie Croom. Once again, an excerpt is read from Boayue’s novel:

“...His mind raced with memories of the queen’s wrath. How much or how little he revealed of himself could cost him his life…”

Emmanuel Ramirez, barefoot and bare-chested, takes his place on stage and music by Vangelis from Mythodea trickles in. Capturing our attention immediately, he takes a deep lunge; his arms reaching and writhing multi-directionally almost as if they are searching for answers. He moves as if he is trying to tell us something; something in him is trying to escape. The choreography reveals Ramirez’s vulnerability and there is no questioning his whole-hearted commitment to embodying the movement.

Cosmic Warriors

Cosmic Warriors, the third and final runway show, features clothing by Sky Cubacub/Rebirth Garments. The clothing presented is quirky, bold, and futuristic. Dancers model the clothes once again but instead of improvising down the space-limited catwalk, the performance stage is utilized. Moments of ferocity are witnessed in each of the dancers. The improvised movement is forceful and bold which is rightfully tailor-made for Sky Cubacub’s clothing.


The final piece, The Soldier and the Slave, choreographed by Mike Gosney with music by Vangelis from Mythodea, is a sensual duet between dancers Megan Walsh and Brennen Renteria. Walsh enters the space ‘en pointe’ with her fearless technical ability and full, lengthy extensions while Renteria watches from aside. Synchronized movements bring the pair together as they dance to a serene harp and strong operatic vocals. Renteria spins, dips and lifts Walsh, guiding her effortlessly throughout the space. The pas-de-deux ends exceptionally close in proximity, as if to say, “here we are; here is our story.”

Some might say, the required humbleness and susceptibility to criticism is a necessary evil when an idea is presented publicly for the first time. Each artist, each dancer, and each work of art presented themselves with confidence and poise. It is amazing how many elements and collaborations played a role in this creative process. With more rehearsals, continued research of interdisciplinary arts, and feedback from peers and supporters, this writer firmly believes that Elements Ballet is well on their way to successfully creating their full work, Atlantis, The Ballet ©.

*Dancers in The Moon Harvest: Lydia Carpenter**, Hannah Duncan, April FAlcon, Dani McGowan, Emmanuel Ramirez, Brennen Renteria, Liz Stillerman, Skyler Sward**, and Megan Walsh.


**denotes company apprentice


Photographer Topher Alexander premieres a new dance series inspired by the mythical world of Atlantis for Elements Ballet by Joseph Caruana

See Topher Alexander's new exhibition at In the Garden of Atlantis, an evening of dance, fashion and art to benefit Elements Ballet, Saturday evening, November 18th at Hairpin Arts Center in Logan Square.


Topher Alexander has created and captured work for Elements Ballet and other Chicago-based dance companies for over ten years. Don't miss his latest work, featuring the Elements dancers in settings that evoke both the ancient beauty and the post-apocalyptic fate of the mythical island civilization, Atlantis.

Advance tickets save $15!

Get ticket for In the Garden of Atlantis here

Pictured: Elements Ballet dancer Skyler Sward, photography by Topher Alexander

Watercolor artist Chloe Feldman Emison presents Atlantis-Inspired Exhibition for Elements Ballet by Joseph Caruana

Chloe Feldman Emison has shown her drawings and animations widely in the United States and Europe, while working also as an illustrator. She works in pen and ink, sometimes with wash, or watercolor and inks (sometimes metallic), or art marker or watercolor pencil, sometimes with gold leaf, sometimes with coffee or glue or glass glitter. Her work depends on close observation of nature, although in most cases it shows that which could never have actually been observed.

Chloe studied fine art at Williams College and at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University, and animation at Forkbeard Fantasy in Devon. She was a visiting artist at Wasps Studios in Glasgow, and completed residencies at the Contemporary Artists Center in Woodside, N.Y., at The Old School Art House in Iceland, at the Vermont Studio Center, and at Can Serrat, near Barcelona. In 2013 she taught animation at the Eagle Hill School in Hardwick, Massachusetts. She was named the Mixed Media Artist of the Year for 2009 at the Cambridge Art Association, won a Spotlight on the Arts Award for Outstanding Emerging Artist in 2010, a Board of Trustees Award from the Silvermine Art Center in New Canaan, Connecticut in 2014, and received first prize in the Editorial category at the Phillustration exhibition at the Philadelphia Sketch Club in 2015 and an Honorable Mention in the Absolutely Abstract show there in 2016.  She was named an IEAA laureate in the 4th International Emerging Artist Award, the exhibition for which was held in Brussels in 2016. Her illustrations have appeared in various literary magazines including Graze, Kansas City Voices, Salt Hill Journal, and Palaver. She has worked with writers in both prose and poetry, and has independently published three illustrated books. See more of Chloe's work here

