Chicago dance is in the spotlight this spring when See Chicago Dance (SCD), the dance industry’s nonprofit service organization, presents Chicago Dance Month, showcasing the city’s numerous, vibrant and diverse opportunities to enjoy professional dance in Chicago.
Chicago Dance Month highlights the breadth, variety 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 Hot Deal ticket partners are offering as much as 25 percent off full-price tickets to their performances with offers available beginning March 16.
Returning for the second year is a day-long event focusing on health and wellness—last year called the Day of Dancer Health, this year the Spring Health Fair—which is expanding beyond dancers to include anyone working in the dance industry, on May 18 at the Menomonee Club Drucker Center in Lincoln Park. Also new this year, SCD is partnering on the Spring Health Fair with Presenting Sponsor Chicago Dancers United, which works to improve the lives of dance professionals through holistic wellness programs and The Dancers’ Fund.
“This year, See Chicago Dance is taking a year-long look at storytelling—our own stories as well as those of our members,” said See Chicago Dance Interim Executive Director Surinder Martignetti. “We facilitate the telling of stories by our members by promoting their events through our website, which includes previews, reviews and calendar listings. We are also launching a critical writing fellowship program to help develop the skills of new dance storytellers.”
Numerous free special events are taking place in partnership with Chicago Dance Month Sponsors. Events and participating companies to date, including Chicago Dance Month Kickoff Celebration (March 30, 4:30–5:30 p.m. - Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street} with a free afternoon performance, including ASL interpretation (Preston Bradley Hall). Participating companies, to date, include Bril Barrett, Bellydance by Phaedra, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, and MOMENTA. A post-performance VIP reception is free for See Chicago Dance members ($25 donations are suggested for the general public at seechicagodance.com beginning March 16).
Residencies and Open Studio Tuesdays (March 31 and April 7, 14 and 21, 4:30–6 p.m. - Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio, 78 E. Washington Street) offer a variety of Chicago dance companies, including, to date, Winifred Haun and Dancers, Ishti Dance Collective, Project Bound Dance, and RE|Dance. Residencies conclude with public works-in-progress performances, workshop and other activities.
The Dance Scavenger Hunt (May 4, 4:30–6 p.m., location to be determined) will be a progressive event throughout the park featuring site-specific performances by Dancing Petals, Gauri Jog’s Indian Dance School, LOUD BODIES, Movement Revolution Dance Crew, Noumenon Dance Ensemble, Perceptual Motion, Trifecta Dance Collective, and Yin He Dance—partnering with the Chicago Park District and Night Out in the Parks.
Finally, the Spring Health Fair (May 18, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Menomonee Club Drucker Center, 1535 N. Dayton Street) welcomes dancers, choreographers, administrators, designers, technicians and anyone who works in the dance community to participate in short one-on-one sessions with health care professionals and a Health Expo showcasing vendors in the health and wellness industry.
An anticipated 60–80 events will occur during the citywide celebration. Chicago Dance Month events and Hot Deal discount offers will continue to be added and updated at seechicagodance.com/festival/chicago-dance-month-2020.
See Chicago Dance is Back with Chicago Dance Month
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre (photo by Dave Suarez).