Chicago audiences have lots to be thankful for in November, with a bountiful buffet of dance styles to choose from. Whatever your favorite flavor of dance may be, here's a great opportunity to expand your dance palette with a taste of something new, from electrified tap to mixed media, ballet, Cuban, Appalachian step dance, modern, and off-the-grid experimental. .
MacArthur Genius award winner Michelle Dorrance returns to Chicago with three musicians, one B-girl (Ephrat "Bounce" Asherie), and eight ace tap dancers of Dorrance Dance to present ETM: Double Down (November 4-6, Museum of Contemporary Art), Co-Presented with Chicago Human Rhythm Project and Chicago Humanities Festival.
ETM: Double Down, is a nod to electronic music in its energy and melody, it matches Dorrance's and Young's kindred idiosyncracies to that of six other Dorrance hoofers. The acoustic music trio includes vocalist Aaron Marcellus and bassist Greg Richardson.
It’s a hot Havana night when Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba brings the heat to Chicago’s landmark stage (November 5-6, Auditorium Theatre) in an irresistible fusion of cha-cha, rumba, conga, bolero and mambo, all the rhythms that vibrate the heart and fill the soul, in Cuba Vibra! With precise movement and incalculable cadence, 18 dancers fill the stage with flavorful finesse as they seamlessly dance in lockstep to the Afro-Cuban beats and vocal virtuosity of a 7-member on-stage band with vocalist.
Join Links Hall co-founder Bob Eisen for this special one-off event celebrating his birthday (number 70, thank you), with special guests Kristina Isabelle and fellow Links Hall co-founder Charlie Vernon (November 14, Links Hall). A performance, party, gathering all in one, plus an opportunity to celebrate the continuing presence of Links Hall in the city's performing arts community. Kristina Isabelle will present a reconstruction of Chicago area modern dance master Sybil Shearer's 1969 group work "Judgement Seeks It's Own Level", set to the classic rock anthem In-A-Gadda-Da-Vita by Iron Butterfly. Presented courtesy of the Morrison-Shearer Foundation. Charlie Vernon will show a video of his seminal 1981 work, "That Fall", featuring text by Vernon, music by Fred Simon and performed by five male dancers. Bob Eisen will present a new duet, created and performed with Minneapolis dancer Dolo McComb. It will be a continuation of the exploration of movement and structure that Eisen has been investigating for the last 30 plus years.
Season 39 at Hubbard Street (November 17-20, Harris Theater) begins with two highly anticipated world premieres: Alejandro Cerrudo unveils his 15th original work as the company’s Resident Choreographer, alongside Hubbard Street’s debut in choreography by 2013 Guggenheim Fellow Brian Brooks, founding artistic director of Brian Brooks Moving Company. Completing the Fall Series program, Hubbard Street presents two contrasting ensemble works by Czech-born, Holland-based dancemaker Jiří Kylián: Sarabande (1990), for six men and set to J. S. Bach’s second partita for solo violin, with electronically manipulated live vocals and body percussion; and Falling Angels(1989), for a cast of eight women and set to part one of Steve Reich’s landmark phased-percussion composition, Drumming. Hubbard Street’s world premiere by Brian Brooks is commissioned by the Harris Theater and is made possible by the Jay Franke and David Herro Choreographer in Residence Fund through the Imagine campaign.
ADDITIONAL EXCITING EVENTS:
The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago presents the Chicago debut of Bessie Award-winning choreographer Tere O’Connor’s company, Tere O'Connor Dance (November 3–5, the Dance Center, Columbia College). O’Connor brings a duet, Undersweet, created on and with company dancers Michael Ingle and Silas Riener, former member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. In this dance, O’Connor proposes that formalism might result from repressed sexual desire. This choreographic meditation considers how this paradox finds its expression in dance, or perhaps generates it. The company also performs Transcendental Daughter in its second performance series following its world premiere in New York. The new trio bears the imprint of upheaval in our world and a sense of the loss of human traits such as compassion and reason, set to a score created by longtime collaborator James Baker.
