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

By on April 24, 2019

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

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

By on March 22, 2019

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

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

By on March 10, 2019

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

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

By on March 9, 2019

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

Long works program a rare chance to see festival dances breathe

By on March 8, 2019

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

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

By on March 8, 2019

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

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

By on February 24, 2019

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

Mayoral candidates agree arts are important; differ on action plans

By on February 12, 2019

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

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

By on February 9, 2019

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

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 […]

Trans Dancer Profiles: Sam Virgilio

By on January 4, 2019

CHICAGO — When I started writing for Art Intercepts, I knew I wanted to expand my portion of this platform to include other trans voices. I can talk all day about my experience, but mine is such a narrow window of an already underrepresented community. This winter I’m taking some time to talk to other […]

Dance dissection: Grand jeté and the elusive correction to “pull up”

By on December 4, 2018

Editor’s note: The “Dance Dissection” series is created by students enrolled in DANC-270: Dance Kinesiology at Loyola University Chicago. As one of their culminating projects, small groups of students are required to select a movement in dance and create a photo essay describing it in detail, based on content presented in this introductory course. What […]

Dance Dissection: Arabesque on relevé

By on December 4, 2018

Editor’s note: The “Dance Dissection” series is created by students enrolled in DANC-270: Dance Kinesiology at Loyola University Chicago. As one of their culminating projects, small groups of students are required to select a movement in dance and create a photo essay describing it in detail, based on content presented in this introductory course. “Get […]

Dance Dissection: “Using your core” in a grand plié

By on December 4, 2018

Editor’s note: The “Dance Dissection” series is created by students enrolled in DANC-270: Dance Kinesiology at Loyola University Chicago. As one of their culminating projects, small groups of students are required to select a movement in dance and create a photo essay describing it in detail, based on content presented in this introductory course. “Engaging […]

Dance Dissection: How to “move your arms from your back”

By on December 4, 2018

Editor’s note: The “Dance Dissection” series is created by students enrolled in DANC-270: Dance Kinesiology at Loyola University Chicago. As one of their culminating projects, small groups of students are required to select a movement in dance and create a photo essay describing it in detail, based on content presented in this introductory course. What […]

‘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, […]

Movement Matters: The Uses of Vulgarity

By on November 13, 2018

CHICAGO —I’ve been told by lay dancers many a time that I shouldn’t call myself a choreographer, that they respect that word too much to use it in such a vulgar way, without the force of some verisimilitude beyond the immediacy of composing movement in the imagination. I don’t agree, of course. But as an […]

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 […]

Pas de Queer: A brief primer on talking to trans and non-binary people

By on October 10, 2018

In the spirit of full disclosure, this is not a post about dance. Recently, some of my friends, coworkers, and family members have asked me questions regarding my gender identity. With my content on Art Intercepts, I hope to spread awareness about the experiences trans dancers go through in concert dance. But to impact any […]

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 […]