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At Physical Theater Festival, Aura CuriAtlas’s acrobats act out Steven Hawking’s story

By on June 13, 2019

CHICAGO — Two festivals which ran simultaneously this month — the Pivot Arts Festival in Uptown and Edgewater and the Physical Theater Festival in Lakeview — have more in common than their North side roots. Each is a veritable grab bag of contemporary performances from Chicago and beyond, many of which defy categorization. The Physical […]

First weekend of Pivot Arts Fest challenges Euro-centrism with multidisciplinary forays

By on June 8, 2019

CHICAGO — Summer is just beginning, and Chicago is itching to hit the beach. Last Sunday was sunny, but deceptively cold. The chill in the air didn’t stop a couple of brave bathers from sunning themselves at Thorndale Beach anyway, conspicuously opting in — perhaps unwillingly — to the end of Ayako Kato’s newest work, […]

Tap bookends ballet and Hubbard Street in 2019 Spring to Dance finale

By on May 26, 2019

ST. LOUIS, MO — On National Tap Dance Day, tappers opened and closed the final evening of Spring to Dance, capping three full days of performances at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. The night began with MoSTLy TAP, a local company started in 2017, and ended with Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), which celebrates its 30th […]

Musical monotony needn’t be the rule, but at Spring to Dance, it’s a trend

By on May 25, 2019

ST. LOUIS, MO — It’s not a new trend. Contemporary dance has shared a kinship with minimalistic music for decades. As an undergraduate dance major around the turn of the century, I too was smitten by composers like Arvo Part and Philip Glass — I mean, there’s something intriguing about musical maps which are beholden […]

Contemporary is king on first night of Spring to Dance

By on May 24, 2019

ST. LOUIS, MO — With nightly performances through Saturday at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, the annual Spring to Dance festival is slowly building to a boil, spending much of its first day of programming firmly locked into contemporary dance. You had to make it to the end to see anything else, with the second […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tradition is a good thing — but Bolshoi’s ‘Bayadère’ is out of touch

By on February 2, 2019

CHICAGO — With Bolshoi in Cinema, American audiences get the opportunity to witness live performances from the Bolshoi Theatre, simulcast to U.S. movie houses approximately ever other month. I first attended the series in November, with the Bolshoi Ballet’s “La Sylphide,” and honestly loved the opportunity to see this legendary company presenting an extraordinary ballet […]

‘Miss Saigon’ at the Cadillac Palace: a passé musical everybody should see

By on November 27, 2018

CHICAGO — Through Dec. 8, “Miss Saigon” makes a triumphant return to Chicago for a limited run at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. It’s the love story of Chris and Kim, an American G.I. and a Vietnamese woman who meet in 1975 at a brothel in Saigon during the Vietnam War. That sentence is the epitome […]

Live from Moscow, Bolshoi in Cinema brings classic ballets directly to you

By on November 23, 2018

EVANSTON, IL — Downtown Evanston’s Cinemark cinema has not retrofitted its theaters with supersized Lazyboy-style recliners and in-theater “dining experiences” — honestly, it’s just a movie theater, ideal for the Bolshoi in Cinema series, which brings performances by the legendary Russian ballet company to your neighborhood movie house. As I walked into the theater, I […]

In Chicago debut, Opera Atelier at the Harris is radically traditional

By on November 16, 2018

CHICAGO — The Harris Theater’s 15th anniversary season is in high gear, with a successful run from Miami City Ballet last weekend and, through Saturday afternoon, the Chicago debut of Opera Atelier. Miami City’s engagement marked the true end of Michael Tiknis’ tenure as President at the Harris; although he left the post in 2016, […]

Jane Eyre hasn’t felt this fresh since the 1840s

By on November 10, 2018

EVANSTON, IL — The weather was cold with spitting rain and a swirling wind that no umbrella could fight. But as I crossed the parking lot on campus at Northwestern University’s Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, a woman walking next to me gleefully reminded me to look at the lake. Even on this terrible […]

Shared bill between Esoteric Dance and Project Bound is an exercise in restraint

By on October 28, 2018

CHICAGO — At a cozy 119 seats, the Edgewater neighborhood’s new Edge Theater fills a much-needed gap in the dance community. It provides a critical step up between 50-seat DIY spaces such as Links Hall and Hamlin Park field house and more daunting venues such as Ruth Page and the Athenaeum Theatre. Taking a chance […]

Rewriting the narrative to put women choreographers and dance leaders center stage

By on October 6, 2018

In a letter dated January 1, 2018, Peter Martins stepped down from his post as artistic director of the New York City Ballet (NYCB) and head of the School of American Ballet amidst allegations of physical abuse from five dancers in the company. The accusations came at the height of #MeToo, a social media-turned activist […]

Civic Orchestra’s centennial season kicks off with ‘Concert for Chicago,’ played side-by-side with CSO

By on September 22, 2018

CHICAGO — A summery breeze swirled through the Jay Priztker Pavilion Thursday evening, tempering an unseasonably warm day in Chicago and part of a picture-perfect evening in Millennium Park. Joining me were more than 10,000 Chicagoans, gathered for the season openers of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the CSO’s […]

Thirteen Days in Durban

By on September 21, 2018

*Note: This piece appears in the JOMBA! Khuluma Digital, a magazine summarizing the 20th annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience. Five students at the University of Kwazulu-Natal participated in a Dance Writing Residency, engaging with dance writing and criticism in conjunction with the festival. Re-published with permission. DURBAN, KZN, SOUTH AFRICA — …and so begins my […]

Blame it on the rain: Three dances impacted, though not inspired by a spring rain in Durban

By on September 10, 2018

*Note this review originally appeared on the JOMBA! Khuluma Blog, as part of the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience Dance Writing Residency and is re-published with permission. DURBAN, KZN, SOUTH AFRICA — A day of rain did not keep Ioannis Mandafounis and Emilia Giudicelli from dancing in the driveway outside the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre for the […]

‘Udodana’ lays bare personal and political identities of Musa Hlatshwayo

By on September 7, 2018

*Note this review originally appeared on the JOMBA! Khuluma Blog, as part of the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience Dance Writing Residency and is re-published with permission. DURBAN, KZN, SOUTH AFRICA — In the opening tableau of Musa Hlatshwayo’s “Udodana,” Hlatshwayo revolves around himself at mid-stage. A hooded figure, made moody by top light with gobos, […]

‘You Don’t Own Me’ more than just a soundtrack at JOMBA! On the Edge

By on September 6, 2018

*Note this review originally appeared on the JOMBA! Khuluma Blog, as part of the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience Dance Writing Residency and is re-published with permission. DURBAN, KZN, SOUTH AFRICA — Eleven days ago, I dipped my toes into the Indian Ocean for the first time. Standing on the edge of a continent that’s not […]

Legends and Legacy: Anita Ratnam’s take on a Hindu goddess locates women here and now

By on September 3, 2018

*Note this review originally appeared on the JOMBA! Khuluma Blog, as part of the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience Dance Writing Residency and is re-published with permission. DURBAN, KZN, SOUTH AFRICA — I had just heard the news that Paul Taylor died as I left for the Sneddon Theatre to view Anita Ratnam’s “A Million Sitas,” […]

Highs and lows of the human condition in MIDM JOMBA! opening

By on September 3, 2018

20th year of JOMBA! kicks off with a dance about human trafficking, and a journey to the moon and back

‘Open Spaces’ is about access and visibility to KC arts, but it’s also going to be awesome

By on August 23, 2018

KANSAS CITY, MO — Years in the making, Open Spaces: Kansas City’s Arts Experience launches on Saturday, kicking off more than two months of carefully coordinated visual and performing arts events all over the city. Open Spaces is a product of Mayor Sly James’ 2011 task force for the arts, which led to the development a city-wide […]

‘Fly Honey’ gets bigger every year. Could we funnel some of that body positivity elsewhere?

By on August 18, 2018

CHICAGO — First, a couple of admissions: Until last night, I had never attended the Fly Honey Show. And I only made it through the first half. A swarm of bodies in black lace, leather and fringe step-touched their way around the Den Theatre’s largest of five performance spaces, which was filled to capacity with […]

CDF 15th anniversary highlights include SHareOUT at the MCA, second Elevate

By on August 17, 2018

CHICAGO — Two upcoming weekends at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) highlight former Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) Lab Artists in a mini-festival called SHareOUT. For 15 years, CDF has provided substantial grants to independent artists, supporting movement-based practice and the choreographic process in an array of genres. On Aug. 24-25, Fujima Yoshinojo (Rika Lin) […]

2018 ‘Spring to Dance’ chock full of pleasant surprises

By on May 29, 2018

ST. LOUIS, MO — I came to this year’s Spring to Dance festival figuring the best-case scenario would be to experience nothing out of the ordinary. Dance St. Louis, the local presenting organization which has produced Spring to Dance for 11 years, had already cut the Spring to Dance line-up from three days to two, drastically […]

Three days in dance month affirm off-Loop concert dance’s place in #chidance

By on April 25, 2018

CHICAGO — We’re in the home stretch of Chicago Dance Month, a celebration of the breadth and depth of dance in the Windy City. For me, that has included a number of illuminating full-length works from out-of-towners like Bebe Miller and Okwui Okpokwasili, Hubbard Street and Giordano on the same two nights at our city’s grandest […]

Kansas City FilmFest focuses lens on local artists

By on April 11, 2018

KANSAS CITY, MO — Kicking off Wednesday at Cinemark Palace on the Plaza in Kansas City, MO, the 22nd annual Kansas City FilmFest will feature more than 100 local, regional, national and international films through Sunday. I caught wind of this festival while in town for Kansas City Ballet’s 60th anniversary performances, and was delighted to […]

Challenging works for diamond jubilee kick-off new era for KC Ballet

By on April 9, 2018

KANSAS CITY, MO — The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts was buzzing Saturday night, as the Kansas City Ballet ended the first weekend of performances celebrating its 60th anniversary season. The trio of works on this first of two unique programs on back to back weekends arm KC Ballet’s repertoire with a new work, […]

New Dance Horizons is a triumph in Dance St. Louis’ lean year

By on April 3, 2018

ST. LOUIS, MO — The mission of Dance St. Louis, a presenting organization founded more than 50 years ago by Washington University professor of dance Annelise Mertz, is pretty simple: bring great dance to St. Louis. For the last decade, part of this effort has included a highly successful three-day festival at the Blanche M. […]

RE|dance group’s bookish Victorian beauties transform Hamlin Park in ‘Mysterious Disappearance’

By on March 31, 2018

CHICAGO — Walking in for RE|dance group’s The Mysterious Disappearance of the Second Younger Sister, Thursday and Friday, the dark, deep Hamlin Park Theater was adorned with a writer’s desk sporting an antique typewriter in the foreground and an antique dress form sporting a tailored women’s jacket in the background. The old ornate windows that, […]

