Gibney Company: Up Close

Jun 18, 2022, 8:00 pm10:00 pm EDT

$35 – $75


Regular Price: $35
Opening Night Ticket & Reception: $75

The reimagined Gibney Company presents the first iteration of its new series, Up Close, featuring world premieres by internationally recognized choreographers Rena Butler, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, and Yin Yue. Works on the program reflect a range of contemporary choreographic styles and explore present-day concerns around reconfiguring and maintaining identity, while navigating personal and shared spaces. Join us to get an intimate look at Gibney Company’s newest commissions and don’t miss a special post-performance reception with the Company on opening night!

Gibney Company is grateful for leadership support from Andrew A. Davis and the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund.


Gustavo Ramírez Sansano
To the End of Love 
To the End of Love
takes a playfully sarcastic look at the impact of technology on the way people meet and fall in love. Ramírez Sansano explores digital tools for finding connection through a very material medium: paper. As a universal way for humans to forge connections, writing is the entry point for digital dating, and for this work. In the end, though, love is most fully realized through physical contact, and chemistry. Love is hope, love is feeling full, love is wholly individual and means different things to each of us; in love (and beyond), dance expresses what words cannot. Set design by Luis Crespo Portero and Costume Design by Mark Eric x Caitlin Taylor.

This work was made possible by the generous support of Andrew A. Davis and the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Yin Yue
A Measurable Existence
Our existence is often measured, remembered, shared and felt by our interactions with space, time and each other. In A Measurable Existence, Yin Yue delves into how we discover aspects of ourselves by discovering others. The moment we realize our journeys parallel, intersect, repel or collide with others’ experiences, we begin a new understanding of our own existence that may frighten, challenge and, at the same time, sustain us. A Measurable Existence is set to a score by Rutger Zuydervelt, lighting design by Asami Morita, and costume designed by Christine Darch.

Rena Butler: Re | Build | Construct (Part I)
Loosely referencing the “Allegory of the Cave” from Book 7 of Plato’s Republic, Rena Butler’s Re | Build | Construct (Part I) examines how our realities are shaped by personal and shared environments. When our surroundings shift, our perspective, and reality, may change. The piece grapples with the effects of changing environments by evaluating the continuous reconfiguration of one’s sense of self in both individual and collective spaces. The work includes an original set and lighting by designer Tsubasa Kamei, an original score by Darryl J. Hoffman, and costumes by fashion designer Hogan McLaughlin.

This work was made possible by the generous support of Andrew A. Davis and the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund, Christopher Jones & Deb McAlister, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Rena Butler hails from Chicago, IL. She began her studies at The Chicago Academy for theArts, studied overseas at Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan, and received her BFA from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance. Rena danced with companies such as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (also a choreographic fellow), AIM by Kyle Abraham, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, David Dorfman Dance, Manuel Vignoulle/M-Motions, The Kevin Wynn Collection, and Pasos Con Sabor Salsa Dance Company. Currently, she dances for Gibney Company, and was recently named its Choreographic Associate.

Rena’s choreographic work includes BalletX, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Boston Dance Theater, The New Orleans Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with Academy Award-Winning jazz composer, Terrence Blanchard, CHTV Stories television program in Switzerland, a film short in collaboration with Third Coast Percussion x Devonté Hynes/Blood Orange, The Young Choreographer’s Festival in NYC, The Ailey/Fordham School, TEDxChicago Virtual Salon 3.0: Design Your Life, and more. In 2019, she was the recipient of the prestigious Princess Grace Award for Choreography, and has been spotlighted in Dance Magazine’s On The Rise feature.

Rena has taught dance and choreographic workshops at L’Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Danse de Marseille in France, The Macau Cultural Center in China, Ailey Camp Chicago, and SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance.

Butler served on the Consortium for Chicago Dancemakers Forum for 3 years, was on the annual panel for Black Girls Dance in Chicago, and co-created and directed DanceLab—a free, choreographic course for Chicago teens, empowering participants of varying socioeconomic backgrounds + identities to find commonality in creation. She currently serves on Dancewave’s Artistic Advisory Council in NYC, and as a dance and choreographic mentor for young, aspiring artists as part of the Pointe People Mentorship Program.

Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, born in 1978 in San Fulgencio, Spain, was Artistic Director of Luna Negra Dance Theater from 2009  until 2013, and now combines his work as a freelance choreographer with Proyecto Titoyaya, the Spanish dance company he founded in 2006 with Veronica Garcia Moscardo.

