SeeChicagoDance and our entire Audience Architects Staff wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year, filled with all the energy, excitement, drama, intrigue, imagination and discovery of dance! The year is off to a healthy start, with lots of exciting events coming up through winter and spring from both Chicago and touring companies, so plan ahead and mark your calendars!
2017 WINTER AND SPRING HIGHLIGHTS:
Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre’s premiere performance February 4th at North Shore Center For The Performing Arts in celebration of Valentine’s Day will feature a riveting program embodying varying aspects of love.
The Museum of Contemporary Art presents a series of events highlighting the work of Merce Cunningham, beginning with “The Cunningham Event,” (February 11-12), MCA Cunningham Event. Drawing from key works that span six decades of original choreography, former dancers of the remarkable Merce Cunningham Dance Company, perform Cunningham's signature approach to dance in non-conventional spaces. Presented in the fourth-floor lobby, it is an experience of unmitigated Cunningham genius at full strength. Event is performed twice each day during gallery hours (with limited capacity) and last about 30 minutes. The following week (February 18-19) brings Ballet de Lorraine performing “Sounddance,” one of Merce Cunningham's most beloved pieces, in collaboration with The Dance Center of Columbia College. Created in 1975 in opposition to the uniformity and unison of classical ballet, the work is fast and vigorous, driven by a powerful score by musician-composer David Tudor. Inspired by the 64 hexagrams in the I ching, Cunningham created Fabrications by combining 64 dance phrases to form a deeper interconnected whole. The multidisciplinary collaboration features live music by the original composer Emanual Dimas de Melo Pimenta, and striking visual design by artist Dove Bradshaw.
Three cutting edge choreographers challenge expectations in the much anticipated winter season of The Joffrey Ballet with “Game Changers” (Auditorium Theatre, February 15-26), featuring the Chicago premiere of Justin Peck’s “Year Of The Rabbit,” Christopher Wheeldon’s “Fool’s Paradise,” and Wayne MacGregor’s “INFRA.”
The Chicago Flamenco Festival kicks off Tuesday, February 21 at 8:00 p.m. at City Winery Chicago with “The Andalusian Trail: The Roots of Flamenco.” The 15th Chicago Flamenco Festival is presented by the Instituto Cervantes, City Winery Chicago, Old Town School of Folk Music and the Flamenco Arts Center. This year’s extended, 5-week festival kicks off with an evening of music and dance featuring the shared cultural history of medieval Andalusia to the present by members of the ensemble Surabhi (founded by Saraswathi Ranganathan). The performance will include original and traditional repertoire with Spanish guitar, Arabo-Andalusian poetry, music by Ronnie Malley on oud and harmonium as well as Rajasthani folk dance by Kinnari Vora and flamenco and Mid-Eastern dance by Marisela Tapia. The Chicago Flamenco Festival joins a diverse mix of the most respected names in pop, rock, jazz, blues, world music, theater, dance, spoken word and comedy.
Thodos Dance Chicago brings an eclectic program to Skokie’s North Shore Center for the Performing Arts February 25th, and a special 25th Anniversary Performance at The Auditorium Theatre March 11th will feature the American voice in dance through new and archival choreography.
Hubbard Street’s Spring Series (Harris Theater, March 16-19 features work by global choreographer Nacho Duato, paying tribute to its two-decade relationship with the Spanish-born artist by reviving his plaintive, pastoral Jardí Tancat (1983), for three couples and set to Catalan music recorded by vocalist María del Mar Bonet i Verdaguer; and a duet from Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness (1999), Duato’s two-act tribute to the composer J. S. Bach. Completing the Spring Series program are Lucas Crandall’s full-company work Imprint (2016), with improvised live percussion by Hubbard Street Dancer David Schultz; and Crystal Pite’s Solo Echo (2012), to music for cello and piano by Johannes Brahms.
Giordano Dance Chicago debuts a new work by Liz Imperio, hailed as choreographer to the stars, when the company presents their spring engagement at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. The program will also feature former GDC dancer and River North Dance Chicago Artistic Director Frank Chaves’ restaging of “Grusin Suite,” a work that had its birth with GDC debuting as part of their Jazz Dance World Festival in 1993.
