The Shows Ya Gotta See - June 2022


Wanna see something mythical, healing and interactive?
Nejla Yatkin’s “Firebird,” May31 – June 18. FREE!

The Chicago Park District and Night Out in the Parks presents 19 performances of “Firebird,” a new work by Nejla Yatkin that attempts to answer the question, “What kind of dance does the world need right now?” Conceived of during the two-year hiatus in live performance caused by the COVID pandemic, Yatkin draws inspiration from the mythological Pheonix, the intention of the work being to give residents across the city a sense of hope, purification and a union between Earth and Sky. Besides the work itself, onlookers are invited to join in a collective guided movement meditation dance, can receive instruction on how to film their own “Firebird” dance for social media, and even participate in a treasure hunt in the locations where “Firebird” performs. Those hip to the dance scene should be familiar with the Yatkin’s name, whose award-winning work has graced stages around the world; most recently in Chicago. She has worked with the Ruth Page Civic Ballet to restage Page’s classic work, “Expanding Universe,” and has collaborated with Link’s Hall’s Co-Mission program to present the upcoming “A Dance Without A Name” in mid-June. As the demand for Yatkin grows, an opportunity to see some of her work in a convenient, unique, outdoor environment (and for FREE!) is an opportunity not to be missed. Click the event link for more info.


How about something collaborative, communal and off the beaten path?
“Unfolding Disability Futures,” June 4-5 & 11-12. Suggested donation of $10

Several organizations and artists have teamed up this June to bring you “Unfolding Disability Futures,” a cycle of five new and original works of dance accompanied by a spotlight on five featured visual artists. The performance takes place at “The Plant,” (1400 W 46th St) a former meatpacking warehouse in the Back of the Yards/New City neighborhood that has been revitalized to focus on community collaboration and sustainable agriculture—if only Upton Sinclair were still around to see this place! Visual artists include Nathan Forsyth, Kennedy Healy, Euree Kim and Thai Lu. Dance artists and choreographers include Vincent Tufano, Lauren Sheely, Alison Kopit and Ginger Lane—and a special mention to performer Kris Lenzo, who is also on the bill and never ceases to amaze with his physical athleticism and raw expression. In addition to the performances, there will be a post-show Q&A with the artists after the final performance cycle concludes at 5pm on Sunday, June 5. Tickets are already selling out, so don’t wait to reserve your spot for what is sure to be a one-of-a-kind series of performances. Check out the event link for location and performance dates and times.


In the mood for something creative, resilient and indicative of the best of Chicago dance?
“The 2022 Pivot Arts Festival” June 10 – 18. $15-$30

Due to the COVID pandemic, Chicago dancers have been held back like a rubber band being pulled to maximum tautness. But LOOK OUT! Chi-town talent is ready to “snap back” with a vengeance, so thank goodness we have outlets like the “2022 Pivot Arts Festival” to funnel the deluge of new work pouring forth from our local and world-class talent into an eight-day festival. Hosted by The Edge Theatre (5451 N Broadway St), this year’s festival is a combination of in-person performance and film selections chosen from recipients of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s digital dance grants. Artists include Alex Grelle, Wills Glasspiegel, Nora Sharp + Grace McCants, Rena Butler; filmmakers include Silvita Diaz Brown with Alexandra Yasinovsky, Annie Franklin with Kenny Washington, Ashwaty Chennat with Abhijeet, and Zach Nicol with Julia Pello. Of particular interest is “ROSINA: REMIXED!,” a hip-h’opera inspired by “The Barber of Seville” presented by The Rosalina Project—tickets sold out the last time this work performed at the Pivot Arts Festival so…JUST SAYIN’! You can even meet the artists themselves at the Closing Night Reception on June 18. Get in on the action by clicking the event link below.


Looking for something for everybody?
SeeChicagoDance presents “Chicago Dance Month” at various locations. FREE!

Not to toot our own horn or anything, but we here at SeeChicagoDance don’t just like dance…we LOVE it! We love it so much that we don’t want to just tell you about it, but we want to make it happen, too. The month of June is officially #ChicagoDanceMonth and we hereby decree that thou shalt celebrate the holiday in appropriate style, with a series of FREE! performance events held at famous Chicago venues. There are three, 30-minute “Wave Wall Moves” beginning at 3pm on the boardwalk at Navy Pier, featuring Korean Classical Dance Company (June 4), Rodney Ismeil / Hip Hop Fashion (June 11), and Joel Hall Dancers and Center (June 25). Two performances of “On The Move” will take place at Sherwood Park (1301 W. 52nd Street) featuring a plethora of dance companies, like Yin He Dance, Noumenon, Ayodele Drum & Dance, Synapse Arts and more—the programs on June 7th & 21st are each different, so look up when your favorites are performing ahead of time (go see both to be safe!). Do a little dancing yourself at “Pier Dance,” where local dance companies teach attendees an introductory dance lesson, also at Navy Pier, this time on the “City Stage.” And did we mention that they are all FREE! Click the link below for a rundown of events and their times and locations. Happy Dance Month from all of us at SeeChicagoDance!  Check out Chicago Dance Month page for more information.


---- Shows Ya Gotta See is a collaborative effort on the part of SCD previewers & reviewers to highlight great dance performances from across the Chicagoland area every month.  Want to be featured next month?  To be considered, just add your event for July to our SCD calender, it's free!