Sansano has been the recipient of numerous awards for his choreography, including first prize at the 1997 Ricard Moragas Competition in Barcelona, 2001 Prix Dom Perignon Choreographic Competition in Hamburg, Germany, and Valencia performing arts awards for best dance show and choreographer in 2005 and 2019. Sansano was chosen by the magazine Por la Danza for its 15th anniversary issue, as one of the “Fifteen Choreographers to Watch”. Dance Magazine featured Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, then Artistic Director for Luna Negra, as “25 to Watch” in 2011, he was named a “Chicagoan of the Year in Arts & Entertainment” by the Chicago Tribune in 2012, and in June 2017 was chosen by the Associació Professionals Dansa de la CV (APDCV) for its 30th anniversary as “Outstanding Valencian choreographer”.

He has been commissioned to create works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Nederlands Dans Theater, Compañía Nacional de Danza, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Luzerner tanz Theater, Ballet BC, Atlanta Ballet, and Ballet Hispánico. As a dancer, Sansano was part of the prestigious companies such as Víctor Ullate Ballet – Comunidad de Madrid, Nederlands Dans Theater II, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Also doing original works by Jacopo Godani, Hans van Manen, Jiří Kylián, Ohad Naharin, Johan Inger, Paul Lightfoot, and Victor Ullate. Sansano created a few operas with Chicago Opera Theater conductor Andreas Mitisek, Opera Omaha, Opera Philadelphiawith, and Bard SummerScape both with James Darrah.

He has worked with Luis Crespo and also collaborated with other artists including David Delfin, Angel Sanchez, Nicolas Fischtel, Bregje van Balen, Branimira Ivanova, and Gelson Amaran. Sansano has been invited to teach and choreograph numerous schools, universities and companies including Centro Coreográfico Galego, Scottish Dance Theatre, Conservatorio Superior de Danza de Valencia, Springboard Danse Montréal, The Juilliard School, Escuela Municipal de Música y Danza de Torrevieja, Institut del Teatre de Barcelona, DAF Dance Arts Faculty, California Institute of the Arts, Butler University, Escuela Moderna de Música y Danza, Ballet de Santiago, Copenhagen Contemporary Dance School, and The School at Jacob’s Pillow.

Yin Yue is an internationally recognized performer, choreographer and the founder and artistic director of YY Dance Company (YYDC). Yin was born in Shanghai, China and studied at the prestigious Shanghai Dance Academy and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she received her MFA in 2008. Her company YYDC is a New York City based non-profit contemporary dance company dedicated to the teaching, production and performance of original choreographic works by Yin. Yin created a signature movement style titled FoCo Technique™ which represents a dynamic fusion of Chinese dance, folk, ballet and contemporary movement and has been incorporated into live performances and choreographic commissions as well as her educational endeavor.

Yin Yue was the recipient of the 2021 Harkness Promise Award. This prestigious award recognizes her innovation in choreography and education. She was the winner of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago 2015 International Commissioning Project, winner of the 2015 BalletX Choreographic Fellowship, and winner of Northwest Dance Project’s 5th Annual Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition in 2013. Through these high-profile successes, Yin has received commissions from all three widely-recognized companies as well as other companies and organizations namely Martha Graham Dance Company, Boston Ballet, Philadelphia Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Limon Dance Company, Alberta Ballet, Balletto Teatro di Torino, Gibney Dance Company, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, Whim W’him, Bruce Wood Dance, Ririe Woodbury Dance Company, Boston Dance Theater, 10 Hairy Legs, New Dialect, Backhausdance, Tisch School of The Arts, George Mason University, Rutgers University, Point Park University, West Michigan University and Juilliard School for Dance.


Gibney Company, led by Artistic Director Gina Gibney and Director Gilbert T Small II, is Gibney’s resident dance ensemble. Gibney Company is a creation-based repertory company commissioning work from both internationally renowned and emerging choreographers who are committed to exploring connections between the rigorous, often superhuman physicality of contemporary dance alongside responsive, humanistic storytelling. Transformed in 2020 through a $2 million gift from Andrew A. Davis, a Trustee of the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund, Gibney Company (formerly Gibney Dance Company) presents a broad range of aesthetics and techniques and has an unrelenting focus on artistic excellence and social integrity.

Photo by Nir Arieli. Styling by Sueann Leung. Dancer: Jie-Hung Connie Shiau.