dance shows

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 […]

Review: Lather.Rinse.Repeat | Fall.Climb.Release.

By on January 9, 2018

CHICAGO — The vibe was phenomenally good at Links Hall last weekend for Catalyst Movmnt’s first production, Lather.Rinse.Repeat | Fall. Climb. Release. The curatorial project spearheaded by recent Columbia College alums Aaliyah Christina and Keyierra Collins, promises (according to press materials) to promote “movement artists of color who desire to establish their voice on this […]

Review: Carefully crafted, contained Salty Lark splits a bill with Philly’s Naked Stark

By on November 8, 2017

CHICAGO — This past weekend Madeleine Reber and her company Salty Lark Dance shared a split bill called 664 Miles with Philadelphia-based choreographer Katherine Kiefer Stark’s company The Naked Stark at Links Hall. Chicago-based Reber presented three works, all of which were steeped in a distinctive physicality based on her years of somatic study particularly with […]

Beyond fairytale formula: Milwaukee Ballet presents Michael Pink’s ‘Mirror Mirror’

By on May 30, 2017

“Who’s the fairest of them all?” MILWAUKEE, WI — Jealousy, vanity, the quest for attractiveness – common enough. But what happens when these things become all consuming? That’s the slippery slope that Michael Pink’s Mirror Mirror explores in his reimagining of Snow White which Milwaukee Ballet will perform from June 1-4 at the Marcus Center. Premiered […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

‘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: 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 […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

(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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]