April Showers Dance On Chicago

Go crazy! Whether you’re a dancing fool or a fool for dance, April is Dance Month in Chicago, so kick up your heels and head out for a month that showers the city with the breadth, diversity and artistic richness of the Chicago dance community. In addition to the dozens of dance performances and classes taking place throughout the month, Chicago Dance Month Open Doors, Open Spaces partners are offering FREE events that welcome dance fans to an open rehearsal, a site-specific performance in an unusual venue or a discussion about the creation and presentation of dance. To introduce audiences to companies they might not have seen before, CDM25 Hot Deal ticket partners are offering at least 25 percent off full-price tickets to their performances.


Join the celebration at the kickoff of the Fifth Annual Chicago Dance Month on Navy Pier on Monday, April 3 featuring FREE performances from 6:00-7:15pm in the Aon Grand Ballroom. The program includes performances by Ayodele, Giordano Dance II, Natya Dance Theater and Culture Shock Chicago.Natya Dance Theatre

The evening will also include a special conversation with Yossi Chaikin and Gabriella Sorrentino, two company members and dance captains currently performing in the musical HAMILTON The conversation will be moderated by HMS Media Executive Producer, Scott Silberstein.  

A reception with the artists will immediately follow the performance The performance is FREE but reservations are requested. The reception will offer guests the opportunity to meet the performers and enjoy tasty appetizers and beverages at Tiny Tavern, the newest gastro pub on Navy Pier. Tickets to the reception are $50 for non-Audience Architects members.

To introduce audiences to companies they might not have seen before, CDM25 Hot Deal ticket partners are offering at least 25 percent off full-price tickets to their performances.

GIORDANO DANCE CHICAGO (GDC), America’s original jazz dance company, 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.Giordano Dance Chicago's Meaghan McHale The performance also honors dancer Meaghan McHale's tenth anniversary with the company.

“STOMPING GROUNDS” kicks off its  third year (April 3, 6 PM, Chicago Cultural Center) with a free, two-month citywide celebration of authentic, rhythmic dance companies from a variety of world cultures, including American tap, Spanish, Mexican, African, Chinese, and Irish dance. The series culminates with the grand finale at the Studebaker Theater on Friday, June 2. Featured Chicago companies are: Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theatre, Mexican Folkloric Dance Company, Muntu Dance Theatre, and Trinity Irish Dance Company.

VISCERAL DANCE CHICAGO will continue its fourth season offerings with SPRINGFOUR (Harris Theater, April 8, 7:30 PM), the third mainstage Chicago performance of the company’s fourth season. It will include a world premiere, entitled Synapse,by Artistic Director Nick Pupillo, as well as the technically-charged Minor Threat from Canadian-based choreographer Mark Godden. The SPRINGFOUR program will also mark the return of Pupillo’s Atlas and Mónica Cervantes’ Changes (2014), which  explores fast paced relationships in our modern day.Visceral Dance Chicago

HEDWIG DANCES’ Of Time and Tide (April 21-22 and 28-29, 7:30 PM, Ruth Page Theater) is a concert inspired by questions of place, time sense and self. The two-weekend event features Jan Bartoszek’s Four Strong Winds on both weekends with Madison, Wisconsin-based Kate Corby’s Harbor on the first weekend and Victor Alexander’s Parting Shadows on the second weekend. Four Strong Winds probes the experience of cyclical time in the north. The sextet is informed by Bartoszek’s research of ways in which expression and body language in cold Northern locations have developed as a result of geography, weather, and other forces. Harbor, a duet performed by married couple Ben Law and Chih-Hsien Lin, is an exchange of ideas, a reorganization of shared space, a seeking of balance between power and submission, intimacy and conflict, waiting and action. Parting Shadows by Victor Alexander is a quartet about perception and illusion. It is inspired by Plato’s cave allegory describing enchained, deluded people for whom shadows are the only reality. Originally performed by Hubbard Street 2, Parting Shadows is being remounted on Hedwig Dances.Hedwig DanceS

THE JOFFREY BALLET’s “Global Visionaries” (April 26-May 7, 7:30 PM, Auditorium Theatre) continues its staging of cutting edge contemporary ballet with three exciting works. Celebrated around the globe for his originality and humor, Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman returns to the Joffrey with his unique cinematic vision for a world premiere. Master of invention Yuri Possokhov stages the Chicago premiere of “The Miraculous Mandarun,” set to Bartók's dramatic post-World War I tableau. Annabelle Lopez Ochoa returns to the Joffrey with “Mammatus,” her spellbinding take on a turbulent cloud formation and oppositional forces that occur in nature.Joffrey Ballet  



“PLAYDATE: Carnaval With Dill Costa and Heitor Garcia” (April 1, 10 AM, Old Town School) combines colorful costumes, the pandeiro, Brazilian guitar, fantastic footwork, and a Brazilian percussion master, the "queen of the percussion" from Rio's Carnaval, Brazilian folk music, and the popular circle dance, The Cirandland from Pernambuco!

