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Chicago Tap Th. celebrates music of the band Queen
From a press release
2016-06-19

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CHICAGO — Chicago Tap Theatre ( CTT ) honors the music of legendary rock band Queen with the one night only performance of We Will Tap You! A Tap Dance Celebration to the Music of Queen, conceived by Artistic Director Mark Yonally and Music Director Kurt Schweitz, choreography by Yonally with guest choreographers Rich Ashworth, Kirsten Uttich and Jeremy Plummer and hosted by Mattrick Swayze at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Saturday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults, $28 for seniors ( 65 years or older ) and $23 for students and dancers. Group discounts are also available. Purchase tickets at www.athenaeumtheatre.org or 773.935.6875. For more information go to www.chicagotaptheatre.com or call the Chicago Tap Theatre office at 773.655.1175.

Chicago Tap Theatre presents a night of rock and tap, exclusively featuring the music of the legendary Queen. Freddie Mercury, lead vocalist and songwriter, and Queen entertained fans for more than four decades with their powerful vocals and musical fusion of hard rock and glam rock. This one night only event will be a bright, heartfelt and over the top celebration of this iconic band, as interpreted by Music Director Schweitz and Chicago Tap Theatre. Playing during Pride Week in Chicago, this is the perfect time to recognize and honor Queen's contribution to the music world. In addition guest artists Chicago Gay Men's Chorus, Lakeside Pride Freedom Marching Band and Chicago Spirit Brigade join CTT on stage and the performance marks the debut of an unprecedented concert aerial tap piece, in collaboration with C5, in this large-scale extravaganza.

In addition to guest stars, Chicago Tap Theatre members performing in We Will TAP You include: Mark Yonally, Jen Yonally, Kirsten Uttich, Aimee Chase, Isaac Stauffer and Sarah Owens.

ABOUT CHICAGO TAP THEATRE

Founded in 2002, Chicago Tap Theatre is a growing and vibrant dance company dedicated to preserving the quintessentially American dance form of tap while taking it to the next level of creativity, innovation and quality. CTT performs exclusively with live music provided by some of Chicago's finest musicians playing everything from Duke Ellington to David Bowie and many artists in between. Under the dynamic direction of master teacher and performer Mark Yonally, CTT has gained a loyal and sizable following in Chicago and continues to tour both nationally and internationally. Having pioneered the "tap opera" format, which tells stories with compelling characters and intriguing plots, CTT has used the language of tap dance, live music and narration to move Chicago audiences for over 10 years.

ABOUT MARK YONALLY, co-creator and choreographer

Mark Yonally is currently the artistic director of Chicago Tap Theatre, one of the most critically well-regarded companies in Chicago. Yonally has developed a national and international reputation as a performer, with solo performances in Chicago, Kansas City, Albuquerque, Amsterdam and Paris. He has been blessed to have Sarah Petronio, Dianne Walker, Bill Evans and Billy Siegenfeld as mentors. As a company member of the Bill Evans Dance Company and Especially Tap Chicago ( ETC ), Yonally performed at such prestigious festivals as the St. Louis Tap Festival, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, the Gus Giordano Jazz Dance World Congress and at the Royal Opera House in Helsinki, Finland. Furthermore, Yonally has gained the plaudits of major dance critics for his innovative approach to tap choreography. His works have been commissioned and performed by the Bill Evans Dance Company, ETC and Hope College, among others. Yonally also maintains a longstanding professional relationship with Valérie Lussac, Artistic Director of Tapage of Toulouse, France. Yonally is a noted educator and has taught at festivals throughout the U.S. and has served on the faculty at Oklahoma City University and Hope College. He is sought after for his multidisciplinary approach to tap teaching, which includes history, basic music theory and an emphasis on jazz music, and has taught in France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. Yonally is also a published author, with pieces appearing in Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher and Dance Magazine.

ABOUT KURT SCHWEITZ, co-creator and music director

Kurt Schweitz has become one of Chicago's most sought after bassists, "whose handsome tone anchors a billowing technique", as stated in a review by Neil Tesser, author of The Playboy Guide to Jazz. While best known as a jazz bassist, Schweitz is a multi-genre multi-instrumentalist and composer having been playing various musical instruments since the age of four years old. After moving to Chicago to pursue a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Chicago, Schweitz quickly become an active member of Chicago's burgeoning music scene and has also performed internationally on stages in London, Paris, NY, at the Aberdeen Jazz Festival in Scotland, and Beijing, China. Back home, his schedule has included over 2,500 performances at venues such as the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, the South Shore Jazz and Heritage Festival, Meet the Composer, Chicago Humanities Festival, Asian-American Jazz Festival, and Milwaukee Jazz in the Park Festival. Locally, he can regularly be found at Chicago's many jazz clubs and on dozens of local jazz and rock recordings. Schweitz regularly performs with jazz, rock, and classical groups, and his music uses these influences to contemporaneously unfold the deep roots of these musical genres into a cohesive whole. He has received an Individual Artist grant from the Illinois Arts Council and grants from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events to write, perform, and record original music.