Minneapolis-based BodyCartography Project presents “closer(group)” (November 4, Links Hall; November 5, Hamlin Park) lays bare the power of physicality and presence through a series of one-on-one dance performances, for one dancer and one audience, in public spaces and multiplies into an expansive performance experience and dance party. Together we play with how the meeting between performer and audience generates the possibility for something new. Audience members can sign up for a performance slot on a walk-up basis. A dancer will then present a 15-minute personal performance, and together the meeting between performer and viewer generates the possibility for something new.
As temperatures drop this fall, High Concept Labs brings the people together for some of the hottest new art in town (November 5, High Concept Labs at Mana Contemporary Chicago). Bypass the rhetoric and get right to the action at HCL’s Fall Open House, where you’ll meet & greet dozens of current and former Sponsored Artists as they share a mix of their innovative works in progress and entertaining final pieces with you. Cozy up in Mana Contemporary Chicago and enjoy beverages, lite bites, performances, installations, music, and much, much more.
The Luna Troop's 20th season culminates with the Chicago premiere of Timelines, (November 6 - 20, Gorilla Tango Theatre). “Timelines,” a mostly modern dance concert, explores how we relate to one another and get from point A to point B in a not so linear fashion. From a man driven mad by instability to a mother coming to terms with who her children are, “Timelines” works to find a commonality and understanding in a collective experience.
Khecari’s The Retreat (Nov. 10 and 19, Indian Boundary Park), is a stopover towards TEEM, a long-term project being developed over the next year including sleepovers and takeovers, do-overs and makeovers, body possessing mind and art as disturbance ecology. In this world, art infests public space, overtaking our epidemic of the busy, beckoning the audience to retreat: with spacious sweeps of time counterpointing a density of intricately interwoven stimuli, inviting reflection and engagement, daydreaming and fascination. The cumulative substrate of textures, sights and sounds forms a refuge from distractions, into which the startling burst of foreign creatures presents micro-dramas operating with lucid and inexplicable logic.
“The Flow Show Chicago” (November 11, Links Hall) is an expressive program of dance and celebration of the rapidly growing prop-based flow arts community. Performances are rooted in the use of expressive objects such as poi, hoop, staff, and fans. The evening's artists are selected from a diverse and talented pool of performers representing the Midwest and beyond, and is an annual highlight of new ideas and expression in the flow arts.
Dance Theatre of Harlem returns to the Auditorium Theatre (November 18) with an eclectic evening of thrilling theatrical dance, including the Midwest premiere of the new un-named ballet by choreographer Francesca Harper with music by American composer, John Adams, performed with a live Chicago-based string quartet. Harper’s one-act ballet is being created in a collaborative manner with Dance Theatre of Harlem dancers, and explores artists’ reaction to the social situation in America, specifically on the topics of race, gender, and economics.
April Verch steps, sings, and fiddles with a fresh and feisty approach to deep North American traditions (November 18, Northeastern Illinois University). Touring the world to share songs from her milestone 10th album, The Newpart, Verch's performances combine her delicate voice, energetic footwork, and stunning playing, a trifecta of talents she brings together simultaneously.
Elements Contemporary Ballet celebrates its 10th anniversary (November 20, Studebaker Theater) with “The Sun King”, by Joseph Caruana (2014).
Based on the life of French monarch Louis XIV, The Sun King tells the story of ballet’s dramatic beginnings with lush costumes, live music, and original poetry.
Also on the program is “Pathos”, by Artistic Director Mike Gosney (world premiere),
an ethereal and affecting tale of love, loss, and redemption set to Mozart’s Requiem.
Salt Creek Ballet’s annual “Nutcracker” returns to Hinsdale Central Auditorium (November 26-27). Sugar plum fairies, nutcrackers and delighted dancers will dazzle audiences in this year’s enchanting family holiday tradition. Sunday’s performance features a special benefit performance and Sugar Plum Party. All performances will be accompanied by the Chicago West Chamber Orchestra. Adventure awaits as Clara and her Nutcracker Prince battle the Mouse King and embark on a journey through the Land of Sweets with the Sugar Plum Fairy. This year’s production features amazing sets, vibrant costumes, a 48-piece ensemble and internationally recognized guest dancers. (Also December 10, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie.)