Chicago Dance sails into May with dance happenings around every corner of the city. Take advantage of the many free and low-cost events like open studios, lecture demonstrations, and open rehearsals listed on our calendar.
Chicago Dance Month officially kicks off March 27th for a month-long bonanza of great dance events, ticket deals, workshops, and free concerts. Chicago’s annual April celebration of dance is the perfect time to explore the rich variety of styles and creative partnerships at work in the Chicago dance community, making our city one of the nation’s most exciting dance centers.
In 1972, dancer and choreographer Harvard Vallance hitchhiked to Chicago to work on George McGovern’s campaign. He wasn’t dancing then; he was working as an orderly at Weiss hospital, and was turned off by the idea of being sick through the summer. “So I quit!” said Vallance in a post-rehearsal interview with See Chicago Dance. He began taking dance classes with Shirley Mordine, Nana Shineflug and Joel Hall, among others, and met Lin Shook shortly after.
March has diabolically conspired to taunt Chicago Dance audiences with a choice they simply cannot make! Two of our city’s most dazzling companies—Giordano Dance Chicago and Hubbard Street—perform at the same time on the same dates a mere grand jeté down Michigan Avenue from each other, March 23rd and 24th. What to do when faced with such a dilemma? Follow baseball’s wisdom, of course, and in the famous words of Yogi Berra, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” In other words, DON’T CHOOSE! Do whatever it takes and SEE THEM BOTH!
As a kid, Doug Varone loved MGM musicals. He was a young tapper, and he idolized Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. What most intrigued Varone about them was “how they could move from being an incredible dancer to just a person,” moving in the every day ways that real people move.
February sweetens Chicago’s winter with dance valentines for every taste. Ballet lovers can gorge on delectable programs from both the Joffrey and American Ballet Theatre in seasons of contemporary works.
Brian Brooks sees movement from an uncommon perspective, and his Harris Theater premiere this week takes an especially uncommon view of falling. “It makes one’s head twist, the undoing of things,” he says in a recent phone interview with seechicagodance. “Prelude” takes on the reversal of energy flow, “retracing the points of initiation,” and exploring how the act of undoing manifests itself physically and psychologically through movement. With un-falling, “the physics is not intuitive.”
Make your 2018 New Year’s resolution to SEE MORE DANCE! Dance in Chicago is thriving, with exciting seasons on the horizon from our own major resident companies, including Hubbard Street, The Joffrey Ballet, Giordano Dance Chicago, Visceral Dance Chicago, and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. The Dance Center of Columbia College, The Auditorium Theatre, The Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Harris Theater bring illustrious out-of-town guests, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Alvin Ailey, American Ballet Theatre, Claire Cunningham and Jess Curtis, and Brian Brooks.
December is Nutcracker month the world over, with Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet leading the annual Nutcracker parade and no fewer than five local productions following, but December also brings a rich array of contemporary dance, tap, belly dance, and mixed media to enliven your holidays.
After a stunning world premiere last year, The Joffrey Ballet’s uniquely Chicago Nutcracker returns for a second season (December 1-30, Auditorium Theatre).