Four shows ya gotta see this April

The Shows Ya Gotta see is a monthly series highlighting "must-see" performances curated by See Chicago Dance critics.


Want to see something Collaborative, Original and Really Cool?

Zephyr Presents: Not Dead Yet, April 21-23
The early press photos of Not Dead Yet, a new show by experimental dance company Zephyr, show ceiling-high green ramps that sit atop a wide wooden frame, weighed down by piles of dusty bricks. These are sneak peaks of a set created by architect David Sundry. Located at the show’s unconventional venue, SITE/less (1250 West Augusta Blvd), Zephyr presents new works by choreographers Michelle Kranicke (Zephyr), Joanna Reed (Same Planet Different World) and other collaborators, with an original soundscape by multi-discipline artist Tom Brady. The show aims for the venue itself to immerse the audience, creating a deeper connection between viewer, dance, and environment. If these early teaser pictures are any indication, the architecture alone is worth the $22 ticket price, but, lucky you, you also get to see dancing performed and created by some of Chicago’s most experienced and influential artists.


How about something Eclectic, Engaging, Evolving?

Radical Kindness, April 9 – May 14
A collaboration between On The Spot Theatre Company and Dancing On The Spot (DOTS), Radical Kindness follows dancers Emma and Casey Brayndick on a journey through the Berger Park Coach House (6205 N. Sheridan Rd.) in a search for connection, resilience, renewal, and kindness through contact improvisation, music, poetry and a video featuring eleven dancers made during lockdown. The performance, never the same show twice, runs every Saturday from April 9 – May 14 at 4pm. With a $10 a ticket, you can afford to see it more than once and see how one performance evolves to the next. Check out the event page for details on how to get tickets.


Want to see something Authentic, Witty, Laugh-out-loud funny?

Burnt-Out Wife
Imagine bubble-gum pink bathroom meets white wedding meets pandemic-flavored burn-out dressed in a robe made entirely of feminine hygiene products… Can’t picture it? Come see for yourself! Comedic dance-theatre artist, Sara Juli, brings her one woman show, Burnt-Out Wife, to The Dance Center Columbia College Chicago (1306 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605) Friday-Saturday, April 22-23, 2022 at 7:30 PM, with a post-performance discussion following the Friday evening performance. Juli fearlessly walks, breaks, builds and reimagines the tightrope between comedy and tragedy, and will have you simultaneously laughing and wincing at her exploration of “the decay and detritus of marriage.” Run, do not walk to get your ($30) tickets by visiting the event page here.


Want to take part in something Motivational, Informative and Communal?

Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival
I was blown away by last year’s Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival— done entirely online due to COVID—where I saw dancers from Kinetic Motion dance company performing in wheelchairs, suspending each other overhead, and dancer Kris Lenzo taking it to the streets in a grey and gritty “dance noir” where he spun around on raw pavement. On April 23 – 24, the festival is back and in-person, offering “movement exploration” workshops for people with and without disabilities, taking place at the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (2102 W Ogden Ave). This year, there will be a special focus on incorporating access features—like text-to-speech software and screen readers—into the creative process, with a focus on audio description. The workshop is a free event, although donations are strongly encouraged. People of “all minds, bodies and experience levels” are encouraged to attend. Visit the event page for details on how to register.