Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



Dancin' Feats
by Zachary Whittenburg

This article shared 3248 times since Wed Apr 8, 2009
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Marie Chouinard's Orpheus and Eurydice. Photo by Chouinard

Even just five years ago, Chicago was consistently left off the itineraries of the world's touring dance companies. Whether it was due to our venues' rental fees, a perceived lack of audience or reticence by presenters, there were perhaps only half a dozen weekends a year during which Chicagoans were given a sense of current trends in global dancemaking. The situation, I'm happy to report, couldn't be more dramatically different than it is now.

So much dance has visited our city recently that I feel like I've circumnavigated the globe. French, Japanese, Iranian, Mexican and Israeli companies have packed houses here with enthusiastic and receptive audiences all winter long, and it's not over yet. Particularly ambassadorial have been the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University and the Dance Center at Columbia College. The latter's program coordinator, Mary Carpenter-Rechner, recently regaled me with stories from her office: It sounded more like the Department of International Logistics at the United Nations than a desk in the South Loop.

This ( hopefully permanent ) increase in performing visitors makes this year's International Dance Day, April 29, even more a cause for celebration than usual. Professor Alkis Raftis, president of the International Dance Council ( the division of UNESCO which sponsors International Dance Day ) , has offered a beautiful message of inclusion in honor of the holiday. Saying "the future of dance lies where there are persons who do not dance," Raftis specifically proposes that dance instruction be brought to the needs of those with physical and mental disabilities, adding that "integrating marginalized persons into the practice of dance is as important as integrating them into the workforce." Dance has long been an inclusive art form, especially as integral as GLBTQ populations continue to be to the development and vitality of the the only language spoken fluently by everyone on Earth. Whether you secretly work on your moves in the kitchen or have to be forcibly removed from the club at 4 a.m. every Sunday, ask someone to dance with you this month.

More information on International Dance Day can be found at the CID Web site, .

Onstage in Chicagoland this month:

—DanceWorks Chicago covers April like a Snuggie: There's a free performance of their Dance Bytes series at the Harold Washington Library this Thursday at 12:15 p.m., and Friday the company is at Northwestern University's Pick-Staiger Concert Hall for a collaboration with the Canadian Guitar Quartet, choreographed by former River North Chicago Dance Company member Miguel Perez. Dance Chance follows on Monday, while April 25 finds the group at Northeastern Illinois University. More events follow May 9,11 and 12 at FermiLab in Batavia and the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in the Gold Coast. Visit for details.

—Two new groups have taken exploratory movement to the streets: Ncounter, a monthly site-specific improvisation group, most recently commandeered the Red Line subway station at Lake to the entertainment and surprise of downtown commuters, and Donnell Williams, Szewai Lee and Suzy Grant's equally wanderlusty Portable Dance will stay put only long enough to do three shows at Links Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield, April 10-11 at 8 p.m. and April 12 at 7 p.m. Ncounter is free and online at; "Portable Dance House Party" is $12. More info is at

—For those who think dancing is only for the young, it bears mentioning that vanguard and still-creating choreographer Merce Cunningham turns 90 April 16.

—Chicago Dance Crash's men are an impressive bunch despite being outnumbered by the company's many ( also strong ) female performers. Their latest show, however, throws boys in the spotlight. It's title—Movement/Gentlemen—says it all. It's the DCA Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph, Fridays-Sundays April 17-May 3. $17-22. Call 312-742-8497 or visit .

—Some have called Montréalaise choreographer Marie Chouinard's work "profane," often adding "brilliant" in the same breath. Her Canadian troupe is touring a dance-theater work that takes the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and abstracts it into a succession of provocative, surreal scenes organized around both movement and text. The production is definitely not recommended for children, but for adults with a taste for the avant-garde it's going to be a must-see. It's at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, April 17-19 at 7:30 p.m.; $40; .

—Saturday, April 18, River North Chicago Dance Company performs for one night only at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie, Skokie, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $46 at; 847-673-6300.

—Dancing with the Wind is Perceptual Motion, Inc.'s celebration of 25 years, featuring works going back to 1988; alumni dancers from even earlier will be on hand to perform "Intersections," a premiere by Lin Shook, and five other pieces. At the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse, 3035 N. Hoyne, April 23-24 at 7:30 p.m.; $25. Call 773-549-3958 or visit .

—Chicago jazz dance kingpin Eddy Ocampo is currently choreographer in residence at Inaside Chicago Dance, who will perform his "The Alarm Will Sound" and "Beckoned," along with works by Artistic Director Richard A. Smith, Amanda Farrar, Lisa Scurlock, Elijah Gibson and Lizzie MacKenzie. At the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., April 24-25 at 8 p.m. and 26 at 3 p.m. $25 at 773-960-4909 or

—Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley C. Wheater is passing intimate knowledge from his performance past down to a new generation of dancers: He danced Helgi Tomasson's "Valses Poeticos" upon its creation at the San Francisco Ballet in 1990. Joining it on the company's spring mixed bill are Gerald Arpino's "Round of Angels," dance-history lesson "Les Noces" by Bronislava Nijinska and hot choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's much-hyped "Carousel." The performance will take place at the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress, April 29-May 10; $25-145. Schedule and details are online at .

