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News, reviews, and columns about dance, performance, and other arts events happening in the midwest

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International dancewear brand Wear Moi finds a home in Chicago

By on May 14, 2019

CHICAGO — Since its humble beginnings in 1992, husband and wife business owners Christophe Ridet and Elisabeth Miegge-Ridet built their line of dance apparel called Wear Moi, going from custom orders made on a single sewing machine to an in-demand international brand sold in 60 countries at more than 700 retailers. For the Ridets, the next logical step was to plant […]

Raising the standards for inclusive dance training: A profile on Berit Godo

By on April 24, 2019

CHICAGO — This post is part of a series of conversations with other trans/genderqueer dancers to give you a broader idea of where we come from, what we’re up to, and how we navigate the dance community. That said, meet Berit Godo! Berit grew up training with Pacific Northwest Ballet and Spectrum Dance Theater in […]

Opposites attract in Hedwig’s ‘Sea Level’ at Ruth Page

By on March 22, 2019

CHICAGO — The two pieces which make up Hedwig Dances’s spring series are positioned as opposites. The evening, called Sea Level: Above and Below, boasts world premieres by company members Taimy Ramos and Rigoberto Saura. It’s an apt juxtaposition: the murky groundedness of Ramos’s “A Flor de Piel” gives a sense of the dark abyss beneath […]

Saturday at the Epic Center: Beware the dance echo chamber — come to RAD Fest

By on March 10, 2019

KALAMAZOO, MI — In 2017, Fox News dropped the slogan “Fair and Balanced.” They claimed it was because the motto had been written by its dismissed chairman Roger Ailes, swapping the phrase for “Most Watched, Most Trusted.” Whatever you think about Fox News, the change certainly provides a more accurate picture of the network’s essence. […]

RAD Fest’s first night of short works puts American gender and race politics front and center

By on March 9, 2019

KALAMAZOO, MI — Two rows of chairs form a semi-circle around a projection screen hung at the front of the Judy Joliffe Theater. A third ring of audience members stands behind these chairs. On the screen, a video flashes footage of current events – the Women’s March and various other protests, and the Access Hollywood […]

Long works program a rare chance to see festival dances breathe

By on March 8, 2019

KALAMAZOO, MI — It is often the case that the dance festival setting provides a broad, but shallow view of an artist’s work. It’s an understandably impossible conundrum; festival organizers throughout the country want to bring as much variety as they can to audiences, and offer opportunities to as many artists as possible. In coming […]

Company Wayne McGregor’s ‘Autobiography’ asks big questions and plays in extremes — but it’s minimalism

By on March 8, 2019

ST. LOUIS, MO — It’s become easier than ever to learn about ourselves, with mail-in genome readers like 23andMe and Ancestry.com giving you more information than you might ever need to know about your health, family and cultural background based on a swab of saliva. But what does one do with such powerful information? Knowing […]

Tragedy yields sonic ecstasy: CSO debuts Schuman’s 9th with Mozart ‘Requiem’

By on February 24, 2019

CHICAGO — William Howard Schuman wrote Le fosse Ardeatine in 1968. Schuman, an American composer, created his 9th symphony (of 10) to commemorate the March 24, 1944 mass murder of 335 Italians by German troops at the Ardeatine Caves outside Rome. Opening a Feb. 21-23 program at Symphony Center, this weekend’s performances of Schuman’s Symphony no. 9 are the […]

Mayoral candidates agree arts are important; differ on action plans

By on February 12, 2019

CHICAGO — Five of Chicago’s 14 candidates for mayor attended the Chicago Mayoral Arts Forum Sunday, a chance for hopefuls to lay out their intentions for maintaining and expanding the city’s commitment to the arts. In a Q & A format organized by Arts Alliance Illinois and moderated by Chicago Humanities Festival artistic director Alison […]

In ‘MOVEMEDIA,’ Grand Rapids Ballet commits to ballet for and about ‘now’

By on February 9, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — It was a blustery night in Grand Rapids on Friday, but everything was warm and cozy in the Peter Martin Wege Theatre for the opening of “MOVEMEDIA: Handmade,” a night of new works by the Grand Rapids Ballet. The two headliners of the evening: choreographer-in-residence Penny Saunders and Nicolas Blanc, whose “Aquatic […]