Deeply Rooted Dance Theater's 25th anniversary season will include appearances in Millennium Park and at the Auditorium Theatre, plus outdoor performances throughout the summer and a new film project. Announced Monday, the ambitious line-up of programming combines digital approaches gained during the pandemic with a celebratory return to live audiences.
On July 16 and 17, public performances concluding a hybrid Summer Dance Intensive will take place at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. Meanwhile, the main company has scheduled performances at Tuley Park (July 21), Garfield Park (July 22) and Palmer Park (Aug. 12) as part of the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks initiative. The summer's public events conclude with a preview performance of "Goshen" Aug. 25 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. "Goshen" was originally scheduled to premiere in 2020 at Broadway Playhouse; the pandemic curtailed this exciting collaboration with acclaimed gospel artist Donald Lawrence. Deeply Rooted dances the biblical story depicted in Lawrence's Grammy-nominated album of the same name, with powerhouse vocalist Le'Andria Johnson performing alongside two heavyweight gosel ensembles: the Tri-City Singers and Zeke Locke & the NuXperience.
This fall, Deeply Rooted returns to the Auditorium Theatre, where they previously appeared on a triple bill with Visceral Dance Chicago and Ate9 Dance Company. This time, they get the stage all to themselves for a program titled "Roots & Wings." The bill includes a world premiere by artistic director Nicole Clarke-Springer, past works by co-founders Kevin Iega Jeff and Gary Abbott, and a yet to be announced company premiere.
Additionally, the company will begin work this summer on a film called "The Black Edition Chicago: Scribes and Transcripts," scheduled to screen in February 2022 at various Chicago Public Schools. The project—which seeks to convey the rich, multi-faceted Black culture unique to Chicago—will film at historic locations, blending quintessential musical traditions via jazz trumpeters Corey Wilkes and Sam Trump with Chicago-style house music and choreography by the usual suspects: Abbott, Clarke-Springer, Jeff and Joshua Ishmon.
Program details and ticket information are available at deeplyrooteddancetheater.org.