Lucky Plush Productions (LPP) is a Chicago-based dance theater company led by founding Artistic Director Julia Rhoads, recipient of the 2013 Alpert Award in Dance. LPP is committed to provoking and supporting an immediacy of presence -- a palpable liveness -- shared by performers in real-time with our audiences. The company is equally dedicated to creating work that is richly and uncompromisingly complex while also being accessible to broad audiences. LPP's work is often recognized for its playful interactions, surprising humor and incisive commentary on contemporary culture.
Since founding in 1999, Lucky Plush has premiered over 30 original works including performance installations, 2 dance films, and 10 evening-length productions. Presentations of the company's work include Spoleto Festival/USA (SC), Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (MA), DANCECleveland (OH), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (IL), Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD), North Carolina State University (NC), Purdue University (IN), Jacob's Pillow (MA), Hancher Auditorium (IA), Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago (IL), Steppenwolf Garage (IL), Joyce SoHo (NYC), Spring to Dance (MO), College of St. Benedict & St. John's University (MN), the Chicago Humanities Festival, and an international exchange with the Dance and Physical Theatre Trust of New Zealand, among others. LPP has also collaborated with Lookingglass Theater, Redmoon Theater, Walkabout Theater, and the interdisciplinary collective M5.
LPP is the recipient of an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, two National Dance Project (NDP) Production Grants, an NDP Production Residency for Dance, two National Performance Network Creation Fund grants, an Illinois Arts Council Artstour grant, and a Metlife New Stages in Dance Award. Commissioning partners include Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD), Flynn Center of Performing Arts (VT), and Links Hall Chicago. Additionally, the company's work has been supported through fellowships and awards to Julia Rhoads from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, Cliffdwellers Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council.
Lucky Plush has been recognized by the Boston Globe's "10 Best Dance Performances of 2013," Chicago Public Radio's "Best of 2011"; The Chicago Reader's "Best of Chicago 2010"; Time Out Chicago's "The Decade's 10 Best Original Dance Works"; The Chicago Tribune's "Best of Dance 2008"; Chicago Sun Times' "Lasting memories in Dance" for 2005 and 2007, and a Time Out Chicago cover story "5 reasons to love dance in Chicago."
Additionally, LPP spearheaded Creative Partners, a new model in nonprofit fundraising. Since its formal launch in January of 2013, Creative Partners has changed the fundraising landscape for three small-to-mid-sized arts organizations -- Lucky Plush Productions (dance), eighth blackbird (music) and Blair Thomas & Co. (theater) -- through a shared development team. The first of its kind resource-sharing model organized to effect long-term sustainability, Creative Partners was honored with Fractured Atlas' 2014 Arts Entrepreneurship Award.
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