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Previews, reviews, and the latest dance news.
Supreme Love (photo: Desmond Tutu Owusu)

JUBA! Surprises and Delights (review)

By on July 28, 2016

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 brightest stars […]

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Dance/USA broadens its scope to a more inclusive future

By on July 13, 2016

“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 beautiful Austin, […]

Alana Deitch's piece with dancers L to R: Katherine Stewart, Justine Gagne, Jessica Hublick, Sara Daudlin

‘Delve’ dabbles deftly (review)

By on June 27, 2016

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 of jazz […]

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Triplicate is hot and humid (review)

By on June 22, 2016

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 presented a […]

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dropshift dance looks to the feminine for ‘FloatBrilliance’

By on June 14, 2016

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 to multiple […]

Gretchen Soechting by Matthew Gregory Hollis(2)

Synapse returns to roots in ‘Openwork’

By on June 5, 2016

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 rebranded Synapse […]

Robyn Mineko Williams, Company/Choreographer: Robyn Mineko Williams, Title of Work: UNDER(cover) Episode 002: Chicago, Dancers: Elliot Hammans and Adrienne Lipson

Robyn Mineko Williams goes UNDER(cover) at Links

By on May 25, 2016

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 the Baryshnikov […]

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Studio Mangiameli’s fifth inspired by love

By on May 15, 2016

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 namesake Chiara […]

"The Collectors" |photo by Karla Beltchenko

Rewards > Risk at CMC’s Dance Shelter (review)

By on May 14, 2016

For the past few seasons, Chicago Moving Company (CMC)’s Kay LaSota has produced a two-show package for the group’s home space at Hamlin Park. The first, D49, is a mid-summer fest featuring up and coming artists curated by CMC’s long time artists in residence: Rachel Bunting, Ayako Kato, and Atalee Judy. The audience’s favorites at […]

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DIY ‘Mess Hall’ Brings New Voices to the Fore (review)

By on May 4, 2016

  Heavy rain and the three steep flights of stairs up to Outerspace Studios couldn’t keep away the crowd as The Coincidentals’ Mess Hall convened for its second installment in two seasons. The series brings young artists, mostly friends and former Columbia College classmates of producers Jamie Corliss and Lydia Feuerhelm, together for what looks […]

photo credit: Johnny Riese

RockCitizen: Peace, Love, and Civil Unrest

By on May 3, 2016

On its surface, The Seldoms’ latest RockCitizen (premiering Thursday, May 5 at the Storefront Theater) is an exploration and celebration of rock music and the counterculture that grew alongside or out of it. Indeed, rock ‘n’ roll informs and infuses the text, gestures, sound score, and onstage singing that play equal parts to dance in […]

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CTT: Time Travel with Tap (review)

By on April 14, 2016

Each season, Chicago Tap Theatre (CTT) runs a fairly formulaic series of performances. There’s the holiday tap jam Tidings of Tap, a one-nighter at the Athenaeum, and a full-length narrative, usually staring the company’s Artistic Director and Business Manager, husband and wife team Mark Yonally and Jennifer Pfaff Yonally. While the content of each “tap […]

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Trio of works integrate movement and technology at HCL

By on April 6, 2016

Writer/producer Cynthia Bond’s first go at curating a series of dances on her own shines a lens on the use of technology to complement, alter, or replace movement. Dubbed Body ±, the one-nighter at High Concept Labs on the fourth floor of Mana Contemporary’s massive warehouse space in Pilsen seems the perfect project for the alternative intimate […]

Chicago's skyline with the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, whose Harris Theater for Music and Dance lies below ground. (Photo by Mike Warot [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Letter to the Editor: Harris Theater Announces Choreographer-in-Residence Brian Brooks

By on April 5, 2016

Note: The following is an anonymous response to a recent announcement by Chicago’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance granting $600,000 over the course of three years to choreographer Brian Brooks as the theater’s first ever choreographer in residence. It is published here with permission from the author.   Brian Brooks of the Brian Brooks […]

Susan Gartell and Timothy O'Donnell. Photo Brian Lipchik

Timothy O’Donnell explores envy in ‘The Sixth Sin’

By on March 31, 2016

MILWAUKEE, WI – While taking a brief hiatus from dancing, Timothy O’Donnell visited Milwaukee Ballet to take class on a whim. Artistic Director Michael Pink invited him to join the company that day, and the city to our north is now O’Donnell’s full-time home. In addition to dancing for Milwaukee Ballet, O’Donnell is also its […]

Sara Maslanka in 'Bindis & Bruises' | photo credit: Al Zayed

Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble tackles tough topics (review)

By on March 16, 2016

Celebrating 15 years this season, Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble (CDE)’s latest project is an ambitious investigation into sexual assault and domestic violence. Titled Bindis & Bruises, the 45-minute work of dance theater focuses in on this sensitive topic mostly through the lens of Indian women, driven by the real experiences of creators Ellyzabeth Adler and Priya Narayan. Running […]

The Dance COLEctive | Photo by William Frederking

The Dance COLEctive Celebrates 20 Years with ‘Revelry’

By on March 11, 2016

Margi Cole has long been known as a teacher, at the Dance Center of Columbia College and across the globe, bringing her “Margi-isms” and wacky metaphors to eager dance students. Thousands of “cornfused” students have “run around” in Cole’s classes, trying to figure out the Louie from the Richie. Humor and humility are Cole’s trademarks, cultivating […]

Thodos Dance Chicago’s Sono’s Journey is a stirring story dance celebrating the life of legendary Japanese-American dance artist, Pictured: Thodos Dance ensemble member John Cartwright as Sono’s father Shoji Osato. Photo credit: Chloe Hamilton

TDC’s ‘Chicago Revealed’ has everything but the kitchen sink (review)

By on March 9, 2016

No one can fault Thodos Dance Chicago (TDC) for a lack of variety. Titled “Chicago Revealed,” the company’s spring series last weekend at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance featured four works from three choreographers, each offering his/her take on Chicago, past and present. The program was divided into two halves, with Thodos’ latest narrative […]

Dana Michel in 'Yellow Towel' |photo by Maxyme G. Delisle

‘Yellow Towel’ breaks all the rules – or maybe writes new ones (review)

By on February 29, 2016

As the audience piled into Chicago’s Storefront Theater for Dana Michel’s one-night engagement, the ordinarily dark space was dressed in sterile white drops and white marley. But nothing – absolutely nothing – about Michel’s solo work Yellow Towel is as plain as the space in which it lives. Michel is dressed in a black hoodie […]

Winifred Haun & Dancers in "Your nearest exit may be behind you" by Winifred Haun. Photo credit: Matthew Gregory Hollis, lighting by Julie Ballard

A Mixed Bag at Winifred Haun’s ‘First Draft’ (review)

By on February 29, 2016

“You are really going to love this show,” said Winifred Haun onstage at the Ruth Page Center for the Performing Arts, “especially if you love chairs.” Indeed, chairs or some form thereof were coincidentally a part of all the dances on the program in First Draft, Haun’s two-day engagement featuring new-ish dances from five Chicago companies. […]

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