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FLYSPACE, new sharing paradigm for small arts companies
Four Female-led dance companies Join in building audiences

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From a news release

CHICAGO — February 19, 2013 — Four leading Chicago contemporary dance companies, each helmed by a female artistic director — The Dance COLEctive, Hedwig Dances, Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre and Zephyr Dance — announce a new and unique strategic partnership to connect and engage audiences in the intimacy, excitement and accessibility of contemporary dance: FlySpace.

The new joint venture opens with performance series at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park

April 5-7 and 12-14.

FlySpace is a resource-sharing consortium, conceived and launched by Jan Bartoszek (Hedwig Dances), Margi Cole (The Dance COLEctive),Michelle Kranicke (Zephyr Dance) and Joanna Rosenthal (Same Planet Different World). The venture supports creative independence and institutional growth by combining and coordinating offstage work and cutting-edge technology to grow audiences. FlySpace's commitment to new forms of cooperation shares each director's passion for content-driven contemporary dance, discovering fresh aesthetics in live performance, and engaging its audiences. Working together on new tools for audience development, all four organizations ascend together.

This new audience-building project launches publicly this spring with the FlySpace Dance Series, a two-weekend series that includes six performances as part of Chicago Cultural Center Presents, a program of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The performances feature all four companies (two companies each weekend) with five World Premieres by six choreographers. All performances take place at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph Drive in Chicago's Millennium Park. The first weekend, Hedwig Dances and Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre share the stage, Friday and Saturday, April 5-6 at 7 pm and Sunday, April 7 at 5 pm. The second weekend, the Dance COLEctive and Zephyr Dance perform together, Friday and Saturday, April 12-13 at 7 pm and Sunday April 14 at 5 pm.

Tickets for the FlySpace Dance Series are $15 and available now at or by phone at 773-871-0872.

About the FlySpace Dance Series

Weekend 1: April 5 — 7 â" Hedwig Dances and Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre

Hedwig Dances' Artistic Director Jan Bartoszek, sculptor Barbara Cooper and L.A.-based composer Matthew Ferraro collaborate in the creation of Double Helix, a World Premiere that interfaces dance with visual art and original music. Using a set of large white folded paper structures that transform the space, the dance explores the dichotomies and connections between unfolding and revealing versus folding and concealing. Hedwig also presents Por Dentro, a quintet choreographed by Cuban-born company member Michel Rodriguez, exploring human interaction through physical communication. Touch permeates the work, with an elaborate focus on the individual dancer's response from the moment of physical contact with another.

Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre presents three works: Cracked (World Premiere) and Altered, both choreographed by Artistic Director Joanna Rosenthal, and a World Premiere by Robin Mineko Williams. Williams, formerly of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, explores the idea of patterns within the course of one's life. She investigates how one identifies with patterns and the positive and negative aspects they may possess, as well as the option or possibility to change them. In Altered, four dancers shift between serenity and anxiety in a frenzied dance of blind destruction and compassionate aid. The dancers' movement motifs of crumpling and soaring reflect both the imagery and emotions surrounding a perspective-altering catastrophe, however personal or global. Cracked is an abstract work that creates an atmosphere among the dancers of people who are the verge of insanity but function within a world that suits them.

Weekend 2: April 12 — 14 â" The Dance COLEctive and Zephyr Dance

The Dance COLEctive presents two works by Artistic Director Margi Cole, Moving Stories and My Sufi Tale. Moving Stories is a dance-theater work that asks questions about the physical, mental and emotional definitions of home: Is it a place? Is it about the things you have with you? Is it about the people who are there? Is it geographic? Is it spiritual? Moving Stories is about the literal act of moving from place to place and the physical and emotional sensations of being moved. My Sufi Tale is a solo performed by Cole, created using source materials from Nana Shineflug's Sufi Tales, that uses humor and vulnerability to explore a story about survival.

