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).
Many good ideas in the arts start and end with a grant. The seed – the concept and vision – that grows into a production is, for many artists, reliant on institutional, state, or local funding. And once that dance has blossomed, it often must be put on a shelf until it withers, as the artist looks to the next idea and the next grant.
Collaborations across disciplines fill November with a veritable cornucopia of interdisciplinary dance events. Look for exciting new work from some of Chicago’s most innovative dance makers this month, including forays into spoken word, visual art, live music, theater, photography, literature, fashion, and storytelling. Read on for a calendar of events you won’t want to miss!
Whoops and cheers, gasps and applause punctuate Giordano Dance Chicago’s run-through of its upcoming Fall Season (7:30 PM, this Friday and Saturday, October 27-28, Harris Theater for Music and Dance) as dancers clustered on the sidelines of the rehearsal studio waiting for their entrances acknowledge each other’s special moments—a deliciously prolonged balance in arabesque, breathtaking lifts, spot-on multiple pirouettes, and stunning group geometry.
Dance in Chicago revs up for a lively fall season with major companies, smaller ensembles, solo artists, and interdisciplinary projects.
DANCE FOR LIFE CHICAGO (August 19, 7:30 PM, Auditorium Theatre) is arguably the Chicago dance community’s single most significant event of the year. Unique in its scope, it serves as a model for the arts community throughout the country, uniting the very highest levels of artistic achievement with the very noblest of humanitarian endeavors in its annual showcase of what makes Chicago dance, and Chicago’s dancers, so very special.
As Thodos Dance Chicago (TDC) shifts its structure, embarking on new and exciting projects, it closes out the final performances of the season with New Dances 2017. The New Dances initiative began in 2000 and gives the dancers a chance to switch hats and take a turn at being not only the choreographer, but also the director. “For a three-month period, it’s like they’re running their own company,” said founder and artistic director Melissa Thodos.
Strike up the band for July! Tap Dance dominates with the Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s annual Rhythm World Festival (July 17-23) and Chicago Tap Theatre’s extended run of “Changes” (June 30-July 16). Joining the midsummer Chicago dance roster are three programs devoted to the development of new choreography: Cerqua Rivera (July 13), Thodos Dance Chicago (July 15-16) and DanceChance (July 28).