fall dance

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

‘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 […]

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 […]