On Thursday, April 11, Maria Tallchief Paschen, one of the leading figures of twentieth-century dance, and certainly a significant figure in the evolution of Chicago dance, passed away peacefully at the age of 88. The public is invited to celebrate Ms. Tallchief’s life at a public memorial tribute this Sunday, May 5 at 3 PM at the Francis W. Parker School auditorium, 330 W. Webster Ave. (The auditorium seats one thousand and is first come, first served.)
Ms. Tallchief, a daughter of an Oklahoma family who grew up on the Osage Indian reservation, became a brilliant ballerina and helped pioneer a late twentieth-century and ongoing revival of dance in Chicago. Her work seeking to establish a permanent ballet company here eventually led the Joffrey Ballet’s relocation to Chicago in the 1990s. She was Director of Ballet for the Lyric Opera of Chicago for most of the 1970s, and, in 1980, founded the Chicago City Ballet and acted as co-artistic director until it closed in 1987.
Those speaking about her passionate life and incredible accomplishments at the public memorial tribute will include Elise Paschen, her daughter and award-winning poet; Jacques d’Amboise, legendary dancer, choreographer, and long-time partner of Ms. Tallchief; William Mason, director emeritus of the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Kenneth von Heidecke, founder of the Von Heidecke Chicago Festival Ballet; Peter Bensinger Sr., a family friend, and Bill Kurtis, television journalist and native of Southeastern Kansas, just north of the Osage nation. George Lepauw, renowned pianist and founder of the International Beethoven Project, will offer a music tribute. The program will conclude with a celebratory film tribute by Donna LaPietra.
To support the development of future ballerinas, the family has established The Maria Tallchief Scholarship Fund at the School of American Ballet, where Ms. Tallchief spent many inspired hours as a young dancer. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Maria Tallchief Scholarship Fund may be made by sending a check payable to The School of American Ballet: 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023. Please include “Maria Tallchief Scholarship Fund” in the check memo line.
Delfos Danza Contemporanea (Photo by Lois Greenfield)
April 4, 2013 - Delfos Danza Contermporánea is a modern dance company of truly passionate and spell-binding storytellers. Celebrating their 20thanniversary season, the company graced the stage at The Dance Center of Columbia College April 4-6, presenting an unforgettable program. Delfos Danza Contermporánea is not afraid to take risks, and in doing so, they astound the viewer with the rich, emotional complexity of their repertoire… Keep reading at Clef Notes Concert Journal.
Auditorium Theatre vibrated with Cuban beats Saturday evening, March 13, when Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and River North Dance Chicago brought a little taste of Cuba to the theatre. Both groups seemed filled with the lasting energy of their cultural adventure to Havana, Cuba, which happened back in October—a visit that laid the groundwork for an unprecedented collaboration between the two groups. As part of Auditorium Theatre’s Music + Movement Festival, an over four-months-long endeavor to bring together Chicago dance companies with Chicago musicians, CJP and RNDC combined to create a 40-minute piece celebrating Cuba. The much-anticipated fruit of their labors, “Havana Blue,” debuted during the program, which featured a full evening of toe-thumping jazz beats, and gorgeously inventive dancing.
This spring two of Chicago’s finest artistic ensembles will collaborate to unveil an unprecedented performance at Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (CJP), which blends elements of the classical and jazz genres, and jazz-based contemporary dance company River North Dance Chicago (RNDC) will present their joint work “Havana Blue” on April 13, 2013. The work, co-commissioned by the Auditorium Theatre, anchors the theater’s new Music + Movement Festival and epitomizes the core principles of the festival by bringing together talented Chicago dancers and musicians in a celebration of cultural diversity…. Find out all about the artists’ eye-opening, culturally enriching visit to Cuba in my feature story at Clef Notes Journal.
LNDC dancers Eduardo Zuniga and Monica Cervantes in Fernando Hernando Magadan’s “Naked Ape.” Photo by Cheryl Mann.
On March 9, Luna Negra Dance Theater unveils two world premieres by Spanish choreographers during its “Made in Spain” program at Harris Theater for Music and Dance. The contemporary dance company known for its devotion to Latino choreography presents the latest from company member Monica Cervantes, as well as new work by Fernando Hernando Magadan.
Mónica Cervantes is on a roll.
Have you checked out the impressive line-up of dance performances Chicago companies will present this spring? Bolstered by Auditorium Theatre’s Music + Movement Festival, Chicagoans will have the opportunity to view a wider array of local companies in a two-month period than ever before. For the full schedule, visit the Events Calendar. Now is the time to start purchasing your tickets!
On Tuesday, February 5, 2013, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University unveiled their new Music + Movement Festival, a ground-breaking five-month festival celebrating Chicago’s eclectic music and dance…. Keep reading at Clef Notes.
To commence this season’s North American tour, John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet presented the much-anticipated full-length ballet “Nijinsky” (2000) at Harris Theater for Music and Dance on February 1 and 2. “Nijinsky” persists as one of Neumeier’s seminal inventions for the company. The ballet encapsulates Neumeier’s fascination with renowned Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky via Neumeier’s interweaving imaginings about the life and thoughts of the legend…. Keep reading at Clef Notes
CHICAGO – Ashley C. Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet, announces the company’s 2013-2014 season, titled “Masters of Dance.” The season kicks off with a special addition to the Joffrey’s home engagement line-up, a one-weekend-only program titled “Russian Masters” celebrating the centennial of Vaslav Nijinsky’s ground-breaking 1913 ballet Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), along with George Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante and the return ofYuri Possokhov’s Bells, September 19 – 22, 2013. The season continues with the Joffrey’s annual fall engagement, featuring the Company Premiere of Stanton Welch’s new evening-length staging of the exotic, Indian-set La Bayadère, October 16 – 27, 2013, before continuing with the holiday classic, Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker, December 6 – 27, 2013. For its winter program, the Joffrey presents a modern mixed repertory program, “Contemporary Choreographers,” featuring the Company Premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Continuum and the Chicago Premiere of Crossing Ashland by Chicago choreographer Brock Clawson, February 12 – 23, 2014. The spring program closes the “Masters of Dance” season with the U.S. Premiere of a contemporary, multi-media Romeo & Juliet choreographed by Krzysztof Pastor, April 30 – May 11, 2014.