Dance in the Parks returns! (preview)

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 Katie McCann says she works with park management to identify locations that may not have access to “downtown dance”, and carefully considers the facilities where she can pull off a successful production.

Dance in the Parks 2012 | Photo by Eddo Photography
Dance in the Parks 2012 | Photo by Eddo Photography

This season boasts four new dancers, four new parks, in three new neighborhoods, and perhaps most exciting, seven original works. I popped by Extensions Dance Center for a sneak peek at three of the premieres from Michel Rodriguez Cintra, Angela Dice Nguyen, and Ahmad Simmons. DIP dances are typically fun and accessible, which these three are, but there’s no pandering, there’s no patronizing – these dances aren’t watered down. At the risk of being dramatic, I’m really excited about this show. I might go see it ten times. Because I can. And it’s free.

Dance in the Parks premieres Wednesday, July 16 at Davis Square Park. All shows begin at 6:30pm. There are no tickets; just show up, and bring a picnic if you like. Find the schedule posted below:

  • Wednesday, July 16 – Davis Square Park, 4430 S. Marshfield Ave. 60609, rain or shine
  • Friday, July 18 – Foster Park, 1440 W. 84th St. 60620, rain or shine
  • Wednesday, July 23 – Washington Park, 5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr. 60637, rain or shine
  • Friday, July 25 – Tuley Park, 501 E. 90th Pl. 60619, rain or shine
  • Tuesday, July 29 – Athletic Field Park, 3546 W. Addison St. 60618, weather permitting
  • Wednesday, July 30 – Humboldt Park, 1359 N. Sacramento Ave. 60622, rain or shine
  • Friday, August 1 – Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan Rd. 60660, weather permitting
  • Monday, August 4 – Moran Playground Park, 5727 S. Racine Ave. 60621, weather permitting
  • Wednesday, August 6 – Austin Town Hall, 5610 W. Lake St. 60644, rain or shine
  • Friday, August 8 – Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W. Lunt Ave. 60645, rain or shine

Author: Lauren Warnecke

Lauren Warnecke is a freelance dance critic, contributing to the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine. She is senior editor of See Chicago Dance. Lauren covers dance across the Midwest and writes regularly for Dance Magazine and Pointe with additional bylines in Milwaukee Magazine, St. Louis Magazine and Dance Teacher. Forthcoming publications include essays on ballet training in Chicago (University of Illinois Press) and Shirley Mordine (University of Akron Press). In 2020, Lauren published an opinion piece on the impact of COVID-19 on the arts in the South African journal Agenda. Lauren holds degrees in dance and kinesiology and has presented research on dance training practices at the National Dance Education Organization and the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. She has co-facilitated critical dance writing intensives in Chicago and Durban, South Africa, and participated in writing residencies at the National Center for Choreography, Bates Dance Festival and JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience. Lauren teaches dance history and kinesiology for dancers, with part-time appointments at Loyola University Chicago and Illinois Wesleyan University.