Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has truly been the year of the online dance film. Recognizing and utilizing this current performance zeitgeist as fuel, Wicker Park-based Collaboraction Theatre Company presents three short dance films during this year's online edition of their fifth annual Peacebook festival. Opening October 17 and running through November 8, Peacebook 2020 will feature a total of 10 world premiere videos split into two distinct programs.
The boundless creativity of physically-integrated dance—where performers with and without disabilities work in tandem—is on full display as Momenta Dance Company continues to challenge what is possible in the realm of contemporary dance.
Over three weeks in September, See Chicago Dance held five Listening Sessions to introduce our new Executive Director, Julia Mayer, and hear about your concerns and challenges and unpack how SCD can best serve you. We invite the entire Chicago dance community (regardless of SCD membership) to join us on Oct. 22 to discuss the major themes that arose in the Listening Sessions and cast your vote on the issues you think we should prioritize in 2021.
Your voice counts! Come vote with SCD on Oct. 22.
(And VOTE for all your fellow citizens on Nov. 3!)
“You might be asking yourself, why are we doing this? We’re doing this because artists and art are essential,” said Winifred Haun during the opening speech for her latest project, “Steps in the Garden.” The humble founder and clever mastermind behind the Chicago-based dance company, Winifred Haun & Dancers, spoke endearingly to a crowd of masked spectators on a chilly Sunday afternoon. Her excited tone was shared by this critic, as I was yearning for an in-person performance to shake me out of my digital funk.
First things first: When I entered the Avondale neighborhood to get my first glimpse of Stephanie Martinez’ new dance company, Para.Mar Dance Theatre, I was stunned by the number of Black Lives Matter signs hanging in windows of homes, on doors in coffee shops—even staked into immaculate lawns. As a Black woman from the South Side, the solidarity was appreciated but I questioned it. I carried my hesitance with me into the parking lot where Para.Mar’s inaugural performance was to take place.
Throughout October, See Chicago Dance is celebrating the resilience of Chicago's dance community with our Moving Forward campaign. Yes, it's a fundraiser, replacing what would have been our annual gala. But more than that, Moving Forward is a chance to reconnect with SCD members and friends.
On Oct. 6, we kick off our celebration with a virtual happy hour toasting this year's SCD awardees: Joel Hall and Gail Kalver. Mix up our signature cocktail (it's purple!), log-in and raise a glass with us—let's party!
Who starts a new dance company in the middle of a global pandemic? That’s the first question I posed to Stephanie Martinez, who did just that. Para.Mar Dance Theatre (P/M) opens its first-ever performance series this weekend, including four inaugural shows along with four all-abilities, open-to-the-public, pay-what-you-can pre-show classes. “It’s donation-based…all of it,” said Martinez. “I wanted to ensure that no matter what your economic situation, you could join us for a performance.”
Tap dance is all about connections: connecting feet to the floor, the body to rhythm and the dance to history, legacy and time. Tap is about dancers connecting with one another and the audience. And for the first time, the Chicago Tap Summit this year is about your WiFi connection, too.
The latest installments of creative dance videos will premiere this week on American Ballet Theatre’s (ABT) YouTube page. Eight new dance films created by current and former ABT company members make their virtual debut this Wednesday and Thursday. Dubbed “Moving Stories: An ABT Film Festival,” the two hour-long events will be hosted by ABT principal–and arguably their most famous dancer–Misty Copeland along with Emmy Award-winning producer Leyla Fayyaz.
You don’t have to hear a definition of “chaos” to feel the extreme state of tension in Hedwig Dance’s premiere virtual performance, “KAOS,” but the calm female voice enunciating the letters, “C-H-A-O-S” adds to its jarring impact.