Make your 2018 New Year’s resolution to SEE MORE DANCE! Dance in Chicago is thriving, with exciting seasons on the horizon from our own major resident companies, including Hubbard Street, The Joffrey Ballet, Giordano Dance Chicago, Visceral Dance Chicago, and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. The Dance Center of Columbia College, The Auditorium Theatre, The Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Harris Theater bring illustrious out-of-town guests, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Alvin Ailey, American Ballet Theatre, Claire Cunningham and Jess Curtis, and Brian Brooks. Links Hall continues to feature local experimental artists, and don’t forget Chicago Dance Month, March 19-May 13, jam-packed with wonderful round-the clock performances and open studios.
BRIAN BROOKS, returns to Chicago with his own company performing a second newly-commissioned Harris Theatre work, part of his three-year tenure as the inaugural Harris Theater choreographer-in-residence. (6 PM January 12; 2 PM January 13, Harris Theater)
Brooks and his company of eight dancers will perform a lively program of three pieces, including the word premiere of "Prelude," commissioned as part of Brooks’s choreographic residency at HT. This one-hour performance will also feature two acclaimed works by the award winning choreographer, "Torrent" and "Division." Original music composed by Jerome Begin, who was called a “fabulous composer-pianist” and an “unimpeachable” choice of collaborator by The New York Times, will accompany each piece. Prelude explores reversing energy flow, returning to points of origin, and methodically unraveling tightly regimented systems. Brooks and his collaborators will determine how the act of “undoing” is manifested physically and psychologically through movement. They will attempt to trace actions back to their original inception, as if in a perpetual state of rewind. Frequent collaborators Joe Levasseur and Karen Young will design lighting and costumes. In developing the work, the company will aspire to reveal essential truths about the human body and mind.
ADDITIONAL JANUARY EVENTS:
Foster Dance Studios, will host Together Unique on Saturday, January 13th at 2pm and 7pm at Nichols Hall at the Music Institute Chicago, Evanston. The community is invited to kick off the New Year with the talented students of Foster Dance Studios at this inspirational concert event. The performance will honor late Foster Dance Studios Artistic Director, Ronn Stewart, and celebrate the strength of Foster Dance Studios and its community through collaborative choreography by Ronn Stewart, Sarah Goldstone, Jana Schneider and David Maurice. Tickets for this event will be available at the door and on BrownPaperTickets.com.
DanceWorks Chicago’s DANCE CHANCE January 26th installment takes place at 7 PM at the Lou Conte Studio. The one-hour event is designed to offer opportunities for choreographers to show their work informally, create a forum for dialogue among artists, and build audience for dance. Inspired by the concept of open-mic night, DanceChance is held once a month and features 3 choreographers chosen by chance, each of whom has a 15-minute time slot to share their work. To round out the hour, the final 15-minute segment is a moderated meet-the-artist session providing an opportunity for choreographers to discuss their work and process as well as time for the audience to ask questions. At the end of each DanceChance, the next trio of participants is chosen from names submitted by choreographers in attendance. DanceWorks Chicago is inspired to continue to experiment with this program to encourage creativity and a sense of adventure on the part of artists and audience and to bring communities together to learn more about each other. From a DanceChance choreographer: “It feels more human to me when the line between those on the outside and those on the inside is blurred, as opposed to a harsh divide between the spectators and the participants. In this case, the audience is as much of a participant as the performers, and that creates an engaging environment where both parties can take something away from the experience.”
HIGHLIGHTS LOOKING AHEAD:
Cherry Orchard Festival presents the Chicago premiere of the critically-acclaimed play “Brodsky/Baryshnikov,” conceived and directed by Alvis Hermanis and starring Mikhail Baryshnikov (7:30 PM, FEBRUARY 2-4, Harris Theater). "Brodsky / Baryshnikov” is a one-man show based on the poems of Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky, performed by legendary dancer/actor Mikhail Baryshnikov. It is an emotional journey deep into the poet’s visceral and complex compositions. Performed in Russian and subtitled in English, Baryshnikov recites a selection of his long-time friend’s poignant and eloquent works using subtle physicality to transport the audience into Hermanis’ reverent imagining of Brodsky’s interior world. The U.K.’s The Stage hails the work as “a deeply felt tribute…poignant,” and What’s on Stage calls it, “a gift from one great artist to another, a debt of love…you can hear a pin drop as the 90-minutes unfolds.”
Artist and leading disability culture activist CLAIRE CUNNINGHAM and JESS CURTIS—recipient of the Herb Alpert Award for Choreography—debut in Chicago with "The Way You Look (at me) Tonight" (Museum of Contemporary Art Feb. 8-11). This sensory journey explores how we, as a society, perceive people and the world. Set to a lilting collage of original music and video, the duet dances, sings, and tells stories in close proximity to the seated audience. The performers excavate their own ways of seeing each other—as a man and woman of different ages, bodies, and backgrounds —spurring introspective moments and self-reflection.