Second half of RAD Fest imbued with questions of power, perspective, permission

By on March 11, 2018

Author’s note: To read additional coverage of the 2018 Midwest RAD Fest, click here. KALAMAZOO, MI — Each of RAD Fest’s four juried live performances asked audience members to travel from the Epic Center’s Wellspring Theater to the Judy Jolliffe Theater across the hall, a flexible blackbox with gleaming, gorgeous wood floors. We’re told to stand […]

First RAD Fest late night is ‘like a prayer’

By on March 11, 2018

Author’s note: To read additional coverage of the 2018 Midwest RAD Fest, click here. KALAMAZOO, MI — Gina Kohler walks onstage, naked, and sits on top of a mirror, that’s on top of a muslin drop cloth, that’s on top of a larger plastic drop cloth. She pours a red liquid slowly down her back, across […]

RAD Fest kick-off is wide-ranging, thought-provoking

By on March 10, 2018

KALAMAZOO, MI — Originally from New York, Cori Terry danced with Erick Hawkins in the ’70s and was invited to Western Michigan University (WMU) in Kalamazoo, MI as an artist-in-residence in 1980. She’s been here ever since, founding Wellspring in 1981 as the only professional contemporary dance company in the region. In 2000, Wellspring moved into beautiful […]

Review: ‘As the Crow Flies’ looks to the Midwest for inspired improv

By on March 2, 2018

CHICAGO — What makes dance “midwestern”? I don’t know, really, other than the unapologetic determination of midwesterners to do it. Call me biased, but there’s great dance happening in the middle of the country, by artists who don’t feel a need to seek approval from the coasts or have a specific urge to locate themselves […]

The long game of elevating Chicago dance

By on November 17, 2017

CHICAGO — Elevate Chicago Dance came and went in October, and here I find myself near the end of November and still mulling over it. The one-time-only, three-day dance extravaganza known as Elevate Chicago Dance was organized by the Chicago Dancemakers Forum as a culminating festival signaling the end of the multi-year Regional Dance Development […]

Life after Scantron: On practical and oral assessment in higher education

By on October 14, 2017

Note: This post is not about dance, but easily could be. Assessment and measuring achievement in college and high school dance programs can be tricky business, and in my “day job” teaching health sciences courses at a university we face similar challenges. Here I lay out some reasons why I’ve found oral and practical assessment […]

Happy Birthday, Art Intercepts! You’re a beautiful disaster, and I just can’t quit you.

By on September 14, 2017

It was maybe 2011 when I reconsidered the name Art Intercepts. My thought process went something like: There’s no “dance” in the name. I obviously have nothing to do with the Cartesian Coordinate System. Everyone gets it wrong and types Arts Intercept instead of Art Intercepts, or uses AI, which makes me think of artificial […]

Juneteenth and Navigating Dublin: both are complicated

By on June 19, 2017

During a five week study abroad program in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago and University College Dublin, during the summer of 2015, I had the pleasure of working with two undergraduate students on a qualitative research project related to sports psychology and dance. What we found were more similarities than differences, and […]

Kansas City New Dance Partners puts local dance front and center

By on June 9, 2017

KANSAS CTY, MO —  Kansas City New Dance Partners is an initiative launched in 2013 at Johnson County Community College (JCCC), located in the sprawling suburbs on the Kansas side of the two cities who share the same name. The goal of New Dance Partners is to elevate the local dance scene and bring it to […]

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 […]

Haute Couture at the Chicago History Museum

By on November 15, 2016

CHICAGO — On display through August, 2017, the Chicago History Museum’s newest exhibit, Making Mainbocher, is a peek at the life and work of Main Rousseau Bocher, an American fashion designer with significant ties to the Windy City. Main Bocher grew up on the city’s West Side, attending John Marshall High School and the Lewis Institute […]

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 […]

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

By on May 14, 2016

CHICAGO — 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 […]

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 […]

RockCitizen: Peace, Love, and Civil Unrest

By on May 3, 2016

CHICAGO — 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 […]

CTT: Time Travel with Tap (review)

By on April 14, 2016

CHICAGO — 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

‘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’

By on February 29, 2016

CHICAGO — “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 […]

Art for Art’s Sake in Pink’s Dorian Gray? (review)

By on February 26, 2016

MILWAUKEE, WI: Oscar Wilde’s prerogative about art was that it served little purpose but to fill the world with beauty and pleasure, and he lived his life in pursuit of both. In one sense, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray is a chintzy romance flick that lives up to Wilde’s views, and yet his book […]

Urban Bush Women Celebrate Coltrane, Embody Jazz (review)

By on February 22, 2016

CHICAGO — Jazz music and contemporary dance: misunderstood genres which often operate ahead of their time. It isn’t until years, or even decades later that audiences accept and begin to appreciate art forms that look and sound strange at first. Such was the case with John Coltrane (1926-1967), a legendary saxophonist and composer who quite literally […]

Abundant Eye Candy in Joffrey’s ‘Bold Moves’ (review)

By on February 15, 2016

The contemporary works on Joffrey’s latest (through Feb. 21 at the Auditorium Theatre) have little in common, once again showing off the company’s versatility in a program that is bound to have something for everyone. There is something old (Jirí Kylián’s Forgotten Land), something new (world premiere Tipping Point by Ashley Page), something borrowed (Yuri Possokhov’s […]

KC: A Masterpiece in the Making

By on February 5, 2016

KANSAS CITY, MO: It’s so exciting to see a city ticking upward. Kansas City Ballet (KCB) is at a truly fascinating moment in its history – with Devon Carney at the helm beginning in 2013 and a totally amazing new building: the Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity. KCB is using its big, beautiful, brand spankin’ […]

Choreographer Ashley Page Premieres Joffrey Work in ‘Bold Moves’

By on December 23, 2015

CHICAGO — After nearly three decades dancing and choreographing with the Royal Ballet in his native London, and another in Glasgow as the director of the Scottish Ballet, award-winning choreographer Ashley Page struck out on his own as a freelancer. After leaving the Scottish Ballet in 2012, Page now travels the globe creating contemporary ballets […]

Kansas City Ballet Unveils a New Nutcracker (review)

By on December 22, 2015

KANSAS CITY, MO: As other mid-size cities’ downtown districts dwindle, Kansas City is growing at an unbelievable pace. Long known for its BBQ and jazz music, a series of projects and new facilities have been very good for several long-standing KC arts and cultural organizations. The trio of organizations forming the artistic hub of KC (Kansas […]

Milwaukee Ballet’s Unique Take on Nutcracker (review)

By on December 15, 2015

MILWAUKEE, WI: Since 2002, Michael Pink has remained at the helm of Milwaukee Ballet, the longest sitting Artistic Director in the company’s 45 year history. Pink’s impressive resume as a dancer rival those of the world’s most prestigious artistic directors, however, unlike many of his colleagues, Pink is also one of his company’s primary choreographers. […]

Some things old and something new for Esoteric’s 5th (review)

By on December 9, 2015

Esoteric Dance Project (EDP) was formed in 2010, and after five full seasons, co-directors Brenna Pierson-Tucker and Christopher Tucker took a walk down memory lane for REvisited/REnewed last weekend at the Preston Bradley Center in Uptown. Mason Hall, a gorgeous, rustic, out-of-the-way, up-four-flights-of-stairs,vastly underutilized space shares a building with the People’s Church at the Preston Bradley Center. […]

Ruth Page Civic Ballet: 50 Years of Nutcracker (review)

By on December 8, 2015

Most Chicagoans familiar with dance know the names Robert Joffrey and Ruth Page, but before the Joffrey Ballet relocated to Chicago in 1995, Ruth Page was one of the only professional gigs in town for a ballet dancer. Despite her name being most closely associated today with superior pre-professional dance training, during her lifetime Ruth Page […]

Lucky Plush Breaks Into the Harris (review)

By on November 22, 2015

My first thought upon walking into the house of the Lucky Plush Productions’ Mix at Six and seeing a bunch of strangers was: “Why isn’t every single dancer I know at this show?!?” Then I realized that the inexpensive happy hour performance series isn’t designed for dancers on a budget. Formally branded as Eat and Drink to the […]

CATCH Takes Chicago (review)

By on November 17, 2015

In response to the 2012 Cultural Plan, the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (known to us artist-folk as DCASE) has beefed up its programming to include several new series of free performances. SpinOff is one such series, celebrating Midwest choreographers at three venues: Pritzker Pavilion, the Studio Theatre at the Cultural […]

The Quant/Qual debate: it’s all science.

By on November 11, 2015

A couple years ago I was speaking with a tenure-track professor in Kinesiology at another institution, telling her how excited I was about conducting qualitative research about aesthetic competence. “Can I give you a piece of advice?” she said. Oh boy. No, but, “Of course!” I said. “Don’t do qualitative research.” The professor went on […]

Jessica Lang Makes Magic at the Harris (review)

By on November 9, 2015

Shades of black and white were a recurrent theme on stage for Jessica Lang Dance’s one-night-only program at the Harris Theater last Friday. The audience, however, was all pastels, totally enamored  with Jessica Lang during a monumental weekend for Chicago dance that featured a coincidental line-up of influential women choreographers at venues across the city. Opening […]

TSMP Celebrates 10 years in Millennium Park

By on November 5, 2015

My sophomore year of college, I took an interdisciplinary seminar in ecology and economics.  We discussed how Midwestern prairie lands have changed over time, and the impact of economic development on our natural landscapes. We visited Prairie Crossing – a weird amalgamation of suburbia, farmland and natural prairie, mostly owned by Waste Management. As The Space/Movement […]

Nomi: the little company that could (review-ish)

By on November 3, 2015

In the days following the death of Paul Christiano, many of the photos and sentiments circulated on social media were from Laura Kariotis. As Artistic Director of Nomi Dance, Kariotis worked closely with Christiano for seven years, and the concept for Nomi’s one-night-only fall engagement at the Athenaeum Theatre on Oct. 24 was originally his idea. […]

Adam Rose’s ‘Against Being’ is a Dance About Nothing

By on October 27, 2015

“Well, we haven’t talked about philosophy,” said Adam Rose, when asked, “Is there anything else?” toward the end of our interview about his latest work, Against Being. Rose premieres Against Being, what he calls a “dance about nothing,” at Links Hall culminating a year of research and movement investigation supported by a 2014 Lab Artist […]

The Cronus Land Seduces the Senses (review)

By on October 20, 2015

Are dances made for artists or audiences? Yes. There is a delicate balance between art for art’s sake and pure entertainment. On the one hand, we need audiences in order to fund and validate dance. On the other, pandering to the public does nothing to advance and evolve the artform. Khecari, lead by Jonathan Meyer […]

Joffrey’s ‘Sylvia’ breaks from tradition, just like it used to (Review)

