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.

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Still frrom Shobana Jeyasingh's Contagion, courtesy Sadler's Wells

This Free Online Festival Showcases the Crème de la Crème of the U.K. Dance Scene

As most theaters across the world remain closed, London's contemporary dance hub Sadler's Wells and cultural broadcaster BBC Arts have come together to produce a day-long digital dance festival on January 28.

Dancing Nation will showcase 15 new and beloved works by world-class, U.K.-based companies and choreographers over three hour-long, pre-recorded segments. Highlights will include Akram Khan and Natalia Osipova performing together for the first time in Mud of Sorrow: Touch, a new work inspired by Khan's 2006 duet with Sylvie Guillem; Matthew Bourne's New Adventures' seminal 1988 work Spitfire; and Shobana Jeyasingh's timely restaging of Contagion, which explores the spread of the virus that caused the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918.

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February 2021