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!
Who I Follow
Chicago’s dance community never rests! Stay on top of this vibrant dance scene with Chicago Dance Digest’s Events Calendar.

APRIL 2014

April 3, 7:30 PM: Trey McIntyre Project presents Harris-commissioned work @ Harris Theater
Trey McIntyre Project (TMP) returns to Chicago following its successful 2012 Harris Theater debut with a new commissioned work, in which the talented musicians from the Music Institute of Chicago will perform live. TMP annually tours the world performing McIntyre’s “fresh and forward thinking choreography” – The New York Times, and is known for creating a new era of American contemporary dance that the Harris is excited to present in Chicago.

April 3-5: Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group @ The Dance Center, Columbia College
Moseses (working title), co-commissioned by The Dance Center, explores our relationship to leadership and the effects of migration on beliefs and customs. Grounded in Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Moses, Man of the Mountains, the work looks at diasporic movement out of Africa and into the rest of the world through the lens of Moses stories in their various cross-cultural and cross-faith interpretations.

April 3-5: Shen Yun @ Civic Opera House

"Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty, purity, and tremendous energy leave audiences greatly uplifted and deeply inspired." Shen Yun, coming to Civic Opera House on 4/2/14 at 7:30 pm4/3/14 at 7:30 pm4/4/14 at 7:30  pm and 4/5/14 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm. Show prices are $60, $80, $100, $150, and $200. Ticket line is 800-515-3468. Ages 4 and up.

April 6, 2 PM: Beloit College Dance Company and Grinnell College Dance Ensemble/ACTivate present Sudden Spring at Ruth Page
Despite the 254 miles separating Beloit (Wis.) and Grinnell (Iowa), the student-run dance groups, Beloit College Dance Company and Grinnell College Dance Ensemble/ACTivate, will collaborate on a full-length performance, Sudden Spring, Sunday, April 6 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Using the Distance Dances method of collaborative choreography, developed by co-founders Gina T’ai, adjunct assistant professor of dance at Beloit College, and Susan Honer, independent dance artist based in Dayton, Ohio, students will construct a series of dances. Replacing studio rehearsals with online video posts, the dancers will interact remotely until Friday, April 4, when they will meet and merge the generated material into cohesive dances just days before the performance. The process can be followed at The show will take place at 2:00 pm. General admission is $12, with student and senior tickets available for $6. Tickets can be purchased online (, by phone, or on site at the Ruth Page Box Office, located at 1016 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60610.

April 12, 8 PM: River North Dance Chicago @ Auditorium Theatre  
Celebrated for creating vital connections between dancers and the audience as well as presenting gutsy and entertaining works, River North Dance Chicago returns to the Landmark Stage for a third season. With their signature athletic prowess and bold, theatrical flair, RNDC will unveil a powerful World-Premiere performance in this exciting return.

April 12, 7:30 PM: Perceptual Motion Dance Company presents 30th Anniversary Concert, Balance of Desire at Ruth Page
One Night Only! Balance of Desire, Perceptual Motion’s concert celebrating its 30th anniversary, is on April 12 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1012 N. Dearborn St., Chicago.  It features 4 premieres, original music performed live onstage by Shakura World Theatre and a favorite work from the repertory with guest choreographer Harvard Vallance.

April 12 & 13: Winifred Haun and Dancers present Vision, Faith & Desire at Historic Pleasant Home, Oak Park
Vision, Faith, & Desire has played to sold out houses at the Ruth Page Center and the Pritzker Pavilion Stage. And we’re doing again! This time we’re presenting another group of artists at another fabulous venue: Oak Park’s Historic Pleasant Home. And we’re pretty sure that the snow and the cold will be over by then (it has to, right?). So, save the date and buy your tickets now.

April 24-27: The Seldoms present Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead
The Seldoms bring back their “daring and keenly, icily witty” (Chicago Tribune) dance theater work about the rancorous national debate about climate change. April 24-27, Northwestern University, Evanston IL, Marjorie Ward Marshall Ballroom Theater.

April 30 – May 11: Joffrey Ballet presents Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare’s masterpiece in a modern retelling which spans three eras of the 20th century. The story, as timeless as love itself, is performed against a striking multi-media backdrop and is set to Prokofiev’s formidably dramatic score. Bravura dancing and epic storytelling unite in this powerful rendering of the tragic love story.