By on October 18, 2015

Following a highly successful pre-season weekend last month featuring up-and-coming choreographers, the official opening night of the Joffrey Ballet’s 60th anniversary season threw many of ballet’s conventions out the window. Entering the theater, we were greeted by an open main curtain and three dancers already onstage. We wanted to clap for the orchestra conductor (Chicago […]

Frank Chaves’ Swan Song

By on October 5, 2015

Even on the heels of a highly successful 25th anniversary season, the announcement of Frank Chaves’ retirement as Artistic Director of River North Dance Chicago (RNDC) was not wholly unexpected. Over much of the last decade Chaves has managed to lead and maintain the company despite facing some serious personal challenges. A degenerative spinal cord condition […]

Gu Jiani’s ‘Right & Left’ Challenges Assumptions (review)

By on September 28, 2015

Joseph Lam, Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (CI), climbed a short set of stairs from the house of the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater up to the edge of the stage and immediately noted that he’d been given specific directions: Don’t touch the floor. Indeed, it was a pristine white […]

Dancing in Dublin: Exploring Philosophical Assumptions in Qualitative Approaches to Describing Dance

By on September 25, 2015

Author’s Note: The purpose of this photo essay is to discuss the philosophical assumptions surrounding potential qualitative research methodologies that might be utilized to describe aesthetic competence and dance performance. It is a culmination of earlier work developed during my time in Dublin, Ireland while participating in a five-week study abroad program in collaboration with the […]

Andee Scott in the edge of it, Photo by Kirk Donaldson

At the Harvest Fest, Less is More (review)

By on September 21, 2015

The 6th installment of the Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival (HCCDF) is trying a new format, with two programs rather than three, spread out over two weekends. The result is fewer artists, more tech time for each artist, and an overall heightened sophistication to one of the few remaining small-scale festivals. The evening opened with a bang […]

The image of research: Triangulation

By on September 20, 2015

This post could be subtitled “What I did on my summer vacation…” During a five week study abroad program in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago and University College Dublin, during the summer of 2015, I had the pleasure of working with two undergraduate students on a qualitative research project related to sports […]

Five Years and Counting!

By on September 13, 2015

  I happened to glance at my calendar and see a really big milestone coming up. On Tuesday, Sept. 15 this little blog turns 5! Is Art Intercepts everything I wanted and hoped it would be? NO! Certainly not! But you’ve gotta give a girl some credit for sticking with something. In five years, blogging […]

Chicago Dancing Festival Celebrates ‘Modern Women’

By on September 2, 2015

The Chicago Dancing Festival‘s annual engagement at the Museum for Contemporary Art has explored a variety of themes throughout its nine year history, most with a focus on maximizing the intimate and close-up setting provided by the wonderful Edlis Neeson theater. This year’s theme, “Modern Women” basically spanned the whole history of Modern Dance in a […]

First Ever Chicago Teen Dance Festival Tonight!

By on August 29, 2015

A conversation between Links Hall’s Roell Schmidt and Suzanne Connor of the Chicago Community Trust was the catalyst for the Chicago Teen Dance Festival, a new initiative mirroring the Chicago Jazz Lions Pavilion and kicking off tonight at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. The Jazz Lions brings together young jazz musicians to perform […]

J. Lindsay Brown Goes for Broke in ‘Spectacle Spectacular’ (review)

By on August 21, 2015

  MCL Chicago is a year-old space in Lakeview, great for improv comedy. It’s an intimate setting with little cafe tables interspersed throughout the audience for a BYOB beverage-of-choice, but like every space, this one has a few down sides. J. Lindsay Brown’s fully improvised dance and song extravaganza with The Glitter Island Gang, Spectacle Spectacular, suffered a bit in […]

Dance Merges with Mingus in Millennium Park (review)

By on August 18, 2015

The inevitable end of summer has given us some perfect evenings for a picnic and a show in downtown Chicago. Indeed, the lawn at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park was packed last Thursday for a unique collaboration made possible by the two heads of state of a venue previously known as the Viaduct Theatre. Links Hall’s Roell Schmidt […]

Dance for Life 2015 is in the books

By on August 17, 2015

To quote Miley Cyrus, “It’s our party, we can do what we want…” …and at Dance for Life 2015, we sure did. I took a stab at playing multiple roles as reporter, photog., and party-goer. Taking pictures, mingling, and drinking wine all at the same time is complicated, particularly when the whole place is dripping […]

Dancer/Choreographer Paul Christiano dies at age 39

By on August 6, 2015

“A few years ago, Paulie was directing a production conceived and choreographed entirely by him from the ground up. Early on in the creation process Paul let me know there was an extra piece he wanted to add using eight specific guest artists. I told him, ‘That’s great Paulie, but we didn’t budget any cash for […]

In Process with CDF Lab Artist Ginger Krebs

By on July 21, 2015

The Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) Lab Artist grant is a coveted prize for any choreographer, yielding some of Chicago’s best works. Since its inception in 2003, the organization lead by Ginger Farley has sponsored nearly 50 artists, each given a significant chunk of change to produce one work. Over the years, artists have allocated their grants […]

Bonnie Brooks | photo credit: Katie Graves

UPDATE: More Change in Store at the Dance Center

By on July 16, 2015

A few months after an inconspicuous note tucked in the season announcement that Bonnie Brooks would be curating its presenting series, the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago released a statement last week that Brooks has now been named Presenting Series Director, effective August 1. The difference in positions includes the elimination of the Dance Center’s Executive Director […]

Pursuit Productions tackles difficult dance theatre with ‘THEM’

By on July 6, 2015

Pursuit Productions is the collective effort of director Kacie Smith and dancer/choreographer Ahmad Simmons. As co-Artistic Directors, the two have produced a wide range of works in their few years of working together — some more clearly dance, some more clearly theater. One thing is for sure: these two are good for each other, elevating their respective […]

Esoteric Celebrates 5 Years with Juxtaposition (review)

By on June 10, 2015

A small but supportive audience fell on Links Hall’s white space for the opening night of Esoteric Dance Project’s Juxtaposition. EDP offered two works choreographed by husband/wife Artistic Directors Christopher Tucker and Brenna Pierson-Tucker. Tucker’s Orchestrated Homage in Five Movements and Pierson-Tucker’s Public Privacy were put together to illustrate disparate themes, and though many details are, indeed, quite […]

Innervation Dance Cooperative’s ‘Tuned In’ is a bit out of tune (review)

By on June 8, 2015

At the top of the show, Innervation Dance Cooperative (IDC) founder Michael Sherman bounced up on stage for his pre-show speech and joyfully said, “Enjoy yourself and have a good time!” Spirits were high despite a relatively small audience in the Pro Theater at Stage 773, and IDC managed to carry a full two hours […]

dropshift dance’s dream team (review)

By on June 1, 2015

In her fifth season as an Artistic Director, Andrea Cerniglia continues to “go big or go home.” As a 21st Century Diaghilev of sorts, Cerniglia has called on some of the best collaborators in the business for the creation of Imposter/Contained, continuing a series that began last year with Imposter/Malleable. As with the first, this Imposter is […]

Big Changes at the Dance Center for 2015-16

By on May 24, 2015

The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago announced its 42nd presenting season last Tuesday, and at first glance nothing looks especially different. Many of the usual suspects are present as the Dance Center continues its commitment to providing Columbia students and dance audiences at large with an eclectic mix of contemporary and experimental performance. Stephen Petronio and […]

‘The Salts’ really know how to party (review)

By on May 24, 2015

The Salts is the latest show put on by The Inconvenience, marking the first time that the ultra-hip multi-disciplinary performance collective has dedicated a full evening to dance. The work is devised by Erin Kilmurray, created in collaboration with actress/singer/clown Molly Brennan. The Salts is hidden in the Flat Iron Arts Building in a hard-to-find space on […]

‘Fit to be Tied’ is a Glorious Pillow Fight (review)

By on May 15, 2015

CHICAGO — An apparent technical snafu left his audience sitting in the lobby nearly half an hour before entering Links Hall’s white space for Fit to be Tied, the full length version of Josh Anderson’s hilarious Levels of Acetylcholine (premiered last summer as part of CMC’s D49 festival). As soon as I started to care that we […]

Dance Shelter: Raw, unfiltered, unreasonably long (review)

By on May 13, 2015

In Chicago Moving Company’s first performance since the death of Chicago dance guru and CMC founder Nana Shineflug, Dance Shelter maintained all her goodness and unbridled spirit. Nana was perhaps best known for trying anything and everything, something that has been passed down to the choreographers she mentored throughout her life. Nana’s influence is, perhaps, best […]

The “Carpenter COLEctive” is greater than the sum of its parts (review)

By on May 11, 2015

Margi Cole and Peter Carpenter have been courting for awhile (artistically, that is). Cole has joined Carpenter as a dancer for the last few installments of his serial dance called Rituals of Abundance for Lean Times, a project that began in 2010 at New Trier High School as a response to the economic state of […]

Review: ‘Neel’ is the stuff of dreams and nightmares

By on April 22, 2015

CHICAGO — The fascinating thing about dreams is how vivid they are when they’re happening, and how quickly they fade from memory. Almost as soon as you wake up, the details blur and the dream becomes a wash of feelings and experiences. Such was the case for Neel: Blutopias of Radical Dreaming,  Minneapolis-based Ananya Dance […]

A Case for Case-Based Learning

By on April 20, 2015

In my “day job,” I teach health science students. In my humble opinion (IMHO), if health sciences instructors aren’t using case studies, then what the heck are we doing? Ultimately our students’ careers will be a series of continuous case studies. So, while they can look up vocabulary words in books and manuals and on […]

Chicago Inspired: Thodos Ends Season 23 on a High Note

By on March 30, 2015

On March 7, Thodos Dance Chicago wrapped Season 23 in grandiose style with a continuation of its year-long commitment to celebrating Chicago. After performing to a packed-house at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance including new and old rep inspired by Chicago, Thodos pulled out all the stops for a beautiful post-show gala onstage at Pritzker […]

Review: Loosen Up, LinkUP (or maybe don’t)…

By on March 30, 2015

CHICAGO — Walking into Studio A at Links Hall on Saturday night, the room seemed not quite ready. An orange A-frame ladder remained out near the upstage wall, extension cords strewn about, while a man and a woman in identical outfits played heads or tails with a somewhat awkward nonchalance. There’s a lot to look […]

Montom Mixes and Mingles at Mana (review)

By on March 28, 2015

Visiting Mana Contemporary at its relatively new Chicago location nestled in a weird, barren block of Pilsen is becoming a more frequent occasion, and it seems likely that Mana will soon be on EVERYONE’S radar. It’s not too far and there is more parking than imaginable, plus, Mana has a hip vibe that can only be felt […]

An exclusive peek at RivNo’s world premiere “the frost that binds”

