audience format

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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…. […]

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 […]