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Review: Anna Martine Whitehead’s S P R E A D at Links Hall

By on April 28, 2017

CHICAGO — Few dancers in Chicago have broken out as distinctly as Anna Martine Whitehead did in her LinkUP residency-ending performance at Links Hall March 3-5, alongside an opening performance by Chicago mainstay Mitsu Salmon. It was a fitting end to Links Hall’s long-running LinkUP program – a truly punctuated, unforgettable send-off. Fearlessly squaring against […]

OnEdge plays in the periphery

By on March 3, 2017

CHICAGO — Working as an arts presenter is a hard job, and though I don’t know for certain, I would imagine that working for the City of Chicago is also hard. As Director of Performing Arts for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Shoshona Currier is doing both: administering city-funded performance-based programming, and […]

15th annual Flamenco Festival highlights its multi-cultural roots

By on February 28, 2017

CHICAGO — Through March 25, Instituto Cervantes’ Chicago Flamenco Festival showcases the breadth and depth of Flamenco. The five-week fest includes music and dance performances at a gaggle of venues around the city, with the kick-off event taking place last week at a chic west loop spot, City Winery. Opening night shined a lens on an […]

Music and musings are just ‘Some of a Thousand Words’

By on February 26, 2017

CHICAGO — A one-nighter last Saturday marked the second of NYC-based Brian Brooks’ Chicago engagements during his tenure as the inaugural choreographer in residence at the Harris Theater, and his second collaboration with retired New York City Ballet super star Wendy Whelan. Whelan and Brooks each had their own solos to diversify the night’s gaggle of […]

The Cambrians return with ‘Empress Archer’

By on February 18, 2017

CHICAGO — Beginning in 2013, Benjamin Wardell dreamed up a process called “The Nexus Project.” He recruited dancers Michel Rodriguez Cintra and worked with a gaggle of choreographers, who developed duets for them, only to have those duets deconstructed and put back together again in a semi-improvised, never-the-same-way-twice series of intimate performances. It worked. The two […]

Pulling dance from a hat: Milwaukee’s ‘Genesis’ project

By on February 14, 2017

MILWAUKEE, WI — Every other year, Milwaukee Ballet’s artistic director Michael Pink sifts through a pile of applications one-by-one to select three choreographers. Some are up-and-coming, some pretty established. Pink wants a clear idea and the potential for a great piece. The only other requirement: be affiliated with a professional company. Choreographers from all over […]

Deeply Rooted’s 20th season opener highlights yin and yang (preview)

By on December 1, 2016

CHICAGO – “Time goes by quickly,” said Kevin Iega Jeff reflecting his tenure as Artistic Director of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, “but we figure it out as we go along.” “Figuring it out” hasn’t been easy, but Jeff and co-founder Gary Abbott have remained hyper-focused and vigilant toward the company’s mission to diversify concert dance by […]

Aerial Dance Chicago gets Spooky

By on November 8, 2016

CHICAGO – Aerial Dance Chicago (ADC)’s loft space off the Irving Park blue line provided an intimate and appropriate setting for Ghost Stories, the company’s fall concert held Halloween weekend and dedicated to all things spooky. Each dance alluded to the battle between good and evil, light and dark, heaven and earth (and perhaps what lies beneath […]

Changes afoot at the Auditorium Theatre

By on November 1, 2016

CHICAGO – Tania Castroverde Moskalenko officially took the helm as the new CEO of the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University at a press luncheon onstage Oct. 27. Key stakeholders from the University, organizational leaders from many of the companies who perform regularly at the Auditorium, board members, and representatives from a number of arts advocacy organizations were […]

An audience-centered ‘choose your own adventure’ with Zephyr

By on October 19, 2016

CHICAGO — Nearly a year after the Amid Festival, a magical gathering of performing artists grappling with aging bodies, festival curator and Zephyr Dance artistic director Michelle Kranicke presents her latest project Oct. 20-23 at Defibrillator Gallery. Valise 13 originally rose from a curiosity about travel. In selecting the French word for suitcase as her title, Kranicke […]