By on March 25, 2015

This Saturday, March 28 River North Dance Chicago (RNDC) will be presenting two world premiere performances as part of the closing performance of the company’s 25th anniversary season. On the bill is Adam Barruch’s “the frost that binds,” and if Barruch’s name sounds familiar, don’t be alarmed. RNDC has employed Barruch on two previous occasions: once for a world premiere called “I […]

Dance Center Closes 14/15 Season with Urban Bush Women

By on March 16, 2015

Now in its 30th season, Urban Bush Women (UBW) is stopping at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago this weekend on the tail end of a 10-city national tour. The engagement includes two new works from Artistic Director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and guest choreographer Nora Chipaumire. Chipaumire’s dark swan explores how African female bodies are represented. dark swan gets to […]

If everyone was like me…

By on March 10, 2015

…that’s a horrifying thought. After taking the learning styles inventory, I discovered that I am a visual learner. Duh. I was that kid who stood at the ballet barre picking her nose (not really) watching the teacher demonstrate exercises before we were required to do them ourselves. I was also that kid who stood on […]

It depends on the goal

By on March 9, 2015

An attempt at a teaching goals statement: I struggle between a desire to “let students in” by sharing my thoughts and perceptions, incorporating humor, reaching them “where they are,” and the necessity of running a tight ship with respect to policies and procedures. In the past two semesters, some students have been caught off guard when […]

‘Sweater Weather’ Defies the Stereotype (review)

By on February 28, 2015

With every class that graduates from the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago comes a gaggle of tiny new dance companies, followed by an equal number of Kickstarter campaigns, and enthusiastic audiences largely made up of… each other. But every once in awhile, one or two of the “little guys” sticks around more than a […]

Crash captures ‘all the feels’ for its DC debut (review)

By on February 22, 2015

Chicago Dance Crash (CDC) kicked off its 13th season with an ambitious rep program for the group’s debut performance at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago (DC) this weekend. This interdisciplinary group of dancerly misfits shouldn’t look good together, but somehow they accomplish a cohesion and polish that many other companies of their size […]

Nexus Redux (review)

By on January 11, 2015

Does Chicago need another new dance company? No. Does Chicago need another new dance studio? Probably not. And yet, it felt so exciting walking into the raw, cold footprint of the north side garage that will eventually become Dovetail Studios… walking in for the kick off a new name in town: The Cambrians. New, but not […]

5 Chicago Dancers to Observe in 2015

By on January 9, 2015

The 25 to Watch List put out each year by Dance Magazine is a coveted place for any dancer, and this year Chicago is extremely well represented with Emilie Leriche, Robyn Mineko Williams, and the whole of Visceral Dance Chicago called out for 2015. While it is impossible to disagree with these choices, I have […]

Celebration and Celebrities at the Aud’s 125th Birthday Bash

By on December 10, 2014

Last night the Auditorium Theatre was teeming with opulence and excitement, in addition to Chicago celebrities John Mahoney, Patti LuPone, and Mayor Rahm too. The fancies all gathered to celebrate The Aud’s 125th birthday in the grandest of style, paying homage to the gala opening on Dec 9th, 1889. Orchestral and rock music, opera and […]

Dancers Tong and Hortin dish on HSDC’s Winter Series, Victor Quijada, and not the Nutcracker

By on December 2, 2014

An abundance of choreographic royalty appears onstage at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) this weekend and next as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC)* presents its Winter Series featuring Princess Grace Awardees Kyle Abraham, Robyn Mineko Williams, and Victor Quijada. Abraham’s Counterpoint is on the program (after last summer’s premiere as a commission of the Chicago Dancing […]

Lessons in Strength and Conditioning

By on November 25, 2014

Author’s note: During the fall semester of 2014 I had the pleasure of completing a strength and conditioning internship at Flames Athletic Center with the women’s softball team at the University of Illinois at Chicago. What follows are a series of reflections written between August and December, 2014, based on my experiences, as I grappled […]

Khecari’s ‘Oubliette’ will soon be gone, but not forgotten

By on November 23, 2014

The feeling one gets entering Khecari’s latest performance environment must be how Mary Lennox felt when she first encountered the soggy and dead secret garden on the moor. The plants surrounding the barn at Indian Boundary Park are wilted and decaying; there’s a mysterious beauty to the garden that glows under strings of twinkle lights hanging in […]

Bread & Butter culminates

By on November 20, 2014

Last fall, Cristina Tadeo and Nicholas Davio premiered a miniature dance and music installation at Comfort Station called Bread & Butter. Though short on length, space, and cast,  the result of a year long investigation into the ongoing discussion of artistic sustainability left a lasting impact on me. After a year of incubation, Tadeo and Davio return […]

Harry F. Wolcott’s ‘Sneaky Kid and its Aftermath: Ethics and Intimacy in Fieldwork’ (Book Review)

By on November 4, 2014

Note: This review of ‘Sneaky Kid and its Aftermath’ was originally produced for ED-502: Essentials of Qualitative Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Introduction As a distinguished anthropologist and noted qualitative researcher, Harry F. Wolcott has published ethnographies on his anthropological fieldwork in British Columbia and Rhodesia, and is well recognized for his texts on qualitative […]

A New Lens for Dance: Pros and Cons of Live Streaming Performance

By on October 28, 2014

Dance for the camera is nothing new, but with idevices, YouTube, and the Internet literally everywhere, broadcasting dance to living room sofas is easier than ever. Chicago companies large and small are trying it out, in different iterations, and for slightly different reasons. The common goal, however, is to access and engage with new audience […]

Christopher Preissing Looks to his Past in “The Four Attic Windows”

By on October 20, 2014

Shortly after his excellent collaboration with Kristina Isabelle in The Floating City last year, composer Christopher Preissing did not take any time to rest. Four antique maps inspired his suite for solo piano called The Four Attic Windows. Preissing was set to launch the new work and accompanying dance created by choreographer Enid Smith a few weeks later, when a serious […]

Zephyr Dance pushes its limits, and ours, too (review)

By on September 28, 2014

Zephyr Dance is one of those companies that sometimes escapes my radar, particularly since the departure of Emily Stein a couple years ago. To be honest, I was slightly worried about what was going to happen to Zephyr and Artistic Director Michelle Kranicke when Stein split from the company couple years ago. To be really honest, […]

Soham Dance Project is born (review)

By on September 22, 2014

I spent my birthday this year with Soham Dance Space for a special Moving Dialogues during Chicago Dance Month (CDM). The theme of CDM 2014 was “Open doors, open spaces,” and the narrow studio‘s warm and welcoming feel was echoed by owner Anjal Chande’s calm and genuine presence. Chande is tiny in stature, but watching her dance, […]

BalletX opens the Dance Center’s 41st Season (review)

By on September 20, 2014

For the first time maybe ever, ballet fans were torn this weekend in deciding between the Joffrey’s season opener Stories in Motion and The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. The Dance Center isn’t exactly a reputed venue for ballet, which makes the Chicago premiere of Philadelphia-based BalletX all the more exciting. Having previously seen […]

Summerdance Meets Science

By on September 11, 2014

I’ve been keeping my eye on Dr. David Marquez, who keeps his office across campus from me at UIC. Marquez is conducting some interesting research on the effects of Latin cultural dance programs for older adults. Our backgrounds and our work are as different as peanut butter and cats, but on this we agree: there is […]

Hope Goldman takes flight in ‘Birds in Paradise’ (preview)

By on September 10, 2014

I’ve been associating shiny colored swishy pants with choreographer Hope Goldman for a really long time. Her first ever evening length concert, Birds in Paradise, has gone through many iterations, but a few things have remained constant: the cast, the concept, and those fabulous swishy pants. Goldman’s cast of four women (Jessica Cornish, Alana Parekh, Cheryl […]

The Chicago Dancing Festival closes in grandiose style

By on August 25, 2014

Hours before the grand finale to the Chicago Dancing Festival in Millennium Park, a storm rolled through so big it nearly washed away the Pritzker Pavilion in its entirety. Ain’t no rain gonna get dance fans down.   The massive storm didn’t deter Chicagoans from flocking to one of Chicago’s quintessential end-of-summer soirees (for dance, anyway). […]

Duets on the menu for Friday’s CDF

By on August 21, 2014

The Chicago Dancing Festival opened last night and I’m still buzzing from the excitement. Walking past a line of hopeful dance patrons in a standby line akin to what one might see at a Sting concert, I felt a wave of gratitude rush over me. Coming to CDF reminds me of how magical it is to […]

Kyle Abraham’s ‘Counterpoint’ set to premiere at Chicago Dancing Festival

By on August 16, 2014

It’s been a fruitful summer for dance in Chicago – and I’m not just talking about PRODUCE. Tonight, Dance for Life will see two world premiere performances choreographed by Randy Duncan and Harrison McEldowney & Jeremy Plummer, and next week continues the trend. The Chicago Dancing Festival is bringing three world premieres to the bountiful […]

JUBA! serves haute cuisine of tap dance on Chinet plates (review)

By on August 2, 2014

Wednesday’s curtain speech for JUBA! was a tag team of Peter Taub and Lane Alexander (of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), respectfully) recognizing the importance of tap dance in Chicago, and the long-time collaborative effort of the two organizations to elevate tap to a more sophisticated realm. JUBA! is a […]

RE|Dance celebrates five years with ‘The Long and Forgotten Winter’

By on July 27, 2014

If you’re friends with Lucy Riner on Facebook, then you’ve heard about this show. With Riner and co-Artistic Director Michael Estanich at the helm, RE|Dance is taking an “all-in” approach in preparing for its five-year anniversary next weekend at the Ruth Page Center for the Performing Arts.  With the help of a MetLife New Stages for […]

D49: growing dance on fertile grounds (Review)

By on July 26, 2014

Hamlin Park Fieldhouse: the home of Chicago Moving Company (CMC), a typical haunt for developing choreographers to show work, and a sometimes hot bed for discovering new and emerging talent in dance and performance. With Dance for $9.99 (D49), seasoned producer (and long-time right-hand woman to CMC Artistic Director Nana Shineflug) Kay LaSota joins the lot of […]

That’s (not just) Entertainment: Dance as a tool for cultural dialogue and social change

By on July 18, 2014

In 2013, Chicago-based Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT) became the first American dance company to appear in the 15th annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience in Durban, South Africa. JOMBA!’s founder Lliane Loots first connected with Deeply Rooted through the tireless work of Lorna Johnson, a DRDT board member and consultant on international exchange programs. Last year’s appearance, sponsored […]

Thodos Celebrates 14 Years of New Dances

By on July 11, 2014

Meeting Thodos Dance Chicago (TDC) company member Diana Winfree in the art room at the Menomonee Club for Boys and Girls, she apologized about the noisy kids in the hallway as we settled down for a chat. “I’m pretty familiar with noisy kids,” I said. It’s hard to separate a studio visit to TDC from […]

