Strike up the band for July! Tap Dance dominates with the Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s annual Rhythm World Festival (July 17-23) and Chicago Tap Theatre’s extended run of “Changes” (June 30-July 16). Joining the midsummer Chicago dance roster are three programs devoted to the development of new choreography: Cerqua Rivera (July 13), Thodos Dance Chicago (July 15-16) and DanceChance (July 28). Natya Dance Theatre brings Indian tales to Maggie Daley Park (July 19), and Chicago Dance Crash launches an unconventional trip down the yellow brick road with “The Bricklayers of Oz” (July 28-August 5). Summer is a perfect time to try something new. Check out the details below.
Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), presents the 27th annual RHYTHM WORLD summer festival of American tap and percussive dance, featuring three generations of hoofers, including tap giants Savion Glover and Maurice Hines. Rhythm World takes place July 17-23 at the American Rhythm Center, Studebaker Theater, Jazz Showcase and, new this year, the Polk Bros Performance Lawns at Navy Pier. Rhythm World will feature a wide-ranging array of tap luminaries, including alumni from its 20+-year old Tap Scholar program as a part of a five-year cycle, Root and Branch, as well as the first-ever STOMP Intensive led by STOMP cast members Ali Bradley and Jeremy Price.
Rhythm World performances open with the annual appearance at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Court featuring faculty accompanied by a jazz trio Monday, July 17 at 8 p.m.
The JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance concerts, the crowning events of Rhythm World, feature a host of extraordinary foot drummers and percussive arts masters July 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Studebaker Theater at the Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. The programs are as follows:
Friday, July 21--The concert features a world premiere by CHRP's new Artist in Residence, Dani Borak; solo performances by former Tap Scholars, including Jumaane Taylor and former CHRP ensemble member Tristan Bruns; STOMP alumna and Broadway hoofer (Shuffle Along) Lisa LaTouche; and members of percussive dance ensembles featured in CHRP's citywide festival STOMPING GROUNDS, including Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Muntu Dance Theatre and Trinity Irish Dance Company. Saturday, July 22--The performance showcases a wide-ranging mix of master faculty, including Dani Borak, Martin "Tre" Dumas, Lisa LaTouche and more.
In the second year of Root and Branch, RHYTHM WORLD, directed by CHRP Founder and Director Lane Alexander, shines the spotlight on the talented performers, choreographers and teachers who have "grown up" with CHRP and the masters who first inspired them.
"The teenagers who studied with us 10, 15 and 20 years ago are not teenagers anymore," said Alexander. "They are winning MacArthur Fellowship (Genius) Awards (Michelle Dorrance), choreographing on Broadway and with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (Jared Grimes), performing in historic Broadway revivals (Lee Howard and Karissa Royster) and making new works that are revolutionizing our art form (Jumaane Taylor's Supreme Love and Zada Cheeks' Diabolus). Perhaps most important, one dancer, Dani Borak, is returning as a multi-year Artist in Residence to provide new and fresh artistic direction for CHRP. We are devoting the summer festival to exploring they ways their inspirations are affecting the work they are creating now." Former Tap Scholars and CHRP ensemble members returning to teach and perform this year include Jumaane Taylor, Lee Howard, Tristan Bruns and Lisa LaTouche.
Two audience favorites, the improv tournament, or "cutting contest," and the student showcasetake place Tuesday, July 18 with faculty judges choosing the winners who will vie for the honor of performing on one of the two weekend performances at the Studebaker Theater.
New this year, Rhythm World master teachers and students will perform FREE on Navy Pier's brand-new Polk Bros. Performance Lawns Wednesday, July 19. More information will follow.
Intensive residencies, courses, workshops and master classes feature a highly respected faculty of master teachers. Joining special guests Savion Glover, Maurice Hines and STOMP's Ali Bradley and Jeremy Price are acclaimed U.S. and international masters who have taught at the festival throughout its 27 years: Lane Alexander, Maud Arnold, Bril Barrett, Dani Borak, Tristan Bruns, Sekou Conde and Stacy Letrice from Muntu Dance Theatre, Star Dixon, Martin "Tre" Dumas, Lee Howard, Donnetta Jackson, Lisa LaTouche, Yukiko Misumi, Nico Rubio, Linda Sohl-Ellison and Jumaane Taylor.
Educational programming includes a Teacher Certification Program, The Kids Program, CHRP’s Youth Tap Ensemble Conference, and the Adults Program, July 17-20 at the American Rhythm Center, in the Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Avenue.
To register, visit chicagotap.org/classes-3/rhythm-world-2017/, call 312-542-CHRP (2477) or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. For complete Rhythm World information, visit chicagotap.org or call 312-542-CHRP (2477).
ADDITIONAL EXCITING EVENTS:
Chicago Tap Theatre is excited to re-imagine one of its most acclaimed story shows, “Changes,” (June 30-July 16, 7:30 PM, Stage 773). Acclaimed director Harrison McEldowney and choreographer Mark Yonally present this science fiction tale of a planet inhabited by peaceful aliens and the events that unfold when they encounter both a power-hungry species from another world and a potential hero. Audiences will enjoy hearing their favorite Bowie songs with new elements, weaving the original haunting and unforgettable vocals with live instruments and remixed scores by Kurt Schweitz. This is CTT’s follow-up to the award-winning TimeSteps, picked as the Best New Production of 2016 by Dance Magazine.
Cerqua Rivera presents its Annual New Works Preview & Mid-Season Fundraiser (7:00 Performance; 8:00 Reception with the Artists, July 13, Dovetail Studios). Preview & discuss works in process for CRDT’s 2017 Fall Concert Series and donate to support final development! In true Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre style, this is your chance to get up close and personal with the artists making new work on the company this year and preview the work in progress. Have a glass of wine and contribute to the creation of new art work. Tickets are not required. All attendees will be asked to make a donation. All donations support artist salaries. Dovetail Studios is 3 blocks from the Francisco Brown line CTA stop.
Thodos Dance Chicago presents “New Dances 2017” ( 7:30 PM, July 15-16, Athenaeum Theatre). New Dances is Chicago's earliest and most extensive in-house choreography project which provides TDC ensemble members the unique opportunity to step backstage and call their own shots as choreographers and directors. "Members of Thodos Dance Chicago are far more than performers -- they are creative artists selected to join the company based on their passion and talent for choreography. New Dances 2017 will feature World Premieres by TDC Company members John Cartwright, Abby Ellison, Alex Gordon, Hattie Haggard, Thomas Jacobson, Jessica Miller Tomlinson, Brennen Renteria, Luis Vazquez, and guest choreographer, Melissa Thodos.
Natya’s In the Blue Light: Stories of India (5:30 PM, Wednesday, July 19, Maggie Daley Park) speaks through gods, goddesses, animals, and demons, weaving a tapestry that transports the audience to another world. Join Natya at Maggie Daley Park for this Night Out in the Parks performance. Admission is free; all are welcome. For more information, please see the Chicago Park District's event site.
DanceWorks Chicago is excited to partner with the Lou Conte Dance Studio on DanceChance (7 PM, Friday, July 28, Lou Conte Dance Studio), a one-hour event designed to offer opportunities for choreographers to show their work informally, create a forum for dialogue among artists, and build audience for dance. Inspired by the concept of open-mic night, DanceChance is held once a month and features 3 choreographers chosen by chance, each of whom has a 15-minute time slot to share their work. To round out the hour, the final 15-minute segment is a moderated meet-the-artist session providing an opportunity for choreographers to discuss their work and process as well as time for the audience to ask questions. At the end of each DanceChance, the next trio of participants is chosen from names submitted by choreographers in attendance. DanceWorks Chicago is inspired to continue to experiment with this program to encourage creativity and a sense of adventure on the part of artists and audience and to bring communities together to learn more about each other.
Chicago Dance Crash presents “The Bricklayers of Oz” (8 PM, July 28-August 5, Ruth Page Center for the Arts), the hip hop origin story of the Yellow Brick Road.
Who sweeps up the confetti in Munchkinland? As the flagship production of Crash's 15th Season, ‘Bricklayers’ is an action-packed street tale of the lesser known laborers within The Land of Oz. Crash's hip hop fusion style tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the East and her power-hungry plan to coax others into building her a magical road followed quickly by the realization and uprising of an otherwise ignored group of people. This family-appropriate production uses lollipops and breakdancing as an allegory for modern day politics and what it's like growing up as a "Second-Class Citizen of Paradise."
For More details and tickets, go to seechicagodance.com and click on "Upcoming Events."