Inside or out, June dance is heating up

Summers in Chicago are all about getting outdoors, having fun in the sun and eating food on a stick. In the past decade, the number of chances to see dance in the summer has grown enormously, and in June especially, there’s an abundance of performances – indoors and outside – that might captivate your summer soul.  

There are logistical reasons why small-scale theater and dance have taken off in Uptown and Edgewater – namely aldermanic support – and a great example of this is the Pivot Arts Festival, running through June 9 all around the North side enclave. There are performances in conventional theater spaces, like former Chicago Dancemakers Forum awardees Brittany Harlin and Erin Kilmurray at the lovely Edge Theater, and multiple events in hidey-holes, too. A couple to note: At an Uptown youth center, BraveSoul and Chicago Fringe Opera present “The Rosina Project” mixing street dance and beatboxing with “The Barber of Seville,” while at Colvin House – an extraordinary lakeside mansion converted into a coworking space – Ayako Kato begins a roaming performance which travels across Sheridan road to end at Thorndale Beach.

Capping an extraordinary season of performances at Links Hall, one-offs by Chrissy Martin on June 1 and Christine Shallenberg, Mitsu Salmon and Laryssa Husiak on June 2 explore the relationship between dance and the human voice. Along the same lines, Concert Dance Inc.(CDI) presents “Dances with Words and Music” June 1 and 2 at Ravinia Festival, part of a long-standing tradition that started with Ruth Page bringing dance to Ravinia in 1926. The work, inspired by a dance of Page’s, is the culmination of a year-long collaboration between CDI and The Poetry Foundation. Notably, CDI will also dance “El Salon Mexico,” with music by Aaron Copland. Ravinia’s president and CEO Welz Kauffman and pianist James Morehead perform alongside the dancers, playing a version of the score for two pianos arranged by Leonard Bernstein. 

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s summer series runs June 6, 8 and 9 at the Harris Theater, with encore performances of works by Crystal Pite and Alejandro Cerrudo, plus a newly-developed re-imagination of Brian Brooks’s “Terrain,” created in 2016 as part of the Harris Theater’s inaugural choreographic residency. Barring appearances at Dance for Life and SummerDance this August, it’s also your final chance to see dancers Michael Gross, Myles Lavallee, Florian Lochner and Ana Lopez with the company, who all depart at the end of the season.

Chicago Tap Theatre premieres its latest full-length “tap opera” June 8 at Stage 773, a dystopian tale about corporate head hanchos leading humanitarian efforts in a world increasingly affected by natural disasters. If anyone can tell that not-so-unrealistic story with tap and live music, the dream team of “Saving the World” can, with choreography by Mark Yonally, libretto by Marc Kelly Smith and music by Diana Lawrence, plus all the bells and whistles we've come to expect from a CTT show.

Additional June dance offerings are listed below: