CDF 15th anniversary highlights include SHareOUT at the MCA, second Elevate

CHICAGO — Two upcoming weekends at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) highlight former Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) Lab Artists in a mini-festival called SHareOUT. For 15 years, CDF has provided substantial grants to independent artists, supporting movement-based practice and the choreographic process in an array of genres.

Joshua Ishmon and Sam “Trump” Harris Photo: Nijole Shuberg.

On Aug. 24-25, Fujima Yoshinojo (Rika Lin) and Joshua Ishmon share the Edlis Neeson Theater with new works which continue their respective investigations pursued during their lab years. Yoshinojo further explores how her traditional Japanese dance training clashes with contemporary expressions of gender in Asobi: Playing within Time, while Ishmon uses discourse from a series of community discussions on race to create Redefining BLACK with trumpeter and vocalist Sam “Trump” Harris. Victoria Bradford and Brittany Harlin open and close the evening with site-specific works held in the MCA’s plaza, sculpture garden, and Commons.

Tap and hip-hop are highlighted Aug. 31-Sept. 1, with the premiere of Jazz Hoofing Quartet by Jumaane Taylor and Breakin’ On The Line: Tradition/Innovation by hip-hop duo Daniel “Bravemonk” Haywood and Kelsa “K-Soul” Robinson. In both works, the choreographers look to the roots of their respective forms, which share a common link to African-American culture.

In October, CDF is gearing up for a very full line-up of 45 artists in a second installment of Elevate Chicago Dance, curated by Peter Taub and Aaliyah Christina. The newly consolidated one-day-only Elevate will take over the Chicago Cultural Center for an all-day celebration of Chicago’s fiercest dancemakers. Every nook and cranny of the building will be occupied by performances of every flavor, so it’ll be impossible to see everything. My strategy? Grab a few friends, divide and conquer, then meet up later for cocktails and conversation about the vast range of movement-based artists at Chicago’s fingertips. Dig into the deep well of veterans, particularly those we don’t often get the opportunity to see like Asimina Chremos, Mad Shak, Nadia Oussenko and Peter Carpenter, or glean energy from some relative newcomers to the scene by checking out Po’Chop/Jenn Freeman, Elysia C. Banks and Anna Martine Whitehead.

SHareOUT takes place Fridays and Saturdays Aug. 24-Sept. 1 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 E. Chicago Ave. Tickets are $15, available at or by phone at (312) 280-2660.

Elevate Chicago Dance is Sunday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. All performances are free and open to the public; more information at

Header photo: Yoshinojo Fujima. Quantum Monk Design by Al Brandtner, Photo by Kioto Aoki.

Author: Lauren Warnecke

Lauren Warnecke is a reporter for NPR affiliate station WGLT and freelance arts and culture critic, primarily reviewing dance for the Chicago Tribune. Lauren enjoys cooking, cycling and attempting to grow things in her backyard. She lives in central Illinois.