Dance in the Parks returns! (preview)

By on July 7, 2014

The model for Dance in the Parks (DIP) is simple: dance, in the parks. Take a close look, however, and DIP quickly becomes a vital part of the dance community. For the sixth summer, DIP is bringing a fully-produced, high quality performance to Chicago Park District locations in all corners of the city. Artistic Director […]

The Musicophilia of Chicago Tap Theatre (review)

By on July 3, 2014

CHICAGO — It seems a natural partnership – live music and tap dancing – and yet Chicago Tap Theatre (CTT) seems to have settled in a niche that no other dance company in Chicago has. I had my suspicions, but didn’t really know until last weekend’s annual Unleash the Beats at the Athenaeum Theatre that […]

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s Emerging Choreographer / Artist Showcase (review)

By on June 28, 2014

CHICAGO — There are plenty of dance companies who fuse Western and non-Western dance. Ballet is blended with modern, modern with African Diaspora, but rare is the dance company who creates such a delicious salad of dance forms as Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT). The influence of Horton, Graham, Classical Ballet and African dance are so […]

Wading in the Waters of the River See (p/review)

By on June 21, 2014

This weekend and next, there’s something kind of huge going on at Links Hall.  Four years of work and a collaboration between Links Hall, Living Arts of Tulsa, Diaspora Vibes Cultural Arts Incubator, The Theater Offensive and the National Performance Network all lead up to the Chicago premiere of Sharon Bridgforth’s River See. Not a dance […]

Highlights to look for in 2014-15 (and tickets on the cheap)

By on June 10, 2014

Season announcements for the big venues have been trickling into my inbox, and this is actually the time to think about loading your dance calendar. Why? Tickets are cheap! Here are a few highlights you may want to consider for some #chidance next season: The Auditorium Theatre celebrates 125 years next season, and with this […]

Cross-country collaboration culminates in ‘Birdlady’

By on May 28, 2014

Vivian Maier lived in Chicago most of her life, working as a nanny, with a serious photography hobby. She captured American life in the 1950’s and 60’s, but never shared her work. Maier’s photographs were stored, (many weren’t even developed), and eventually sold when she could no longer afford the rent on the storage unit where […]

Meet me in St. Louis: Love Letters from Chicago’s Artistic Directors to Spring to Dance

By on May 24, 2014

* Note: This post was created as a special feature in collaboration with SeeChicagoDance.com* ST. LOUIS, MO — Dance St. Louis has changed Memorial Day weekend. While most Americans stuff themselves silly with burgers, hot dogs, and beer, for thousands of St. Louisians this weekend is about world-class dance performances. The Spring to Dance Festival started […]

Chicago Dancing Festival founders receive Public Humanities Award

By on May 21, 2014

Every once in awhile, we are reminded that dance is about more than just dance. Each year since 1984, the Illinois Humanities Council has awarded the Public Humanities Award to acknowledge outstanding individuals or organizations who don’t need reminders that the arts and humanities can create positive changes to society. In 2014, Jay Franke and David Herro […]

Milwaukee Ballet’s Michael Pink: “If we get you through the doors, we can have a lasting impact”

By on May 16, 2014

MILWAUKEE, WI: “That is the the biggest challenge… this city lives under the shadow of Chicago so people make an assumption that it can’t possibly hold much value,” said Michael Pink, “but I can tell you that the arts are in abundance, and rival anything you can find in Chicago…there is not a dull moment […]

Scatterdance presents a smattering of dance (preview)

By on May 1, 2014

Nora Sharp isn’t a typical dancer. “I grew up playing classical music intensely,” she said in an interview on Easter morning. Sharp didn’t start dancing until she was nearing the end of her tenure at Oberlin College. Being relatively new to dance and relatively new to Chicago, Sharp felt gaps in the community in trying to […]

Two mainstay companies that might make this #chidance weekend fantastic

By on April 21, 2014

This weekend will give rise to landmark birthday celebrations for Inaside Chicago Dance and Mordine & Company Dance Theater. Inaside Chicago Dance commemorates 10 years with a mix of new and old works from its repertory this weekend at the Athenaeum Theatre. The bill includes choreography from a spectrum of Jazz Dance choreographers including Harrison McEldowney […]

Striding Lion examines the American Dream (review)

By on April 20, 2014

  Striding Lion Performance Group’s latest endeavor, American Me, is an immersive look at the sometimes hilarious, sometimes profound, sometimes disturbing state of self-reliance and the American Dream. It’s a wide-reaching, epic journey that spans decades and genres, blending 1950’s diner tunes with 1980’s rock ballads, and weird emo modern dance with pas de chats with satirical […]

Pilobolus graces a fresh new MAC stage (review)

By on April 19, 2014

It’s not a particularly desirable commute from the city, and public transit doesn’t really go there, but maybe that’s the point. The newly renovated McAninch Arts Center (MAC) is located at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, and boasts a pretty beefy line-up of artists for its 2014 season. Ok, renovation is an understatement. The […]

Visceral Dance Chicago joins the lot for #chidancemonth (review)

By on April 14, 2014

In a month that is veritably packed with dance, on a weekend that was equitably packed with dance, Visceral Dance Chicago (VDC) offered up a two-day program at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. This would be VDC’s first attempt at a full-length evening; the fledgling company presented a mini-show last fall debuting work […]

River North’s spring one night stand at the Auditorium Theatre (review)

By on April 13, 2014

Seeing River North Dance Chicago (RNDC) at the Auditorium Theatre felt a little bizarre. Like a buffalo in the Amazon, the ornately dressed Auditorium isn’t RNDC’s natural habitat. Nonetheless, a jubilant and considerably large crowd gathered for a one-night-only effort from a company known for its fierce technique, athleticism, and tight ensemble dancing. By those standards, […]

Skate Dance Dream unites skating and dance, kids and pros

By on April 11, 2014

  My first contact with Parker Pennington was when I accidentally tweeted him good luck in Sochi. Thinking he was Jason Brown by looking at tiny pictures on my phone… ok I have no excuse, and that was really embarrassing. But Pennington has had an extremely impressive career of his own, winning US National Figure […]

Ginger Krebs’ Soft Parade works hard, plays hard (preview)

By on April 4, 2014

The day after Giordano Dance Chicago closed its spring season, I went to a studio showing of Ginger Krebs’ Soft Parade, premiering this weekend in the Katten/Landau Studio Theater on the fourth floor of Roosevelt University. Talk about polar opposite experiences. In the same way that jalapeño poppers and vichyssoise are both food, Soft Parade and Giordano […]

Giordano Dance Chicago ignites the Harris Theater (Review)

By on April 2, 2014

Ok, maybe it’s too soon for a pun about fire at the Harris, but in the last moments of the electrifying Sabroso I swear I saw smoke coming from the heels of Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC)’s dancers. In an eclectic Spring program,  older works appeared with the anticipated world premier of Autumn Eckman’s Mist. Mist […]

After two years, ATOM-r’s THE OPERATURE culminates

By on March 28, 2014

The Operature is a dance show scattered amongst the masses of other spring dance shows. Ok, not really. Running two weekends in March, the 90 minute installation from Mark Jeffery and his group called ATOM-r is anything but just another dance show. The Operature pushes boundaries all over the place in its subject matter, venue, […]

Diane Rawlinson to receive the 2014 Ruth Page Award

By on March 22, 2014

Since 1986, the Ruth Page Foundation has awarded passionate and influential members of the dance community with the Ruth Page Award. In 2004, Keith Elliott and Dance for Life received the award. With Elliott recently departing Chicago for a new business endeavor in Scottsdale, Arizona, it seems fitting that Diane Rawlinson would receive the Ruth Page […]

Choreographers team together for “Fostering Dreams through Dance”

By on March 16, 2014

Producer Jesse Welch and professional dancer Melanie Buttarazzi teamed together recently with a vision to enrich the lives of foster youth through dance. Welch and Buttarazzi recruited choreographers Sean Cheeseman, Stacy Walker, Gustavo Vargas, and Robert Chino Lopez, who have worked with world renowned entertainment giants the likes of J Lo and Michael Jackson, as well […]

Hubbard + Jiří Kylián = Love (not a review)

By on March 14, 2014

The San Francisco Chronicle once named Jiří Kylián “one of the greatest choreographers of our age.” Boy, those reporters sure are smart. You know that saying that anything you could possibly do as an artist has already been done? I’m pretty sure that was Jiří Kylián, 20 years ago, doing it, and better than you. So […]

Cloud Gate approaches….

By on March 8, 2014

In what may be the most comprehensive marketing campaign I’ve ever seen, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan’s visit to Chicago next week might be the most highly anticipated event of the season. Three of our heavy hitters of the Chicago dance scene – The Joffrey Ballet, Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, and the Dance […]

dropshift dance aims to immerse and interact, and wins (review)

By on March 2, 2014

Upon first glance, one might consider Andrea Cerniglia’s four woman troupe dropshift dance (intentionally uncapitalized) to be a spin off of Zephyr Dance. Cerniglia is a long time dancer/collaborator with Zephyr, and the influences of Michelle Kranicke (and formerly Emily Stein too) are undeniable. Yet there is something very different about this four woman company that […]

Dizzy Feet’s Nigel Lythgoe and Jenna Elfman pop in for a visit at Hubbard Street

By on March 1, 2014

After a SYTYCD audition stop in Chicago, Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe stopped in for a visit to Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s studios to observe a rehearsal of the company’s upcoming all Kyliàn program, and (perhaps more importantly) visit a few of the youth program classes supported, in part, by an operational grant from the Dizzy […]

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to Chicago

By on February 25, 2014

Twenty-five years after his death, the legacy and impact of Alvin Ailey on American contemporary dance cannot be disputed. His dances are ones that never get old; watching Revelations and Pas de Duke is like seeing a page out of the history book of dance. You would think we would be tired of them by […]

Join me for a #chidance tweet chat!

