Chicago Dancing Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Where else can you see 22 companies and nine independent dancers for FREE? Chicago Dancing Festival spreads out in various venues, with six performances over five days, from August 23 to 27.
The brainchild of Lar Lubovitch and Jay Franke, over the last ten years this festival has commissioned eight new works, presented more than 100 dance companies and attracted more than 90,000 audience members.
To mark the 10th year, they will open with a “movable dance parade” along the Navy Pier’s outdoor stages. Companies performing throughout the festival include Chicago favorites like the Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Human Rhythm Project and Muntu Dance Theatre. There will be works by William Forsythe, Christopher Wheeldon, Alexander Ekman and Aszure Barton + Artists. And one of my personal faves—Hubbard Street in Crystal Pite’s Solo Echo.
The Joffrey's Fabrice Calmels and April Daly in Lar Lubovitch's Othello, photo by Cheryl Mann
Randy Duncan’s new Depth of Light brings together dancers from Giordano Dance Chicago, Chicago Repertory Ballet, DanceWorks Chicago, Visceral Dance Chicago and other companies.
Last year, the festival presented a night of “Modern Women,” and this year, the “Modern Men” night includes Joshua Beamish, Rennie Harris, Rashaun Mitchell & Silas Riener, and Brian Brooks.
Rennie Harris Puremovement in Students of the Asphalt Jungle, photo courtesy CDF
Inclusion, in genre and in numbers, is the name of the game. Forward Momentum Chicago has taught more than 80 students from the city’s schools and studios to perform traditional South African Gumboot dance. Tap dance, capoeira, Caribbean dance and Bharata Natyam are also on the schedule.
I think it would be hard for any dance lover in the Chicago area—or anywhere in the Midwest for that matter—to resist this cornucopia of dancing. Click here for tickets.
"I'm like, a notch down from Beyoncé," says Tayla Solomon, a member of the Lethal Ladies of Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women (LLOB) step team. "Because I do still mess up."
That confident-yet-real attitude pretty much sums up why we're obsessed with the dancers of LLOB—and the new documentary about them, Step. The film follows the team as they navigate applying to college, practicing for the first place title that has eluded them throughout the years and dealing with their often-challenging family lives.
Booking a gig on a cruise ship can feel like you're diving into the unknown—dropping everything to live in the middle of the ocean without family, friends or cell service. But cruise jobs can also offer incredible rewards, like traveling the world for free and delving into a new style.
Is ship life the right fit for you? Here are some elements to consider.
We knew that New York downtown dance darling Okwui Okpokwasili was a big deal. Critics and audiences have been raving about her dance-theater works for years, and the new documentary about her, Bronx Gothic, has attracted the attention of the larger arts community.
But never in our wildest dreams did we imagine she'd show up in a Jay Z video, along with flex dancer Storyboard P. Though we're slightly less surprised to see Storyboard in Jay Z's "4:44" video than we were to see Okpokwasili, we're jazzed that two of our favorites are featured on such a huge platform. (We're also feeling #blessed that we didn't have to subscribe to Tidal to watch this.)
Throughout the years, choreographer Seán Curran has worked with a diverse array of talented collaborators—from Kyrgyz music ensemble Ustatshakirt Plus to the the Grammy Award–winning King's Singers. But perhaps none are as meaningful as his most recent group of co-choreographers: At-risk teens from the after school program and nonprofit The Wooden Floor.
Curran has been in residence with The Wooden Floor since June, where he's worked with students to build choreography based on their lives and communities:
Their creation will be shown July 20-22 at The Wooden Floor Studio Theatre in Santa Ana, California.
"Besides the stage, baking is my other happy place," says New York City Ballet corps member Jenelle Manzi.
Four years ago, she thought her baking days were over when she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. Manzi had been dealing with pain, frequent illness and joint inflammation for nearly 10 years. Once she cut out gluten, Manzi gradually started to feel better, noticing a transformation in how her body felt and functioned. She found her joints were less inflamed, and she got sick less often.
New York City Ballet soloist Unity Phelan and American Ballet Theatre soloist Cassandra Trenary spend every day making their hard work look effortless and graceful both in the studio and onstage. That's exactly what makes them the perfect spokesmodels for the dance-inspired activewear line, Belle Force.
To celebrate our 90th anniversary, we excavated some of our favorite hidden gems from the DM Archives—images that capture a few of the moments in time we've documented over the decades.
This image was captured during a 1978 New York City Ballet tour that took the company to Copenhagen—home turf for Adam Luders (right), who trained at the Royal Danish Ballet School and briefly danced with the company before joining NYCB as a principal dancer in 1975. Next to Luders is (of course) George Balanchine, in conversation with ballerina Suzanne Farrell. And looking on with a smile? NYCB's current ballet master in chief Peter Martins.