J. LINDSAY BROWN DANCE presents Out of the Echo Chamber (April 1, 7:45 PM, Dovetail Studio), a collaborative showcase featuring works from J. Lindsay Brown Dance, Airyn Digman & Jessica Madden, Megan Rhodes, and Earlyn Whitehead. A collection of old and new works, J. Lindsay Brown will also premier excerpts from her newest project “PillowDance”, based on Sei Shōnagon's ancient Japanese text “The Pillow Book”. This concert features screen dances, tap, interdisciplinary collaboration, and more, so do not miss out!

LIZ GERRING DANCE COMPANY’s "Horizon" (April 6-8, 7:30 PM, Dance Center of Columbia College) is a dance about effort and accomplishment…"Horizon is a dance for heroes.”- NJArts.net In her company's first Chicago appearance, Liz Gerring's Horizon features seven dancers performing multiple phrases simultaneously in an evening-length work described as "exuberantly athletic" in The New York Times. Working with composer Michael J. Schumacher, production designer Robert Wierzel and costume designer Liz Prince, Gerring's newest work, performed under a white ceiling cantilevered over the stage, is fresh testimony to her pure, movement-driven action and exhilarating physical surprises in a constantly changing, media-saturated stage-world.Liz Gerring Dance Company

LIN SHOOK AND PERCEPTUAL MOTION, INC.. presents “Inside, Dancing Out,” (April 8, 7:30 PM, Ruth Page Center) an evening of eclectic dances that provoke  a deeper look into our connections to each other and our place in the universe.  How do time, energy, personal and collective power influence us?  Dancers aged 23 to 83 create richly detailed imagery that will open your heart, stimulate your mind and delight your eyes.  Original music is by Fred Simon.  "Shook's connection to arcane, sophisticated science and art is fascinating."  Sid Smith, dance critic.Perceptual Motion, Inc.

“STOMPING GROUNDS” visits Pilsen (April 8, 7:30 PM, National Museum of Mexican Art). This event will feature the Mexican Folkloric Dance Company alongside Trinity Irish Dance Company and Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago, and like all STOMPING GROUNDS events, is completely free and open to the public. Advanced registration is required.Mexican Folkloric Dance Company

BUTOH CHICAGO (April 8, 15, 25, & 30, 8 PM, various locations) presents “Battles:ss3—Post Butoh Festival 2017. bat-tle: Friction when two entitites disagree, collide, or conflict. When faced with a battle, what are our options? Resolution? Rebuke,? Revenge? Part of the Battles:SS3 Post-Butoh Festival, each performance will feature artists exploring the concept of "battles"... 

Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center presents THE BRYANT YOUTH PROFESSIONALS and THE HIPLET (TM) BALLERINAS in excerpts from CMDC’s repertoire from Ballet to Hiplet(TM). (April 9, 5 PM, Museum of Science and Industry) After the performance, meet the dancers, board and artistic team, and enjoy food and drink at the reception.The Hiplet Ballerinas  

VISCERAL DANCE CHICAGO presents “Take This Space,” (April 13, 6:30-8:30, Visceral Dance Center) a brief informal "open mic night" showing of works-in-progress from new Chicago choreographers. Contemporary dance forms only. 

Aerial Dance RAW (April 15, 21, & 22, 7 PM, Aerial Dance Studio) is an intimate evening of dance, including fresh new choreography by ADC artists and guest artists, performed alongside esteemed company repertoire. This concert will feature new work by Karen Fisher Doyle, Chloe Jensen, Melissa Bartz and Dalton Burr. Also featured on this program is a new work by special guest choreographer and former dancer from Martha Graham Dance Company Sandra Kaufmann

The Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s “STOMPING GROUNDS” series visits Hyde Park (April 15, 7:30 PM, DuSable Museum of African American History). This event will feature Muntu Dance Theatre alongside Chicago Human Rhythm Project and Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater, and like all STOMPING GROUNDS events, is completely free and open to the public. Advanced registration is required.Muntu Dance Theatre

PERCEPTUAL MOTION, INC. dances in the lobby of Weiss Hospital, 4646  N. Marine Drive (April 20, 12:30 PM, Thursday April 20). 

CERQUA RIVERA DANCE THEATRE’s Season Kick-off (April 20, 7 PM, Old Town School)  recaps 2016 and previews 2017, with company dancers and musicians performing segments from three 2016 works: Corner Sketches: A Tribute to Miles Davis, Waltzing Matilda, and American Catracho. Company co-founder and Artistic Director Wilfredo Rivera will also invite you inside the season ahead – with glimpses of new works to be created Sherry Zunker and Joe Cerqua, Rivera, and Clarice Assad in partnership with the Chicago Sinfonietta. The company's “bold…forays into multi-disciplinary works” were among See Chicago Dance's top picks for 2016. 

