Stories are making a comeback on the dance scene, or reinventing themselves as post-post-modernism, take your pick. Throughout September and October, Chicago dance lovers have an absolutely tantalizing array of dance styles and companies to choose from, with a rip-roaring line-up that ranges from conventional story ballets to innovative collaborations, abstract dance tone-poems to jazz rhythms and tap dance narratives. Here are a just few of the many wonderful stories in dance coming our way this fall:
Walking into the Mayne Stage late night for a KTF (Keeper of the Floor) dance battle between company members and friends of Chicago Dance Crash (CDC), a number of realizations come to mind: 1) KTF is not a typical dance show, 2) Chicago Dance Crash is not a typical dance company, and 3) it’s possible to make people go crazy for dance. Host, judge, moderator, and lubricator Mattrick Swayze (with his darling Swayzettes) are a large part of what make the quarterly hootenanny work.
Dance as a vehicle for social change across the globe fuels The JOMBA! Initiative, blossoming this summer in its second year of a three-year collaboration between Chicago’s Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT) and South Africa’s Flatfoot Dance Company (FDC), in residence here for DRDT’s Summer Intensive (July 4-20).
By Sid Smith
The final installment of the Moving Canvas series will involve work embracing one of the most profound aspects of art--its literal reach to infinity.
Fairy tales are much more than stories for children, says Angelin Preljocaj, Artistic Director of Ballet Preljocaj, in a brief phone conversation with SeeChicagoDance. Preljocaj brings his Blanche Neige (Snow White) to the Harris Theater for Music and Dance May 2-4. The work is a modern take on the traditional grand story ballet after the classic Brothers Grimm tale of the beautiful girl with ebony skin and dark black hair.
For someone who had no stomach for “happy nonsense,” only the darkly-twisted variety , Edward Gorey couldn’t have a better name. The Trey McIntyre Project has flown into town, literally on the wings of Gorey’s creepy Victorian and Edwardian-era creatures, for the Chicago premiere of The Vinegar Works: Four Dances of Moral Instruction, commissioned by The Harris Theater.
It was a cold and snowy evening last Saturday. The warm and cozy Broadway Playhouse in the Gold Coast (a change of venue from the still out-of-commission Harris Theater) served a fitting backdrop for the 2014 Choreographers of Color Award. Each year, three diverse choreographers are selected by the Joffrey Academy of Dance to present new work on its proficient group of Trainees. It seems a mutually beneficial arrangement for the choreographers and dancers involved.
By Lynn Colburn Shapiro
How many Nutcrackers does it take to change a lightbulb? For Tye August, the answer is fourteen, the number of years the Lyric Opera Ballet Mistress and choreographer has been staging this version of The Nutcracker for The Hyde Park School of Dance (HPSD), where she is also Founding Artistic Director.