By on February 15, 2014

I’ve had the pleasure of hosting a workshop on press and PR for small dance companies at Outerspace Studios on Saturday mornings for the last couple of weeks. Several colleagues have said they wanted to come, but work five jobs and can’t make it on Saturday mornings. Then one Saturday there was a big snow […]

Get Down: a virtual dance off benefitting the Global Poverty Project

By on February 11, 2014

The Global Poverty Project is built on the idea that poverty is perpetuated by a lack of access to education worldwide. What does that have to do with dance? Nothing. It’s not possible to dance poverty away… or is it? Dance is a universal language that can be a powerful tool in igniting change. The […]

Review: Esoteric Dance Project’s Shift/ed at Links Hall

By on February 8, 2014

CHICAGO — Husband and wife team Christopher Tucker and Brenna Pierson-Tucker created Esoteric Dance Project in 2010, and with a group of strong dancers in tow present four premieres this weekend at Links Hall. Tucker and Pierson-Tucker are strongly influenced by ballet technique, and add a contemporary dance flavor to their aesthetic. There doesn’t really […]

Joffrey tests its boundaries in ‘Contemporary Choreographers’ (preview)

By on January 28, 2014

“Choreography is where dance makes sense to me,” says Chicago-based choreographer Brock Clawson. Amidst the polar vortex, Clawson joined the Joffrey Ballet for a few weeks to set his work Crossing Ashland on the company. Clawson has become highly regarded as a distinguished choreographer in Chicago since retiring from performing for Thodos Dance Chicago less […]

Eat to the Beat is back, with a twist…

By on January 27, 2014

In an effort to attract new audience members, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance has been working to develop programs that draw from the thousands of working professionals in the loop. Premiering this Thursday is a spinoff of the successful lunchtime series Eat to the Beat. Artist-y types have really gotten behind the series that brings […]

Celebrating Lou Conte, and 40 years of LCDS

By on January 23, 2014

The founder of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and namesake of Lou Conte Dance Studio (LCDS) will be in the house Feb. 1 for a special event honoring 40 years since the studio’s founding. An interview with Lou Conte is to be moderated by Claire Bataille, a founding member of Hubbard Street (you know, when Hubbard […]

Tap star Savion Glover in a one-nighter at the Harris Theater (Preview)

By on January 20, 2014

As the premiere tapper of his generation, Tony-award winner Savion Glover brings his latest project STePz to Chicago in a one-night engagement at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance Jan. 24. Glover is one of few modern day tap dancers to break into the mainstream; with credits like Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk  and Happy […]

2014 Summer Intensive Auditions Approach

By on January 9, 2014

Lots of auditions. Lots and lots of auditions. Ok, so it’s possible that my choice for waiting out the Chiberia polar vortex was to watch old reruns of the X-Files on Hulu…. but whether or not you picked up on the reference from Paper Clip, the beginning of every new year generally brings with it […]

Artist Profile: Boston’s Anna Reyes

By on December 27, 2013

Originally from Austin, TX, dancer/choreographer Anna Reyes left her hometown and a conventional ballet/modern/jazz dance training to attend The Boston Conservatory, where she fell in love with improvisation. Rather than moving to New York straight away after college, Reyes decided to plant herself in Boston for awhile. Two years later, she’s working as a personal […]

An Encore of One Thousand Pieces (review)

By on December 14, 2013

CHICAGO — If you haven’t already seen Alejandro Cerrudo’s One Thousand Pieces, now is the time to do it. If you’ve already seen Alejandro Cerrudo’s One Thousand Pieces, go see it again. Cerrudo’s evening-legnth effort for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago was a first for both parties, and served as the highly-anticipated season opener for the […]

Redmoon’s Massive Winter Pageant in its Massive New Space (preview)

By on December 10, 2013

Pilsen is strange. Turn down one block and it’s a hip, happening, vibrant neighborhood. Turn down another block and it’s deserted factory warehouses. Sort of. On two occasions my mind has been blown by such deserted blocks. The first: Visiting Mana Gallery for The Nexus Project last month. Then, on a different but equally creepy […]

Visions of Sugar Plums (2013 Nutcracker Preview)

By on December 3, 2013

The Joffrey Ballet has been delighting audiences with its Nutcracker for 26 years. I remember seeing it about ten years ago and remarking on what a special production it is. It was the heyday of Calvin Kitten, and the lavish costumes, sets, and dancing made for a really fun experience. Nutcracker can get a little: […]

2013 Fall Dance Wrap-up

By on November 29, 2013

It’s been a whirlwind season and things are finally starting to settle down in the dance world. In the short respite post-Fall Danceapolooza and pre-Nutcracker frenzy, I thought I’d take a moment to express my gratitude for the seriously phenomenal dance that crossed my path in the past three months. It’s been all go, no […]

Chicago’s T-Day parade turns 80

By on November 24, 2013

CHICAGO — This year marks the 80th anniversary of the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Second only to the Macy’s parade in NYC, Chicago knows how to throw a party. Through the years, the parade has been a standing tradition for many families watching in person or on television. Many families will decide to sleep in, […]

Visceral Dance Company is Born (review)

By on November 23, 2013

Thursday night saw the debut performance of Visceral Dance Chicago at the surprisingly half full Harris Theater for Music and Dance. In an short performance of three world premieres and a video montage highlighting each company member, it’s clear that Visceral Dance Chicago is here, and wants to play with the big kids. I mean, […]

Three Premieres in River North’s ‘Autumn Passions’ (review)

By on November 15, 2013

After an exhausting year that included a pilgrimage to Cuba and two brand new works, River North Dance Chicago’s Artistic Director Frank Chaves decided to take a back seat creatively in the company’s 24th season. For the 2013 Fall Engagement, RNDC recruited three new works from choreographers Ashley Roland, Adam Barruch, and Kevin Iega Jeff. All three […]

Winifred Haun & Dancers Brings Work to Confluence of Graham Dancers in Madison (preview)

By on November 10, 2013

On the heels of a wildly successful run at Ruth Page Center for the Arts earlier this fall, Winifred Haun is hitting the road for a similar Graham-inspired evening hosted by Kanopy Dance in Madison, WI. Haun’s compelling Don’t Linger Too Long is to be performed alongside a gaggle of works spanning 77 years. All […]

DMTs Show Artistry and Collaboration in the Third Annual MOVED Concert (preview)

By on November 8, 2013

MOVED is a student run organization in the Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling (DMT & C) program at Columbia College Chicago. With a mission of advocacy for DMT through sponsored events and volunteering, MOVED promotes the integration of body and mind as a healing practice and provides exposure for the various therapeutic applications of dance. A day […]

CHRP to Present Argentina’s Che Malambo in the 9th Annual Global Rhythms (preview)

By on November 5, 2013

If it’s dance and makes noise, it’s fair game to the Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP). Rising from the traditional Argentinian Gauchos, Malambo is a compelling dance form that is yet to be seen in North America – until now. Employing echoes of more familiar Argentinian forms such as the leg flicks seen in tango […]

COLEctive Notions Plays with Memory, Femininity, and Nostalgia (review)

By on November 4, 2013

The Drucker Center can be a challenging space (speaking from much personal experience), but the interplay between a “casual Sunday night get-together” and the refined manner in which Margi Cole puts up a show deemed it a fitting venue for The Dance COLEctive’s mentor project COLEctive Notions. Three world premieres from Dance COLEctive company members Olivia […]

Opposites Attract in Paige Caldarella’s ‘Off Center’

By on November 3, 2013

CHICAGO — Can different genres of dance co-exist in a performance space? The question isn’t new, but each attempt at an answer produces widely different results. In her final outing as a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist, Paige Caldarella fashions a relationship between ballet and vogue, calling on her background as a Julliard trained dancer […]

Sometimes it’s Reassuring to See that Other People Agree With You

By on October 30, 2013

There’s a nice article online at Dance Magazine floating around on the social media today about common mistakes we are making in the dance world.  Author Nancy Wozny gathered information from Physical Therapists, and I’m relieved and excited to report that all three bullet points are things I’ve already said. In a nutshell: Mistake #1: Static Stretching […]

HSDC to Honor Baryshnikov in 2014 (!)

By on October 30, 2013

On the heels of its successful season opener at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago dropped a big and very exciting bomb on us yesterday.  Next May, HSDC’s annual Spotlight Ball is to include a special appearance by dance legend Mikhail Baryshnikov (along with all the usual perks of a fancy […]

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and Natya Back-to-Back at the Harris (preview)

By on October 28, 2013

On my visit to the studios of Ballet Chicago yesterday, looking out from the 19th floor over the ballet barres at our beautiful skyline, I kept thinking that this is what I imagined life as a professional dancer to look like. The rehearsal climate at Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT) is intensely focused and serious, […]

Giordano Promises Passion, Energy, Unbridled Enthusiasm – and Delivers

By on October 27, 2013

If he was still here today, Gus Giordano would have been exceedingly proud of his company’s 51st season opener. In a one-night-only repertory offering of full company pieces titled Escape Ordinary: 51st Extraordinary Season, Giordano Dance Chicago gave us exactly what I expected: all-out, balls to the walls, technically stunning dancing that brought the audience […]

Bill T. Jones Returns to the Dance Center with “Story/Time” (preview)

By on October 20, 2013

70 stories in 70 minutes. Bill T. Jones’ 2012 dance score is strikingly reminiscent of the late Merce Cunningham. Jones attributes the inspiration of Story/Time to Cunningham’s musical counterpart John Cage, whose 1959 Indeterminacy consisted of Cage himself sitting onstage telling one-minute stories. The method is not new, but Story/Time is authentically Bill T. Jones, who […]

filthy/mockingbird Plays with Meaning, Interpretation, and a Pile of Clothing (review)

By on October 19, 2013

“When the viewer doesn’t “get it”, we treat the subjectivity of art as an imperfection in communication that we must accept… In life we make our own meaning. We take the chaotic interconnectedness and construct a narrative for ourselves. This work will reflect the non-linear multiplicity life, on which meaning can be created by each person.” This is Mikey […]

‘La Bayadère:’ the greatest ballet you’ve never seen

By on October 17, 2013

CHICAGO — La Bayadère premiered in St. Petersburg in 1877, and is lumped together in that one question about naming all the classical ballets on every college dance history exam.  Bayadère was a pioneer in the ballet world at that time — one of the first of many to include a “white act” — but […]

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Fall Series Has Something for Everyone (review)

By on October 11, 2013

The season opener for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago included everything but the kitchen sink (although the stove was there…). The Harris Theater for Music and Dance is generally a fantastic venue to watch Hubbard Street perform, but I had a hard time connecting to Robyn Mineko Williams’s Fluence in such a vast place – even […]

SPDW, Peter Carpenter, and Dances that Make you Go Hmm (preview)

By on October 10, 2013

It doesn’t appear to be a logical combination at first. One might even call them “The Odd Couple” of the October Chicago dance frenzy. But actually, it’s a match made in heaven. Same Planet Different World (SPDW), under the direction of Joanna Rosenthal, and Peter Carpenter Performance Project, under the direction of… well, you know… […]

Lucky Plush Productions’ Fall Double Feature at Links Hall (review)

By on October 5, 2013

Cinderbox 2.0 is just as good the second time around… The newish Links Hall is still a work in progress. The old Viaduct seats are lumpy, the floor is a tap floor that transforms dainty landings into inelegant galumphing, and the coup de grace: a bathroom stall that’s been broken since the first week they […]

Another Op’nin Another Show: Susan Marshall’s “Play/Pause” at the Dance Center (review)