Among the touring companies coming to the Harris Theater are Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company (January 27); Wendy Wheelan, (February 24); and The State Ballet Theatre of Russia (January 21-22). Look for the return of Alvin Ailey to The Auditorium Theatre (March 22-26). The Dance Center of Columbia College brings Malpazo Dance Company of Cuba (March 9-11) and Liz Gerring (April 6-8).
Paige Caldarella presents “Verge,” (Links Hall, January 6-8) a new work challenging traditional notions of gender, body type, and identity often
found in classical ballet.
RE/Dance Group’s Michael Estanich presents A Place At The Edge Of The World To Call Our Own (Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater, January 12-13), inspired by elegant passages from Henry David Thoreau’s
Walden and Estanich’s own personal reflections on solitude and quiet. The work for nine dancers drifts gently among an inverted world—supported by an installation that includes a sky of lavender, a white
Marley floor, and projections of wispy cloud formations, shooting stars, and meteor showers. Consisting of twenty plus short vignettes, A Place At The Edge Of The World To Call Our Own contemplates, through
sweeping movement phrases and weighted partnering, a world where solitude supports companionship and privacy fuels the heart.
“Sleeptalk: a dance performance” (Links Hall, January 13-15) is a collaborative, experimental dance work about sleep talking and our relationship to the unconscious. Developed around actual recordings of sleep
talking, it explores the revealing, disturbing, and even humorous things that can surface, translating them through an appropriately dreamlike mix of media. Conceived by Ashley Fargnoli in collaboration with the
dancers, a videographer, composer, and set designer, Sleeptalk is inspired by Fargnoli’s own sleep talking, which began as a reaction to the vicarious trauma she encountered working as a trauma therapist. As
the performance unfolds, it moves from the personal to Jung’s collective unconscious. The audience will discover threads that link the dancer’s stories and the mysterious power of the unconscious that connect
Kjell Theøry (Graham Foundation for the Arts, January 20-February 4) is an Augmented Reality performance juxtaposing the writings of Alan Turing—a gay twentieth century computing pioneer—about pattern
and shape in the natural world with algorithmic mutations of Guillaume Apollinaire’s 1917 play “The Breasts of Tiresias,” a gender fluid spectacle for which the playwright invented the word “surrealism.” The
performance considers the last two years of Turing’s life wherein he expanded his focus to include biology while seeking asylum and tolerance in Scandinavia following his prosecution for crimes of indecency in
the United Kingdom. Turing named his theory of morphogenesis—the autonomous generation of flowers and other natural forms—for a Norwegian love interest, Kjell.
In “Conversations With Devi,” (AuditoriumTheatre’s Katten-Landau Studio, January 21), created by Mandala Arts, and led by Executive Artistic Director Pranita (Jain) Nayar and puppeteer I Gusti
Ngurah Kertayuda, three tales of Devi, the goddess, come to life. Balinese Shadow Puppets explore the demons and textures of South Asian mythology. Complimented with the expressive storytelling and
rhythms of Bharatanatyam, this multi-dimensional spectacle will explore the significance of womanhood. Conversations with Devi is proudly presented as a part of the Chicago International Puppet Theatre
Chicago Dance Crash brings back Chicago's most famous audience-voted pro dance battle to a new venue after a yearlong hiatus, new drink specials, and a setup that is right up in your face (Stage 773, January
21). CDC’s longest running production matches competitive dance with the energy of late-night theatre and the spectacle of sports entertainment, featuring some of the city’s most accomplished dancers
assembled for battle on the Stage 773 Thrust stage. Combining the drive of competition with the energy of a rock concert, Chicago’s ONLY full-scale, long-running dance competition welcomes all comers, from
breakers and ballerinas to belly dancers and tappers. YOU decide who wins the golden KTF title belt! And of course the night will be hosted by the one and only Mr. Mattrick Swayze!
For details and tickets, go to seechicagodance.com, and click on “Upcoming Events.”