MAY 2014

 May 2-4: Ballet Preljocaj presents Blanche Neige (Snow White) @ Harris Theater
Angelin Preljocaj’s French dance company from Provence gives its own contemporary take on Blanche Neige (Snow White). Based on the Grimm Brothers’ original fairy tale, this full-length story ballet choreographed by Preljocaj features costumes by legendary designer Jean Paul Gaultier. For this ballet, an inspired Gaultier created costumes that are devilishly sexy, including brief nudity, and designs of warrior inspiration that are worth the journey in themselves. Magical sets are by Thierry Leproust and the music is a selection of Gustav Mahler’s symphonies. In Blanche Neige, the characters’ bodies transcend through Preljocaj’s signature choreography to demonstrate space, energy, and ultimately feelings, using inventive gestures, clever substitution, and acrobatic wall climbing. The company’s American tour includes stops at New York City’s Lincoln Center and the Los Angeles Music Center. Note: The Friday and Saturday performances will include brief nudity. Sunday’s matinee performance will be performed without nudity.

May 9-10: Chicago Repertory Ballet presents The Four Seasons: and contemporary works @ The Biograph Theater
Chicago Repertory Ballet presents THE FOUR SEASONS: and contemporary works at The Biograph Theater this May 9 – 11. Founder and Artistic Director Wade Schaaf brings an intimate and humanistic perspective to the timeless score by Antonio Vivaldi in the world premier of this one-act ballet. Also on the program are company favorites including New York choreographer Manuel Vignoulle’s stunning duet, In a Box; Jacqueline Stewart’s tongue-in-cheek look at the physicality of runway modeling, One Way; Autumn Eckman’s touching trio, Of Alice; and Schaaf’s Peoplescape:Juxtaposition. Tickets are $25 for evening performances and $20 for the Saturday matinee. Please contact The Biograph Theater for inquiries about group rates and special pricing for Children’s Matinee: The Biograph Theater: Performance Schedule: Friday, May 9th at 8pm, Saturday, May 10th at 2pm (children’s matinee) & 8pm, Sunday, Mar 11th at 2pm.

May 17 & 18: Paul Taylor Dance Company @ Auditorium Theatre
One of the world’s most highly respected and sought-after ensembles, Paul Taylor Dance Company, returns to the Auditorium stage with their ever-burgeoning repertoire. Taylor himself has become a cultural icon as one of history’s most celebrated artists, hailed as part of the pantheon that created American modern dance. He continues to bring that artistic vision and creativity to his own company while introducing audiences to true modern dance.

JUNE 2014

June 5-8: Hubbard Street Summer Series @ Harris Theater
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Summer Series takes place June 5–8, 2014 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. The June 5, 7, and 8 program features Cerrudo’s 13th world premiere for the company; “Gnawa” by Nacho Duato, incoming artistic director at Staatsballett Berlin; and “Quintett” by William Forsythe, founder and artistic director of The Forsythe Company. The June 6 performance includes the live simulcast at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on Friday, 8 pm. This free outdoor event, open to the public, is part of Millennium Park’s 10th anniversary celebration, and will feature “Gnawa,” “PACOPEPEPLUTO,” the New Cerrudo, and Jiří Kylián’s “Falling Angels” (1989). Single tickets, $25–$99, are available now at or by phone at 312-850-9744..

June 21-29: The Flying Steps present Red Bully Flying Bach @ the Civic Opera House
Break dance fans, get ready to for the Flying Steps to bring their world renowned moves to the Civic Opera House in June with Red Bull Flying Bach. In Red Bull Flying Bach, you’ll experience Johann Sebastian Bach like you never have before. Tickets, ranging from $24 to $88, are now on sale by visiting at: or by visiting the Civic Opera House box office.  Red Bull Flying Bach will be performed over two weekends only:  Friday and Saturday evenings, June 20, 21, 27 & 28, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday afternoons, June 22 & 29, at 2 pm.


July 19: Aerial Dance Chicago and Elements Contemporary Ballet present Silk and Steel @North Shore Center for the Performing Arts

This summer, Aerial Dance Chicago (ADC) and Elements Contemporary Ballet will share the stage for a one-night-only concert in which each dancer will truly soar. 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.Saturday, July 19, 2014, 7:00pm, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Boulevard Skokie, IL 60077. Tickets $24-46 (senior, student, veteran, and group discounts available). Purchase tickets and find additional information at