BALLET CHICAGO will participate in Chicago Dance Month with two in-studio "Sneak Peeks" of A Platinum Anniversary (Friday, April 21, 6-7 p.m. and Saturday, April 22, 5-6 p.m.) at Ballet Chicago, 17 N. State Street, in the heart of downtown. These events are free and open to the public. The full production of A Platinum Anniversary will be presented on Saturday, May 6th, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Harris Theater. Celebrating the Ballet Chicago Studio Company’s 20th Anniversary, the program features a World Premiere by renowned Chicago-based choreographer Frank Chaves, set to original music by Josephine Lee, Artistic Director of the Chicago Children’s Choir, who will accompany the dancers herself on stage. The performance also includes revivals of masterworks by George Balanchine, and exciting works by Ballet Chicago Founder and Artistic Director Daniel Duell, and Ballet Chicago Resident Choreographer Ted Seymour.Ballet Chicago

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events presents the world premiere of "blue fish" by AYAKO KATO/Art Union Humanscape (April 21 & 22, 7 PM, Jay Pritzker Pavilion) as part of Chicago Dance Month. The movement dialogue between human and fish traces the eroded, yet inseparable relationship between human and nature, and gazes into their antagonistic values and common principles of being to find equiliburium. The projected image of Iwaishima and Fukushima, Japan, will engage audience to transform their perception of nature’s impact on humans and humans’ impact on environment.Ayako Kato

TREAD /tred/ v. to step, walk, or trample so as to press, crush, or injure something COCODACO Dance Project presents its first evening length work, TREAD, 

(April 21, 8 PM, Foster Dance Studios) created and choreographed by the dancers of Cocodaco alongside Artistic Director, Ronn Stewart. 

DANCEWORKS CHICAGO presents DanceFlight (April 23, 3 PM, Ruth Page Theater) DanceFlight is like a wine flight, a sampling of sorts. Danceworks Chicago offers an assortment of dances to fill your one-hour dance card! An informal, post-performance meet the artist session follows, hosted by the dancers.

After a five year hiatus, the NEW WORKS program returns (April 27-28, 7:30 PM, Hamlin Park Field House Theater) with two new works by Artistic Director Rachel Damon and premieres by guest artist Anjal Chande and commissioned choreographers Chrissy Martin and Michelle Modrzejewski.Synapse Arts "New Works"  

 Audience Architects presents the CLOSING CELEBRATION of Chicago Dance Month. (April 28, 4:30 PM, Block 37)

DANCEWORKS CHICAGO is excited to partner with the Lou Conte Dance Studio on DanceChance, (April 28, 7 PM, Lou Conte Studio) a one-hour event designed to offer opportunities for choreographers to show their work informally, create a forum for dialogue among artists, and build audience for dance.

The tap dancers of jorsTAP chicago will take the not so typical stage in the Fulton Market to premiere Gretel and Gretel: The Story of How Hansel Came to Be.

(April 28-30 and May 5-7, 7 PM, Fulton Street Collective)

Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s “STOMPING GROUNDS” series visits Chicago's Northwest side ( 7:30 PM, Saturday, April 29, Irish American Heritage Center). This event will feature the Trinity Irish Dance Company alongside Chicago Human Rhythm Project and Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater, and like all STOMPING GROUNDS events, is completely free and open to the public. Advanced registration is required.Trinity Irish Dance Company

As part of Chicago Dance Month, “CONVERGENCE, an evening of Dance, Music, and Voice” (April 30, 5 PM, Joffrey Tower) will bring together dancers specializing in multiple forms—ballet, contemporary modern, tap, and the historical dance of Isadora Duncan—alongside musicians, singers, and poetry readings to celebrate the beauty and sense of connection across the Chicagoland arts scene. In the spirit of Duncan’s philosophy of movement and “school of life,” Convergence will be an exploration of embodied presence, 20th and 21st century artistic forms, and shared experiences of joy.Duncan Dance Chicago

CONCERT DANCE, INC.’s “Works In Progress Showing” (April 30, 7:30 PM, Ruth Page Theater) gives a sneak peak into Artistic Director Venetia Stifler’s reworking of “The Chicago Project”(1985), a work combining contemporary dance, original music and photography that used Chicago's architectural landscape as a backdrop. The showing will also include dances that will be performed later in the Summer at the Ravinia Festival, followed by a Questions and Answer session with Ms. Stifler and reception.

For details and tickets, click on "Upcoming Events."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Calling All Writers--Share Your Story! SeeChicagoDance is accepting submissions from all corners of the dance world throughout the month of April. Selected manuscripts will receive an honorarium and publication in our online magazine. Send your personal essay, story, feature, rave or rant to: editor@seechicagodance.com. For submission guidelines, see Audience Architect's "Community News" or contact the editor. --LCS