Nora Sharp and Haydee Souffrant: seeking syncronicity

By on September 23, 2016

CHICAGO — Links Hall’s white space was packed to the gills Sept. 18 for the last of three performances of “Belonging,” as is usually the case in choreographers’ first attempts at a concert. The split bill shared by Nora Sharp and Haydée Souffrant was as full as the audience, with well over an hour of […]

Choreographer Alex Sanchez makes his Goodman debut in ‘Wonderful Town’

By on September 20, 2016

CHICAGO — One of Dance Magazine’s 2015 “25 to watch,” choreographer Alex Sanchez makes his Goodman Theatre debut with Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town. The Chicago native trained at Ruth Page Center for the Arts and performed four seasons with Ballet Chicago in the late 80s and early 90s under artistic director Daniel Duell. His 40-week […]

JUBA! Surprises and Delights (review)

By on July 28, 2016

CHICAGO — Last weekend’s JUBA! puts a cap on the 26th annual Rhythm World: Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP)’s month-long tap festival including classes, workshops and performances. For more than half of its 26 years, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) has been the site of this culminating event, bringing some of the best and […]

Dance/USA broadens its scope to a more inclusive future

By on July 13, 2016

AUSTIN – “How do we facilitate a more robust conversation about art?” @dusaorg “As art practitioners, when do we need a mirror and when do we need action?” @wocaonline “How can we expand the notion of aesthetics to be more inclusive?” @dusaorg The 2016 Annual Conference for Dance/USA, a national service organization for American dance companies, convened in […]

‘Delve’ dabbles deftly (review)

By on June 27, 2016

CHICAGO — Producer/choreographer Rachel Katz packed us in tightly for the one-night-only Delve at Menomonee Club’s Drucker Center in Lincoln Park. The fourth of its kind, Katz’s mission is to present a variety of up-and-coming choreographers, and indeed, this bento box of dance contained small bites in a great many flavors with a wide spectrum […]

Triplicate is hot and humid (review)

By on June 22, 2016

CHICAGO — With each passing year, the gaggles of new Dance Center of Columbia College grads brings the inevitability of at least one coming out concert at DIY venues across the city. The class of 2016 shows promise as it enters the real world, teeming with talent, if not confidence. Triplicate featured three such young grads, who […]

dropshift dance looks to the feminine for ‘FloatBrilliance’

By on June 14, 2016

CHICAGO — FloatBrilliance, premiering this weekend at Links Hall, is the third installment of what Artistic Director Andrea Cerniglia calls the Imposter Series, a multi-year project consuming at least half of her company’s history. In dropshift dance’s six seasons, Cerniglia’s aesthetic has gently, steadily pulled away from her roots in Zephyr Dance, but her commitment […]

Synapse returns to roots in ‘Openwork’

By on June 5, 2016

CHICAGO — A decade ago, Rachel Damon sat in a tree knitting a long red scarf. Her fledgling company performed many works like these — site-specific installations using multiple mediums — as we saw Synapse Arts Collective performing in parks, crosswalks and atop fabricated clouds. Since that time, Damon assumed leadership of the once-collective of multi-disciplinary artists, and the […]

Robyn Mineko Williams goes UNDER(cover) at Links

By on May 25, 2016

CHICAGO — Robyn Mineko Williams, fast becoming one of the most recognizable names in Chicago dance, premieres a new episode of UNDER(cover) this weekend at Links Hall. On the heels of last fall’s Mariko’s Magical Mix, a fantastical collaboration with Manual Cinema set on Hubbard Street 2, the original UNDER(cover) began as an independent work last summer at […]

Studio Mangiameli’s fifth inspired by love

By on May 15, 2016

CHICAGO — Celebrating five years in the Logan Square neighborhood, Chiara Mangiameli’s flamenco studio presented its annual showcase last weekend at the Vittum Theater. I agreed to review the performance, not quite realizing that Love Song was a student showcase. Inspired by a T.S. Elliot poem, the central figure of Studio Mangiameli’s production was its […]

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