—"In the Simplest Manner" is an intimate evening featuring three of the city's most intriguing female dancers ( Asimina Chremos, Ayako Kato and Julia Mayer ) and three male bass players ( Darin Gray, Kent Kessler and Jason Roebke ) performing together in a variety of combinations. It will be at the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse, 3035 N. Hoyne, April 30-May 1 at 7:30 p.m.; $10-20. Visit .

—Next month begins with "Progress," an evening of works by Mike Gosney's Elements Contemporary Ballet at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. It takes place May 1-2 at 7:30 p.m.; $20; .

—Big news last week was the announcement that the founder of Luna Negra Dance Theater, Eduardo Vilaro, will take the helm at New York's Ballet Hispanico later this year. See what he'll be running when the New York-based company comes to the McAnich Arts Center at the College of DuPage, Fawell and Park, Glen Ellyn, May 2 at 8 p.m.; $44.;

This article shared 3248 times since Wed Apr 8, 2009
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

M3 Dance presenting 'The Nutcracker' in Elgin on Dec. 4-5 2021-11-28
- M3 Dance and Synergy Dance Academy will present Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 2 and 7 p.m.; and on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 2 p.m. at Elgin's Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 ...

Gay News

Ivan Aguayo brings eclectic background to 'evolution' of dance 2021-11-23
By Cris Villalonga-Vivoni - In the center of the A&A Ballet studio stood the Mouse King. His long, felt tail trailed behind him as he made attempts to pose both for the camera and the numerous other ballet performers in ...

Gay News

TV JoJo Siwa in finale of 'Dancing with the Stars' and the winner is… 2021-11-23
- Queer social-media and reality-show figure JoJo Siwa made history on this season of Dancing with the Stars by being part of the series' first same-sex couple (with partner Jenna Johnson)—and the twosome made it all the ...

Gay News

Joffrey announces return of reimagined classic, The Nutcracker 2021-11-08
--From a press release - CHICAGO (November 8, 2021)— The Joffrey Ballet's critically acclaimed reimagined classic, The Nutcracker, by Tony Award®-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, will be a part of the Joffrey's first-ever season at the historic Lyric ...

Gay News

Joffrey names new head of studio company and trainee program 2021-10-28
- Abbott Academy Director of the Joffrey Academy of Dance Raymond Rodriguez announced that Christopher Marney is the new head of studio company and trainees at the academy. Marney begins his new role Nov. 3, just eight ...

Gay News

Hubbard Street Dance back on the stage with 'RE/TURN' 2021-10-21
- Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) will present Fall Series: RE/TURN to herald its return to the stage at the Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph St. The program will feature new premieres as well as audience favorites ...

Gay News

MOVIES 'Bolshoi Ballet' series to start locally Nov. 7 2021-10-21
- The "2021-2022 Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema" series is set to begin Sunday, Nov. 7 with Bolshoi Ballet: Spartacus—LIVE. Spartacus is considered a ballet tour de force, set to Aram Khachaturian's score. Bolshoi Ballet: Spartacus—LIVE is set t ...

Gay News

Visceral Dance Chicago bringing world premieres to Athenaeum Theatre 2021-10-06
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Oct. 5, 2021 — Visceral Dance Chicago—a contemporary company committed to the progression of diverse artists, programs and community collaborations—announced its Fall Engagement 2021 program. The dance company returns ...

Gay News

LGBTQ History Month: Until legal ruling, Disneyland banned same-sex dancers 2021-10-01
- Deemed the "Happiest Place on Earth," Disneyland sadly didn't live up to that billing for same-sex couples during its first three decades. Opened in 1955 by the late Walt Disney, the family-oriented amusement park was built ...

Gay News

Joffrey's Nutcracker returns for the holidays 2021-09-27
--From a press release - (Chicago) — The Joffrey Ballet's reimagined holiday classic, The Nutcracker, by Tony Award®-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, returns to Chicago during the Joffrey's first-ever season at the historic Lyric Opera House ...

Gay News

DANCE Hubbard Street presenting drive-in edition of 'Inside/Out' Oct. 2 2021-09-23
- Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will hold its annual "Inside/Out" choreographic workshop, "Drive-In(side Out)," on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. at ChiTown Movies, 2343 S. Throop St., preceded by a welcome party and DJ starting at ...

Gay News

Chicago Dance History Project moving to Ruth Page Center 2021-09-17
- Chicago Dance History Project (CDHP)—which investigates, documents and presents the individual and institutional past of Chicago dance—plans to move into The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., as an artist in residence. ...

Gay News

Joffrey welcomes four dancers from South Korea, Spain and the U.S. 2021-09-15
- The Joffrey Ballet's Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director Ashley Wheater MBE, The and President and CEO Greg Cameron announced the addition of four dancers to the Joffrey roster for the 2021-22 season: Brian Bennett (Lanham, Maryland), ...

Gay News

DANCE Ensemble Espanol to open Auditorium Theatre season Oct. 16 2021-09-10
- Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater, in residence at Northeastern Illinois University, will return to the Auditorium Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. The company will mark the finale performance of its 45th-anniversary "Zafiro Flamenco ...

Gay News

Footwork dancers to be featured Sept. 10 in Art on theMART event 2021-09-05
- "Dance Down by The River"—an evening of Chicago dance and music—is coming to the Riverwalk in conjunction with Art on theMART thanks to a Chicago Presents grant awarded by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.




About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.