Curtis first introduced Cunningham to movement in 2005, leading to her own career as a choreographer. For this new work, they combine their mutual interests in the ideas of noted author and philosopher Dr. Alva Noë, in order to investigate new ways of examining perception. With Noë—who is no stranger to performance, having worked with choreographer William Forsythe—they conceived and created The Way You Look (at me) Tonight as a kinetic social sculpture. Throughout the live performance, Noë’s ideas and voice are incorporated via audio/video by media artist Yoann Trellu, with original music by Matthias Hermann and dramaturgy by Luke Pell. Presented in association with Bodies of Work.
The Dance Center of Columbia College presents DOUG VARONE AND DANCERS, February 8-10 at 7:30 PM. Celebrating their 30th anniversary year, Doug Varone and Dancers return to the Dance Center stage for the first time since 2001. The program will feature a revival of Varone classics; Boats Leaving and Lux, plus, Nocturne(s), a solo work created and performed by Varone. Nocturne(s) pairs a new solo which premiered this summer at Jacob’s Pillow (Nocturne in E. Minor, Opus 72 #1) with another solo created 30 years earlier in 1987, Nocturne in D Flat Major, Opus 27 #2. The company will also perform the duet folded from in the shelter of the fold, a cycle of episodic, stand-alone vignettes that explore the many forms of faith and belief, as well as the acts of coping, realization, choice and the expectations attached to it. The vignette folded, set to music by Julia Wolfe, examines the fragile and precarious nature of intimacy.
In addition, the Dance Center will be presenting Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan at the Harris Theater March 2 and 3.
THE JOFFREY BALLET features four “Modern Masters” at the Auditorium Theatre February 7-18. The program includes the Joffrey premiere of one of George Balanchine’s earliest works, “The Four Temperaments,” Myles Thatcher’s humorous take on physical fitness, “Body of Your Dreams,” a world premiere by Joffrey ballet master Nicolas Blanc, and Jerome Robbins’ “Glass Pieces,” to music by Philip Glass, celebrating the anniversary of Robbins’ 100th birthday .
AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE launches a major season with two separate programs and a kids concert, February 21-25 at the Harris Theater.
DEEPLY ROOTED DANCE THEATER returns to the North Shore Center for the performing Arts in Skokie (7:30 PM, February 24) “Looking to the Future” embarks on the next 20 years of artistic excellence, with the premiere of “Alice,” by Nicole Clarke-Springer, and featuring “Femme,” “In a Child’s Eye,” "Church of Nations," "Desire," and "Heaven."
The Spring Series, March 23 and 24, marks HUBBARD STREET'S return to the Auditorium Theatre for the first time in 20 years. This special two-night engagement, dedicated to Hubbard Street’s beloved Resident Choreographer, Alejandro Cerrudo, will showcase a full evening of Cerrudo’s work weaving together both audience favorites from his past ten years choreographing for the company as well as exciting new work.
Audience Architects will feature CHICAGO DANCE MONTH events beginning March 19th and running through May 13. Stay tuned for a catalogue featuring a complete calendar of Dance Month events and feature stories highlighting selected events.
GIORDANO DANCE CHICAGO (GDC) invigorates the Harris Theater stage March 23-24, 7:30 PM in its exhilarating 55th anniversary season. Featuring a world premiere by international choreographer, Davis Robertson, the program includes other audience favorites guaranteed to wow. Join the company as it commemorates Nan Giordano’s 33 years of leadership and 25th anniversary as Artistic Director, Zachary Heller’s 10th season as a main company member, and the power of exceptional dance. GDC closes out its 55th season with its fourth full-evening appearance at the Auditorium Theatre June 9th at 7:30PM.
VISCERAL DANCE CHICAGO presents an evening of exciting world premieres and classic company works, “SPRINGFIVE” (7:30 PM, April 6-7, Harris Theater) celebrating Visceral's scope of movement and artistic contribution to the Chicago community. This performance brings to the Harris stage world premieres by Kevin O'Day and Artistic Director/Founder Nick Pupillo, alongside returning works by Danielle Agami and Pupillo.
THE JOFFREY BALLET’s North American premiere of Alexander Ekman’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream (April 25-May 6, Auditorium Theatre) is not Shakespeare's midsummer. Swedish trailblazer Ekman astounds with this ode to the longest day of the year. Delight in joyful abandon and romance under the Scandinavian sun as dancers celebrate and let their imaginations run wild. A tour de force that took Stockholm by storm.
FOR DETAILS AND TICKETS, GO TO SEECHICAGO.COM, AND CLICK ON “UPCOMING EVENTS."