Zephyr Artistic Director Michelle Kranicke creates a new abstract work developed for the Pritzker stage space. Paying close attention to where the movement and the viewer are positioned, and the role of the architecture as a contributing factor, the new piece will experiment with alternate ways of looking at dance, enticing the viewer to undo preconceived notions of both the role of the performer and the audience. The work features long-time movement collaborators Andrea Cerniglia and Colleen Welch along with lighting designer Rich Norwood.

Chicago Cultural Center Presents is an ongoing performing arts series that showcases both emerging and established music, theater, dance and multi-disciplinary artists at the Chicago Cultural Center and other venues. Dedicated to capacity building in the arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events hires the artists and provides performance space as well as technical and marketing support.

About the Companies

The Dance COLEctive (TDC), formed in 1996, aspires to challenge assumptions about how dance is presented through the use of cutting-edge choreography, innovative collaborations and inspired site-specific works. TDC's vision is to become one of Chicago's premier dance ensembles, recognized for its compelling, socially relevant and inspiring choreography. In fulfilling its mission and vision, TDC embraces collaboration as a core element of its creative process; values the athleticism, grace, power and strength of its dancers; and nurtures and promotes the creativity of emerging artists. During the past 17 years, TDC has contributed to the support of 19 choreographers, 60 dancers and 65 collaborators, many of them Illinois artists. TDC performs at traditional venues as well as creating site-specific work as part of its annual repertoire. The company also conducts residencies annually, including performances, workshops, master classes and lecture demonstrations. More information available at .

Hedwig Dances is a contemporary dance-theater ensemble celebrating its 28th year under the artistic direction of its founder, Jan Bartoszek. Named after Bartoszek's paternal grandmother, Hedwig Dances' bold, interdisciplinary collaborations combine poetic choreography with sculptural artifacts, projected images and haunting original music. The resulting dances resonate with complexity and depth and provoke emotion, connection and wonder. The artistic quality of the company centers on three essential elements: the artistic aesthetic, achievements, and experience in the discipline of dance of Bartoszek; her use of the art of dance to engage the audience in an internal dialogue with the performers; and recruitment of top-notch individuals from a variety of artistic disciplines, including composers, designers and choreographers and dancers. More information available at .

Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre (SPDW) is a Chicago-based contemporary dance ensemble that creates and produces work that is evocative, entertaining and engaging. Founded in 1997, SPDW has received critical acclaim for its rich and diverse repertory, its artistic direction and its powerful performers. Led by Artistic Director Joanna Rosenthal, an accomplished choreographer, performer and educator, SPDW self-produces two concerts each year and participates in a variety of festivals throughout the Chicago area and nationally. SPDW performances offer unique aesthetics and perspectives and never cease to be dynamic and inspiring. Known for presenting the choreography of artists from across the country, seasoned veterans as well as up-and-coming innovators, SPDW events feature dance genres that range from classical to post-modern and from satire to high-octane virtuosity. More information available at .

Zephyr Dance, lauded by critics from across the country, creates movement landscapes that challenge and expand public ideas of dance. For over 20 years, Zephyr has been recognized for its unique programs that promote both artistic collaboration and audience engagement, and for developing an arts-integrated education model that has earned an international reputation as inspired and effective. Zephyr has performed in Chicago at The Dance Center of Columbia College, Athenaeum Theater, Duncan YMCA Chernin Center for the Arts, Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Links Hall and the Beverly Arts Center. Zephyr has toured throughout the United States from as far north as Fargo, North Dakota to as far south as Miami, Florida. In 2005 the Company performed three benchmark concerts in New York City at the Mulberry Street Theatre. In 1995, Zephyr created Dancing Across State Lines (DASL), an interstate exchange of regional dance companies designed to increase the company's touring capacity. Through DASL Zephyr has hosted fourteen different dance companies from Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin, and has toured to critical acclaim in each guest company's hometown. More information available at .

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