First Draft: New Dances by Chicago Artists

Event Type
Event Description

For its inaugural season, First Draft will present the following artists and companies:

Michael Estanich of RE|Dance will premiere new sections of "The Lonely Visitors", a group work that produces a series of images that reveal both the whimsical and perfidious nature of the heart. The work features a collection of 10 short episodes that ponders the depths and desires of the promise of love. 


James Gregg of Elements Contemporary Ballet will premiere a trio, "The Misfortunate Beauty of Joe Danek,"  featuring the music of Chris Garneau.  This quirky, touching work tells the story of three characters who float in and out of each other's lives and describes how their connections effect their hearts and minds.  


Winifred Haun of Winifred Haun & Dancers will premiere an abstract group work, "Your nearest exit may be behind you."  The dance combines elements of circus acrobatics with sculptural contemporary movements to create breath taking views of eight bodies moving in space.  Your nearest exit… features music by minimalist composer Terry Riley.


Vershawn Ward of Red Clay Dance will premiere a new version of her acclaimed solo, #SAYHERNAME.  The solo is danced by Ms. Ward and is a response to the unjust killings and imprisonment of black women by police.  It juxtaposes recent stories of women like Sandra Bland with historical figures Angela Davis and Assata Shaker.


Alyssa Gregory and Sarah Gonsiorowski of the Leopold Group will premiere a duet, currently untitled, choreographed and danced by the artists themselves.  Ms. Gregory and Ms. Gonsiorowski’s work has been described as dynamic and athletic, and their newest work will focus on partnering and gestural motifs that explore their personal dynamic as friends, colleagues, and dance-mates.


The goal of First Draft is to provide a platform for Chicago area dancemakers to create and present new work.  


First Draft will also offer a Master Class before the Saturday performance, taught by Zada Cheeks, Assistant Choreographer and Dancer with Winifred Haun & Dancers.  The Master Class is designed for intermediate, advanced and professional dancers, ages 14+ and costs $25.  Dancers who attend the Master Class can attend the Saturday night performance for free.


First Draft: New Dances by Chicago Area Artists

Friday, February 26 at 7:30pm 

Saturday, February 27 at 7:30pm  

Tickets: $30, general admission / $20, Kids ages 6 to 18 

Ticket price includes free snacks at intermission


Master Class with Zada Cheeks

Saturday, February 27 at 5:00-6:30pm

Fee: $25, includes free ticket to see First Draft


All events:

Ruth Page Center for the Arts

1016 N. Dearborn in Chicago’s gold coast neighborhood. 

Parking is available at the Newberry Plaza, 1030 N. State Street, just around the corner from the Center.  The Ruth Page Theatre is near the Clark & Division stop on the CTA Red Line and also the #36, #22, #70 and #156 bus lines.

Dance Styles
Modern / Contemporary


Ruth Page Center for the Arts

1016 N. Dearborn Parkway
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 337-6543