By on September 21, 2013

The Dance Center of Columbia College’s 40th season opened last night with the world premiere of Susan Marshall’s Play/Pause. It was kind of a big deal, for a few reasons: 1) The Dance Center turns 40 this year.  I wonder if, when founder Shirley Mordine started all this, she ever could have imagined how successful a […]

The Fall Dance Season Commences with Joffrey’s “Russian Masters” (review)

By on September 20, 2013

I suspect the public’s reaction to the premiere of Le Sacre du Printemps in Paris was probably similar to our reaction to Miley Cyrus twerking on the VMA’s. Private dismay, followed by public outcry on Facebook. Ok, so maybe the 1913 crowd didn’t have Facebook, but the audience was so shocked by what they saw […]

“Vision, Faith & Desire” Honors the Past, Looks Toward the Future (preview)

By on September 18, 2013

When I hear the name Martha Graham, two thoughts immediately pop into my mind. My first exposure to modern dance was Graham Technique, and until my third year of college it was really my only exposure.  Hearing that name brings a flood of memories of the sore hip flexors and complete frustration and confusion with […]

Chicago Sinfonietta’s ’13-14 Season Opener (review)

By on September 16, 2013

Can classical music and hip hop dance truly be friends? I don’t know… …but the Chicago Sinfonietta had the guts to try it in its opening performance for the 2013-14 season at Symphony Center Saturday night. The first half of the evening was a fascinating salad of Swan Lake, Hip Hop Dance, symphonic Americana, and […]

A “Monument”al Weekend with The Seldoms (preview)

By on September 15, 2013

I’ve always admired The Seldoms, but for me the turning point happened when I Prancercized with them in a cold basement while waiting out a tornado in Edwardsville, IL. Ok, that’s kind of a long story, but prancing aside, The Seldoms were in Edwardsville to show an edited Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead as […]

Art Intercepts turns 3! Well, sort of.

By on September 14, 2013

It’s my bloggerversary! Even though I technically bought the domain in 2009, on September 15 three years ago I pushed “publish” on the very first blog post in this crazy adventure.  68 posts later (this one here makes 69), I’m still trying to figure out what Art Intercepts is. And that’s ok. The only thing […]

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Crosses the Ocean!

By on August 30, 2013

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater is the first American company to participate in JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience, an international festival in its 15th year in “Sister City” Durban, South Africa. During its 10-day residency, DRDT will present two performances, one a collaboration with Durban’s Flatfoot Dance Company, and participate in workshops and community-based outreach to rural […]

Chicago Dancing Festival in Review

By on August 28, 2013

Another chapter of the Chicago Dancing Festival closed, and while I’d love to say that I was spending all sorts of time trying to process it – well – I’d be a liar.  The day job hit me like a ton of bricks after my visit to the Auditorium Theatre last Thursday. You know, life […]

Big Discounts on Big Shows! See Dance for Life and Hubbard Street for Half Price

By on August 16, 2013

Dance for Life is a great tradition in Chicago Dance that I’ve never been to. I’m all for a good cause, but when even the nosebleeds are too expensive I take a pass and hope for a more abundant pocketbook next year. After all, is this sort of Gala performance really intended for dancers? Or […]

Cristina Tadeo and Nicholas Davio’s “Bread & Butter”: A Complex Issue in Analog Form (preview)

By on August 14, 2013

Young choreographer and recent Columbia College grad Cristina Tadeo set out to make a duet this summer with no other objective than paying her dancers.  Ironically, as the work started to come together it became more and more about the thing she set out to do. I watched the fifteen minute piece last night – […]

… and then there was that time I ate lunch with Lin Hwai-min.

By on July 31, 2013

When I think of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, the first image that comes to mind is golden colored rice pouring out of the sky and some guy raking the rice into concentric circles in a mega-sized zen garden. That’s Songs of the Wanderers. Yesterday afternoon, distinguished members of the Asian Pacific American Press and […]

National Dance Day 2013, and a peek into the archives at my best bits

By on July 27, 2013

In homage to National Dance Day, I’ve been sifting through some of the archives here and elsewhere to get an idea of everything that’s happening dance-wise.  As a person who likes to write about dance, I find it really difficult to narrow my focus to just education, or just previews and reviews.  So I resolved […]

RE|Dance Group, The Cultural Center, and What Dancing Looks Like Beneath the Surface of the Earth (Preview)

By on July 21, 2013

I was a little bummed to spend part of a steamy Saturday at the Cultural Center rather than on the beach, but my visit to RE|Dance Group’s rehearsal was well worth the time away from my tanning regime. My late morning arrival was greeted by dancers rehearsing awhile and then a full run-through of their […]

Dance in the Parks: the other free Chicago dancing festival… (Preview)

By on July 19, 2013

The idea is simple: good dance performed in Chicago park spaces, open to the public and totally free. The idea is simple, and brilliant. You might be thinking that the Chicago Dancing Festival conceived such a performance series, but Katie McCann had it first. McCann first dreamed up Dance in the Parks (DIP) after moving […]

Post:Ballet presents “Four Plays” at the Yerba Buena Center (Preview)

By on July 15, 2013

For their upcoming program this weekend in San Francisco, Artistic Director of Post:Ballet Robert Dekkers enlisted live musicians, visual artists, and award-winning architect Robert Gilson to create Four Plays.  The ambitious (and expensive) evening of all-Dekkers choreography features the premiere of field the present shifts. By its description, shifts sounds more like a Cunningham work than ballet… “by following a shared rule […]

Chicago Dancing Festival Tickets Released July 16, 17 and 18

By on July 9, 2013

The Chicago Dancing Festival is a REALLY good idea. Concerts are free, the venues are top notch, and so is the dancing. If you can get tickets. Each venue begins releasing its stash next week for the festival August 20-24 in a staggered format. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at noon is your chance to get […]

Hubbard Street 2’s Terence Marling and the Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop (Preview)

By on July 5, 2013

“You make the road as you go…”  Terence Marling The Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop is the annual chance for Hubbard Street’s dancers to strut their stuff as choreographers. Among a slew of other dancer-made concert series (The Seldoms’ Mix with Six and Thodos Dance Chicago’s New Dances are notable examples), Inside/Out uses four of its 52 contract weeks […]

Chicago Repertory Ballet Celebrates 100 years of ‘The Rite of Spring’ (Preview)

By on June 14, 2013

100 years ago The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps) opened in Paris, and caused quite the hubbub.  The age-old story of Pagan ritual sacrifice and the ushering in of the growing season as it was imagined by Igor Stravinsky and Vaslav Nijinsky was so controversial it nearly started a riot in the theatre.  After […]

Preview: Midwest Nexus Kicks Off with Synapse’s ‘Swath’

By on June 2, 2013

I’ve known Rachel Damon for about 10 years, and I feel like I know her work pretty well. A Damon dance is grounded, dark, and shrouded in abstraction. She blurs the lines between genders, genres, and disciplines in her work and creates through improvisation and visceral experiences.  Her costumes are grey, and red, and blue. Swath is […]

Shaping Sound at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance (Review)

By on May 29, 2013

To borrow a question from Kyle MacMillan in yesterday’s Sun Times: Can the mass appeal of television dance shows transfer to the stage? Sure it can. Shaping Sound showed up at the Harris Theater and proved it. “A new contemporary dance company” with TV dance super stars Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance, and Kyle Robinson at the helm, Shaping […]

Chicago Shows Up at Spring to Dance

By on May 25, 2013

Last night at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center did not suck. Though not solely responsible for the brilliant performances last night, Chicago certainly showed up and demonstrated its versatility and technical panache.  To spare readers an in-depth exposé of each piece in an evening that was (between two shows) three hours long, here […]

A Conversation with Michael Uthoff

By on May 24, 2013

ST. LOUIS, MO — When Michael Uthoff first arrived in St. Louis, MO, he was asked what he thought of the local dance scene. “I think it’s shit,” he said. Born to dancing parents who founded the Chilean National Ballet, Uthoff danced for Jose Limon and eventually found his way toward classical ballet.  Having seen […]

Watching Brief: Cookies, Clouds, and Crowd Psychology (Review)

By on May 21, 2013

Having recently moved in from the Cleveland area, MegLouise Dance closed  their newest performance Watching Brief last Sunday at Links Hall.  Little did I know when I showed up at Constellation that I was entering a sociological experiment. The element of play is obvious from the very beginning.  You’re presented with a coloring sheet, rather […]

NEXT is Next for Mo. & Co.

By on May 14, 2013

  Emerging choreographer showcases have been trending for awhile now, and Mordine & Company Dance Theater‘s long running Choreographic Mentoring Program is quickly approaching as a part of NEXT, 2013 at Hamlin Park Fieldhouse. As one of Chicago’s Modern Dance matriarchs, Shirley Mordine has been creating work with her company of dancers for 44 years.  So it’s […]

Joffrey’s Othello: A ballet that ends just as it’s starting to get interesting

By on May 3, 2013

So I went to the ballet with a boxer… It sounds like the set-up for a bad joke, but it’s true.  My colleague Dr. John Coumbe-Lilley  is a former boxer, Sports Psychologist, and Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach – and he happens to have recently developed an interest in learning about dance. It was his […]

Secret Experiments in Ballet

By on May 1, 2013

Emily Stein is not an emerging artist. With more than two decades invested in the Chicago Dance Community, Emily Stein is perhaps best known for her dual roles as Associate Artistic Director of Zephyr Dance and one of the best ballet teachers in the land. I was more than a little surprised to hear that she resigned […]

Lizzie MacKenzie Pontarelli voted Chicago’s Top Dance Teacher!

By on April 29, 2013

Happy National Dance Week! I have a big week planned on the blog in celebration of National Dance Week and the close of Chicago Dance Month.  A few weeks ago I asked readers to tell me who your favorite dancer teachers are and why, and I was awesomely surprised to receive nearly 150 nominations!  Of […]

Rockford Dance Company: Thoughtful, Talented Dancers Who Are Really Far Away

By on April 14, 2013

Once a thriving small city in the middle of all that corn, Rockford, IL has been hit hard with an economic downturn that has been infamously compared to Detroit and Flint, MI. Add to this a total lack of public transportation from the Chicago metro area, and Rockford is a place that most Chicagoans only […]

Nominate Chicago’s Best Dance Teachers

By on April 5, 2013

With all the great performances going on during Chicago Dance Month, it’s hard not to notice the wealth of good dance and dancers available in our city. But where did we learn this stuff from?! For me, saddling up to the barre every once in awhile (though not as often as I should) is grounding […]

April is Chicago Dance Month!

