Credit: Chantel Simpson

The Era’s Lab Sessions

2233 S. Throop

Last year footwork collective the Era launched Lab Sessions, an intermittently operating club night that brings the hyperfast, athletic style of dance to High Concept Laboratories, an “arts service organization” cum gallery in Pilsen. It’s an informal gathering, with members of the Era chopping it up with attendees and Teklife producers, who pop up to DJ the affair. Footworking circles break out at random, pros show newbies the basic breakneck moves, and those who just want to take it all in meander around the rectangular portion of the gallery (which Lab Sessions considers their “home base”). It’s an unconventional setting, and the intimacy makes it a great place to experience the power and energy of footwork firsthand, regardless of whether or not you’ve ever seen it in action at the Battlegrounds in Chatham or during a Wala Cam battle. When I went to a Lab Sessions night in the dead of winter, the crowd was nonetheless impressive: Era leader Litebulb, DJ Spinn, Traxman, and DJ Oreo, aka Chance the Rapper‘s DJ.