Chloe will premiere new work inspired by Elements' current Atlantis project at In the Garden of Atlantis, an evening of art to benefit Elements Ballet 

Tickets and more info here

Introducing the three local fashion designers headlining In the Garden of Atlantis by Joseph Caruana


Amara Black designs men's and women's clothing with the use of various patterns, textures, and fabrics. The brand's design aesthetic is sleek, strong, clean, and bold. While earning a Bachelor's degree in 3 years in Fashion Design from the Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago, Amara Black created a name for her brand by participating in over 15 fashion shows in Illinois, Indiana, and Texas.  With great skill in several aspects of fashion design, (including, but not limited to, plus-size, costume, swimwear, outerwear, and accessory design), Amara Black plans to expand the brand's awareness by opening an online boutique in 2018.



Rebirth Garments's mission is to create gender non-conforming wearables and accessories for people on the full spectrum of gender, size, and ability. The line creates a community where all people can confidently express their individuality and identity. Our identity is that of QueerCrip, a politicized umbrella term that encompasses queer gender nonconforming identities, visible and invisible disabilities / disorders - physical, mental, developmental, emotional, ect. In particular, our trans and disabled communities have very particular clothing needs that are not adequately served by mainstream clothing designers. Instead of being centered on cisgender, heterosexual, white, or thin people, Rebirth Garments is centered on QueerCrip people.

Rebirth Garments challenges mainstream beauty standards that are sizest, ableist, and conformist to the gender binary. Instead, we maintain the notion of Radical Visibility, a movement based on claiming our bodies and, through the use of bright colors, exuberant fabrics, and innovative designs, highlighting the parts of us that society typically shuns. Through Radical Visibility, we refuse to assimilate and can create a QueerCrip dress reform movement.



MJ Ernst Couture is the premier destination for Custom made Bridal and Special Occasion. Located on the North Shore of Chicago for over 25yrs, this label is known for excellent customer service, reliability and unique creative designs. Owner Mary Jo Ernst has an ability to work one on one with her clients and together create one of a kind looks that will become heirlooms of your special event. Her attention to detail and couture finishing techniques sets her apart in the Couture Fashion Business and is the reason that MJ Ernst Couture has been a mainstay in the Chicagoland area and keeps her clients returning year after year.

In the Garden of Atlantis is Saturday, November 18th, 2017, 7-10pm at Hairpin Arts Center in Logan Square. Click here for tickets and more information.

An Immersive Evening of Arts and Fantasy by Joseph Caruana

Winged girl.jpg

On Saturday, November 18, 2017, Elements Ballet will present its fall performance and gala, titled In the Garden of Atlantis. This interdisciplinary evening of dance and art will include excerpts from Elements’ forthcoming original ballet, Atlantis, a full-length production depicting the epic story of the mythical island nation.

The Hairpin Arts Center, a performance and exhibition space in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, will be transformed into the world of Elements’ Atlantis. A place where artistic tradition and innovation meet to support one another, the event space will incorporate elements of the ancient and futuristic, the earthly and ethereal.

Guests will enjoy the following event highlights:

  • Live dance performances interspersed throughout the evening;
  • An exhibition featuring the work of watercolor artist Chloe Feldman Emison, storyboard artist for Elements’ Atlantis, as well as new work by company photographer Topher Alexander;
  • A runway-style fashion show, with Elements company members modeling Atlantis-inspired collections by local designers Rebirth Garments, MJ Ernst, and Amara Black; and
  • “Teaser” readings from writer Miata Boayue's companion novella to Elements’ Atlantis, to be released in full as part of the ballet’s premiere in 2019.

Light food, white wine and specialty martinis will be served and are included in the price of admission.

Tickets are $75 in advance or $90 at the door, and may be purchased here. Sponsored tickets are available to local professional artists and art students on a limited basis (details provided at registration page). Attendees may choose to sponsor an artist by purchasing an extra ticket when placing an order.

In the Garden of Atlantis is a fundraising event to support Elements’ annual programming, including free or low-cost community performances, self-produced concerts, original story ballets, and educational programs. An online crowd-funding campaign for the Atlantis production will kick off one week following this event. Elements Ballet is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization.

In the Garden of Atlantis, Saturday, November 18, 2017, 7:00 – 10:00 PM

Hairpin Arts Center, Logan Square, 2810 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (north of Diversey, west of Kimball)

Tickets are $75 in advance, or $90 at the door (free for sponsored artists)

To purchase tickets, click here


In the Garden of Atlantis is made possible by support by the Illinois Arts Council state agency, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, the Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation, Dance Center Evanston, Allegro Dance Boutique, Athletico, and many generous businesses and individuals.