By on April 2, 2013

In spite of an exciting month ahead, things might be a little quieter around here. I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be contributing to SeeChicagoDance.com to help cover the wealth of Chicago dance events happening in April. Why April?? Why not!  I mean, let’s face it: on any given weekend you could go see 2-8 different […]

Jazz Hands + Tamales = Winning

By on March 19, 2013

The Harris Theater for Music and Dance may be trying to reinvent itself in its Eat to the Beat, a series of casual, lunchtime performances featuring some of our best local talent.  I typically peg the Harris as a place where I have to dress up and pay too much for parking – ergo, I […]

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Spring Season Kick-off

By on March 8, 2013

  Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s spring season begins with a bang… … and his name is Alonzo King.   In a highly anticipated collaboration with Alonzo King LINES Ballet, the two companies share the stage for the first time.  Though we dancers love our collaborations, sharing a stage is not something that either company was particularly […]

How I am Celebrating Eating Disorders Awareness Week

By on February 25, 2013

February is Eating Disorders Awareness Month, and there has been quite a bit floating around the blogosphere with respect to this poignant topic in the dance community. It’s just too bad that we are still faced with a serious problem when it comes to dancers and eating disorders, but the fact that the community is now […]

(Review) Hubbard Street 2 at Wheaton College

By on February 13, 2013

Dancing to live classical music isn’t exactly a novel idea, but somehow the combination of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s second company and the Wheaton College Orchestra last Saturday evening felt like uncharted waters.  After a Korsakovian intro from the orchestra, conductor Daniel Sommerville gave a brief speech applauding the diligence, dedication, and hard work demanded […]

Humbled.

By on January 30, 2013

I was apprehensive in joining Dance Advantage’s Top Dance Blog competition… I love this little here blog, but I’m also acutely aware that it’s a website with somewhat of an identity crisis.  Like the girl who created the site (that’s me!), Art Intercepts is still finding itself. What started as a resource database on dance […]

Diablo Gives Ballet a Reboot

By on January 25, 2013

Ever since the Dance/USA conference I’ve seen Diablo Ballet all over the internet.  This relatively small-scale ballet company out of Walnut Creek, CA would likely be completely unfamiliar to me if not for its inspirational quotes on Twitter, dance history tidbits on Pinterest, and Audience prompts on Facebook.  In talking with Dan Meagher, Director of Marketing […]

Deirdre Kelly Gives the Dirt on Ballerinas

By on January 13, 2013

Last weekend I saw Les Miserables in the movie theater, and it was ironically appropriate given the book I was reading at the time: Ballerina by Deirdre Kelly.  Les Mis theatrically reveals the squalor that was the French Revolution, a period in which ballet was undergoing a great deal of development.  Going to the ballet, at that […]

Top Dance Blog Contest

By on January 7, 2013

  In the past, I’ve thought about entering Dance Advantage’s Top Dance Blog Contest, but never followed through.  In part, my writing is all over the internet.  I’m like a visa card – everywhere you want to be – and, as a result, I’m not able to post here as much as I might like. […]

Season’s Greetings from Art Intercepts

By on December 23, 2012

  From my laptop to yours, wishing you the merriest and happiest of whatever it is you do this time of year…   It is my pleasure and my passion to put words on these pages, and I have been fortunate this year to grow in so many ways.  You, the audience, play a big […]

Kate Corby Crosses The Border (Again)

By on December 7, 2012

“Most results come from dogged persistence” says the Madison-based Artistic Director of Kate Corby & Dancers to her students in the dance department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison – and this is a mantra she lives by.  A short three months after the company’s engagement at The Drucker Center, Passing premieres tonight at Links Hall.  The […]

Review: There is no “I” in The Dance Team

By on November 4, 2012

I've never heard a pre-show announcement that ended with: "OK, so does anyone have any questions?" But I think that's just how Chris Knowlton (Artistic Director of The Dance Team) rolls. Every aspect of The Past is Prologue, showing this weekend at Links Hall, is indicative of the collaborative spirit embraced by The Dance Team. […]

Lizzie Leopold on how dancers are people. and so are audience members.

By on October 22, 2012

Ok, so, you might notice some changes around here… I'm in the middle of a massive re-build of the website!  Unfortunately, that means that we're is in a continual state of virtual chaos.  So exuse the "dust", if you will, while I talk briefly about a project that couldn't wait until the web changes are done…. […]

Unsolicited advice. To myself. And, a word about stillness in dance.

By on September 15, 2012

Calm down and sit still. But, keep busy, too.   I have a serious tendency to jam pack my life.  I actually feel like sometimes this helps my productivity – when I'm not as busy I tend to catch up on TV, lolligag, and generally accomplish less.   So what gives?   There's actually some […]

A Chance to Dance. But, is it really your only chance?

By on September 7, 2012

  In watching last week's episode of A Chance to Dance, I found a lot of myself in those young dancers.  I remember what it felt like to think that this one thing was my *only* opportunity to succeed in a dance career.    When I was 20, I took a 48-hour trip to New York […]

A New Order in How Dances are Made

By on August 22, 2012

Kingsley Irons and Bryan Koch have turned the traditional dance festival on its head.   photo of Claudia Anata Hubiak by Summer Wilson   Inspired by our desperate needs to find fresh audience members and create exposure for dance artists nationally, Dances Made To Order's success, like anything else, is largely the result of sheer grit […]

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (Turn and Face the Strain)

By on August 2, 2012

While perusing my daily blog reader I came across a post on 4dancers by Lucy Vurusic-Riner about her transition to a new job after 15 years in the same place.  Wow. I can relate to that.   After nine years, Tuesday was my last day at The Menomonee Club for Boys and Girls.  The job as the […]

Why Dance Matters (or at least why it mattered at 8pm last Thursday night)

By on July 29, 2012

  I've been doing a whole lot of stalling this week on giving my two cents for the Why Dance Matters campaign.  The lovely Nichelle over at Dance Advantage launched this initiative a few years ago and I love it for both its simplicity and its impact.   The task is simple… To write, blog, pin, tweet:   […]

IS it #GoingToBeOk?

By on June 29, 2012

The Dance/USA conference is in full-swing now, and the dance world at large has taken San Francisco by storm.  Being tasked with "live-tweeting" by the conference gurus, I can honestly say I tweeted my behind off today – but I'm left a little on the fence about the idea of "real time" reporting on the […]

A Meeting of Bloggy Minds

By on June 28, 2012

  Zac Whittenburg perhaps tweeted it best:   Zachary Whittenburg ‏trailerpilot In full effect: deep-fried pretzels and real talk with dancinbranflake artintercepts danceadvantage mariasmovers + 4dancers.#DUSAconf   What kind of blew my mind about my dinner dates last night, aside from the fact that some of the best bloggers nationwide were sitting around a table together over fried dough, was the fact that most […]

RTG Returns for “Return”

By on June 17, 2012

CHICAGO — My second job as a young Stage Manager was in 2010 for RTG Dance; it just so happened that this was Rachel Thorne Germond’s last show in Chicago.  I can vividly recall my experience working for Rachel… her quiet yet forceful demeanor made a deep impression on me, and if I nothing else […]

Spring to Dance a strategy for butts in St. Louis dance seats

By on May 31, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO — On my final day in St. Louis I spent a sweaty afternoon downtown and cooled off with two excellent shows at the Spring to Dance festival.  Chicago definitely shined on this last day of three, with some of our heavy hitters appearing in both shows.  I’m ashamed to admit that this was my […]

Spring to Dance the place to be for Memorial Day in St. Louis

By on May 26, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO — Apparently the Touhill Performing Arts Center is the place to be on Memorial Day weekend in St. Louis.  I expected a pretty good line-up of mostly regional and a few national companies; what I didn’t expect is the droves of people that come out for this event.  Folks practically climb over […]

Springing to a New Realm in Dance Writing

By on May 16, 2012

  I admire dance critics, but I certainly don't envy them.  Weekends spent in a dark theater hunched over a notepad; people you barely know pretending to be your best friend; the fate of their social media lives resting in your hands.     I think back to episodes such as the disastrous review of NYCB's […]

Sometimes, Lauren thinks

By on February 26, 2012

I work, and I write, and then I work some more, and then I write some more. And then, sometimes, I think.   What I mean is, life is go, go, go, all the time and if you're an artist of any kind this can be a bit problematic when if comes to making work […]

Zen and the Art of Tech Week

By on August 25, 2011

  I knew this week wasn't going to be easy.    First week of school, family members coming into town, and tech week.  Tech week is exhausting even under the best of circumstances, but this one's a doozy.   Surprisingly, I'm in good form so far.  I haven't really experienced much of the last minute […]

Eat, Pray, PRODUCE

By on July 22, 2011

First of all, I'd like to publicly announce that that movie should have ended after the "eat" part in Italy… although I've been told the book is much better. Secondly, that piece of strawberry pie to my left is not from Italy. It's from the Hotel Santa Fe in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico. And it's the best […]

PRODUCE: Reality TV and Lauren’s Goals for the Series…

By on July 7, 2011

Produce.                             Or is it Produce?               Either way, it's happening tomorrow night, and for the following three Fridays in July. You've been hearing a lot from me about Produce. About what it is and why […]

Superhumans (or not)

By on May 24, 2011

  You may not know this, but I'm a HUGE cycling fan.  So the news of Lance Armstrong's alleged use of performance enhancing drugs on 60 minutes last Sunday was a disappointment, if not a shock, and a horrible reminder that these figures that we put on pedestals have not always achieved superhuman feats of athleticism through […]

Work

By on May 20, 2011

Until recently, I saw dance as a luxury, a passion, an indulgence, a pasttime, and, sometimes, an annoyance.  I took a look at the choreographers who I feel are successful, and realized that they treat dance as their profession.  Regardless of their "jobs", dance is their work. Even though football is a game, society places […]

On Movement

By on February 9, 2011

  Movement is on the brain.  Here's why:   In a post-show discussion at Dance Union, with the topic of the evening titled "On Movement", someone asked the panel of choreographers (myself included) why we chose dance as a medium to express these particular ideas.  I'm not exactly sure how I answered the question, but looking […]

Nobody puts baby in a corner… The Politics of Pregnancy

By on January 5, 2011

  Deep in preparations for her Cecchetti Grade II teacher's exam, my friend and colleague Enid Smith got news that she wasn't allowed to take the exam.  The reason? She's pregnant with her second child.   We in the scientific community are pretty solid on the idea that dancing, or exercise in general is safe […]

Antiquity and idiocy:

By on December 10, 2010

I'm certainly not the first blogger to write about the recent scandal surrounding Alastair Macaulay's review of NYCB's Nutcracker, and the subsequent follow-up.  In the review, Jennifer Ringer and her dashing cavalier, Jared Angle, are acused of having "eaten one sugar plum too many; and Jared Angle, as the Cavalier, seems to have been sampling half the Sweet […]

SYTYC Write Scientifically About Dance?

By on September 15, 2010

While I was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Illinois I forced (appropriately chosen term) my aerobic conditioning students to write a two-page summary on the benefits of aerobic exercise.  Through this experiment I came to the conclusion that writing is a dying artform.  Basic sentence structure, grammar, spelling, have all fallen victim […]