ABOUT MATTRICK SWAYZE, host

Mattrick Swayze AKA Matthew Hollis is a long-time friend and fan of Chicago Tap Theatre. As a dancer, Swayze has had the pleasure of performing for Hedwig Dances, The Seldoms, Joe Goode Performance Group and Mary Zimmerman. As a choreographer, he has been a recipient of The Chicago Dancemakers Forum Grant and has presented his work throughout the world. As a fitness expert, Swayze is a personal trainer and the co-creator of POMSQUAD Fitness which has been featured on WGN "Midday Fix," NBC's "1st Look" and WCIU's "You & Me in the Morning." Swayze is also a sassy mouthed high heel wearing host and late night fixture with The Chicago Dance Crash's long running dance battle KTF.

ABOUT RICH ASHWORTH, guest choreographer

Richard Ashworth is an educator, choreographer, and performer whose technical abilities and historical knowledge have made him a sought after resource in the urban and rhythmic dance communities. Ashworth attended the University at Buffalo receiving a BFA in Dance in June 2007. After graduating, he has performed and/or choreographed for several internationally touring dance companies including Lehrerdance ( dir. Jon Lehrer ) and Chicago Dance Crash ( dir. Jessica Deahr ). He has also established himself as a teacher, joining the faculty of several dance education organizations including Dance Masters of America, CNADM, and the Interdanza organization of Mexico. Ashworth is the former rehearsal director for Mark Yonally's Chicago Tap Theatre and freelances as a performer/choreographer throughout the Chicagoland Area. His directorial debut of his own show Shoestrings opened to three sold out houses and rave reviews by the Chicagoland media. Other credits include Chicago's Dances in the Park, About Face Theatre and Tapman productions.

ABOUT KIRSTEN UTTICH, guest choreographer

Kirsten Uttich is CTT's rehearsal director and began training with the Jensen School of Performing Arts at the age of three years old in her hometown, San Jose, Calif. She performed and competed as a member the Fancy Dancers, having the opportunity to perform all over the U.S. and internationally in France, England, Mexico and on several cruise lines. While training in California, Uttich's love of tap grew after taking classes from tap masters such as Sam Weber, Mark Mendonca and Dianne Walker. She came to Illinois by way of college, receiving a BS in Fitness and Sport and a Minor in Dance at Millikin University. At Millikin, she was a member of the Dance Ensemble for all four years and graduated magna cum laude in 2007. She moved to Chicago in the summer of 2009 and began dancing with Cartier Collective ( dir. Julie Cartier ) and joined in multiple freelance works.

ABOUT JEREMY PLUMMER, guest choreographer

Jeremy Plummer is a director, choreographer and aerial creator and choreographer with shows running around the world that feature his unique blend of aerial artistry and live performance. His company, C5, has had their work featured in six world premieres as a part of Chicago's Dance for Life. Plummer combines dance and aerial arts creating a hybrid art form that is unique to the concert stage. He was a full company member with River North Chicago Dance Company where he danced for several years, appeared in the company's Emmy nominated documentary River North Rising, and also choreographed for the company He is featured in the films "Vanilla City," "The Visitor" and "Road to Perdition." Along with teaching around the country, Plummer was honored to receive Chicago National Associations artistic Achievement Award. As a director/choreographer he directed the first-ever aqua show at sea. It features world-class divers, gymnasts, synchronized swimmers and specialty acts. He has developed and created aerial shows and "living art" installments for cruise lines, special events, and most recently the International Balloon Competition in Michigan, which brought together aerialists and dancers from around the country. He conceived and directed the first all aerial show for a Cruise Line helping propel Royal Caribbean to number one in the cruise entertainment industry. He has directed and choreographed over 15 shows and musical reviews, also numerous product launches and national sales meetings for Fortune 500 companies.

CHICAGO TAP THEATRE ON TOUR

In addition to its main stage events, Chicago Tap Theatre also performs throughout the United States, including the current dates and venues below:

May 28, 2016 — Spring to Dance, St. Louis, MO.

Chicago Tap Theatre ( CTT ) honors the music of legendary rock band Queen with the one night only performance of We Will Tap You! A Tap Dance Celebration to the Music of Queen, conceived by Artistic Director Mark Yonally and Music Director Kurt Schweitz, choreography by Yonally with guest choreographers Rich Ashworth, Kirsten Uttich and Jeremy Plummer and hosted by Mattrick Swayze at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Saturday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults, $28 for seniors ( 65 years or older ) and $23 for students and dancers. Group discounts are also available. Purchase tickets at www.athenaeumtheatre.org or 773.935.6875. For more information go to www.chicagotaptheatre.com or call the Chicago Tap Theatre office at 773.655.1175.


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