Audience Architects, the leading service organization for building and engaging dance audiences in Chicago, kicks off the fifth annual Chicago Dance Month with a free Opening Celebration from 6 to 7:15 p.m. on Monday, April 3. It all takes place in the Aon Grand Ballroom on Chicago’s Navy Pier.

In partnership with sponsors Navy Pier and Broadway In Chicago, the Opening Celebration features a program that celebrates diverse dance styles, including jazz, hip hop, musical theater and more with performance excerpts by Giordano Dance Chicago’s Giordano II, Natya Dance Theater and Culture Shock Chicago. The event concludes with a conversation with Hamilton co-dance captains and company members Yossi Chaikin and Gabriella Sorrentino, moderated by HMS Media Executive Producer Scott Silberstein.

Yossi Chaikin was born and raised in Israel and completed his training at The Juilliard School (B.F.A. ’15). Gabriella Sorrentino holds a B.F.A. in dance from Point Park University and has appeared in the Broadway production of On Your Feet and in regional productions of A Chorus LineIn the Heights and West Side Story.

As in years past, Chicago Dance Month highlights the breadth, diversity and artistic richness of the Chicago dance community. In addition to the dozens of dance performances and classes taking place throughout the month, Chicago Dance Month Open Doors, Open Spaces partners are offering free events that welcome dance fans to an open rehearsal, a site-specific performance in an unusual venue or a discussion about the creation and presentation of dance. To introduce audiences to companies they might not have seen before, the festival features the Dance Around Town Sampler Pack, which offers ticket buyers a flex pass to three or more performances at venues throughout the city from April until June at a 25–60 percent discount.

Audience Architects is presenting additional free events including Showcases April 13 and 20, in partnership with sponsors Chicago Park District and Night Out in the Parks, and a Closing Celebration April 28 in the Block 37 Pedway, in partnership with sponsor Block 37.

Chicago Dance Month is sponsored in part by Block 37, Broadway In Chicago, the Chicago Park District, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Navy Pier and Wintrust Bank.

For the most updated list of Chicago Dance Month events, visit SeeChicagoDance.com.

Dancers from a wide variety of companies and styles will take the stage this spring in Audience Architect's annual Chicago Dance Month celebration (photo courtesy of Audience Architects).

Audience Architects to Launch 5th Annual Chicago Dance Month with Diverse Navy Pier Opening Celebration
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