Chicago Dance Digest

Chicago Dance Digest is devoted to bringing you the latest news and events from Chicago's dance scene. Emily is a lifelong dancer and writer, and current dance critic for Clef Notes Concert Journal for the Arts, who has created Chicago Dance Digest, a blog devoted entirely to dance in Chicago. Thank you for stopping by!
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Our Events Calendar is updated with 2014-2015 dance performances! We’ll continue adding to the calendar as more details become available, but you’ll find a huge selection of productions and visiting artists already announced. It’s never too early to start thinking about the performances you’d like to attend this season.

June 21, 2014—Electronic music vibrated from the Civic Opera House as theater-goers approached from the rain-splattered street outside. Inside a crowd of mostly young adults, relaxed with drinks and posed for selfies in mirrors that featured life-sized decals of the night’s performers: world-famous B-boy crew, The Flying Steps. The club-like atmosphere invading the regal opera house proved a fitting prelude to an evening of stark contrast, as some of the world’s most talented break dancers displayed their extraordinary skills to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach in Red Bull Flying Bach… Keep reading at Clef Notes

Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago celebrates it 42nd year with their 2014 Summer Concert and Gala ‘The Continuum”. The Continuum will take you on a journey of movement, music, and song. There will be special guest performances by Amina Dickerson and an original work by Moustapha Banoura. Also, performing with the company, Seneke West African Percussion Ensemble. Muntu will also feature student performers from the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) choreographed by Artistic Director Amaniyea Payne and Assistant Director Idy Ciss. Learn more about the performance and other events Muntu has in store this summer!

Chicago Tap Theatre (CTT), in conjunction with the Athenaeum Theatre is proud to present Unleash the Beats, an amazingly choreographed fusion of electronic dance music, (a’ la Daft Punk, New Order, Beck, Suzanne Vega, Deadmau5, Nine Inch Nails, Amon Tobin, Air, Koop, Aphex Twin, and more,) live instruments and tap dance! Unleash the Beats will debut on Saturday evening, June 28 at 8:00 pm at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport in Chicago. The cost of admission is $35 for adults, $27 for seniors, and $22 for students and dancers. Tickets are available at the Athenaeum box office, by phone at 773-655-1175, or online at www.athenaeumtheatre.org. Learn more about Chicago Tap Theatre!

This summer, Aerial Dance Chicago (ADC) and Elements Contemporary Ballet will share the stage for a one-night-only concert. The July 19 performance, titled Silk and Steel, will take place on the main stage of Skokie’s North Shore Center for the Performing Arts and feature a world premiere collaboration between the companies as well as audience favorites from ADC’s and Elements’ original repertories. Learn more!

Ballet Preljocaj’s visually arresting “Snow White.” Photo by Jean Carbonne.

May 2, 2014—Ballet Preljocaj swept into Harris Theater of Music and Dance May 2-4 with its dark, sexy “Snow White.” From the very first scene it’s clear that no hint of Disney fluff will permeate Angelin Preljocaj’s interpretation of the classic Grimm tale, opening with a dimly lit stage where a dying, cloaked queen struggles to give birth to her daughter, Snow White…. Keep reading at Clef Notes.

Rory Hohestein and Christine Rocas in “Romeo & Juliet.” Photo by Cheryl Mann.

April 30, 2014—Krzysztof Pastor’s modernized Romeo & Juliet made its U.S. debut this week, when the Joffrey Ballet debuted the work at Auditorium Theatre. Pastor’s concept illustrates the timeless struggle of star-crossed love, portraying Romeo and Juliet’s love affair reaching across decades and cultural situations.

The choreography is quite exciting, particularly in the tension-filled moments between the Montagues and the Capulets. Romeo (Rory Hohenstein) and Juliet (Christine Rocas) have tender moments as the discord vibrates around them, and their early interactions are quite endearing, as they discover one another.

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Rediiscover who we are! 

I’ve been covering dance for Clef Notes Concert Journal for the Arts for over four years now. Check it out!

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David Wolfe, recent recipient of a scholarship to Hubbard Street’s Youth Dance Program, with fellow students at Mitchell Elementary School. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

CHICAGO, April 16, 2014 — National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa today announced Hubbard Street Dance Chicago among 886 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive NEA Art Works grants. Hubbard Street is recommended for a $100,000 grant — the maximum single amount provided to Art Works grantees — in support of its Movement as Partnership (MAP) Program.  

MAP Education Programs, providing long-term engagement in Chicago and Oak Park Public Schools, are projected to serve 60 classrooms in 13 locations in 2014–15, reaching approximately 2,364 students in grades K–6, 70 teachers and five teaching artists, 19 administrators, 200 family members and, through professional dance performances, an additional 1,000 students. In MAP partner schools, in-classroom dance instruction sessions lasting 40–60 minutes are combined with dance integration during other classroom activities, and conclude with performances by participating students.  

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The Houston Ballet in Aladdin. Photo by Amitava Sarkar.

March 22, 2014—An ornate backdrop painted with brightly colored rugs and tapestries; vibrant costumes shimmering from curtain to curtain; larger-than-life personalities exploding onto the stage—this is the opening scene of the Houston Ballet’s production of “Aladdin” performed at Auditorium Theatre, March 22 and 23. The energy of this moment sets… Read the full review at Clef Notes.