The Chicago Dancing Festival, the nation’s largest of its kind, has announced repertoire for its 9th annual series with George Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante (performed by Miami City Ballet in its Chicago Dancing Festival debut); Mark Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet (Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, 2015 Festival debut); Justin Peck’s In Creases (Chicago’s The Joffrey Ballet); Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s El Beso (Ballet Hispanico, 2015 Festival debut); and Twyla Tharp’s Sweet Fields (Miami City Ballet) among program highlights. This year’s event will take place at a host of Chicago’s top downtown venues—Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park—from August 25-29, 2015.

Co-produced by renowned choreographer Lar Lubovitch and highly esteemed Chicago dancer Jay Franke, Chicago Dancing Festival will also present, for the first time, an entire evening-length program devoted to “Modern Women,” featuring works by the pioneers of American modern dance including Isadora Duncan’s Valse Brillante (Lori Belilove & The Isadora Duncan Dance Company, 2015 Festival debut), Martha Graham’s Deep Song (Martha Graham Dance Company) plus programming from contemporary female voices that have followed in their footsteps: Crystal Pite, Pam Tanowitz and Kate Weare. The “Modern Women” program will also feature a special screening of the one-minute film Butterfly Dance by Loie Fuller plus additional historical footage and photos shown throughout the program. Created in 1896, Butterfly Dance is one of the first dance films ever produced and captures Fuller’s improvisational dance techniques with swirling movements under layered fabric.

Continuing its tradition of creating new work, the festival will also present the world premiere of In The Meantime, a new tap and percussive dance piece by Chicago Human Rhythm Project featuring members of Ensemble Español and Trinity Irish Dance. The work was commissioned just for Chicago Dancing Festival 2015.

This year’s lineup is an amazing pastiche of the most intriguing modern works by some of the day’s most brilliant dance minds. All festival programs are free and seating is general admission, but tickets for indoor events must be reserved in advance.

Also unique to this year’s program, the Chicago Dancing Festival will present a special one-night-only Gala Benefit performance honoring the festival’s founder and artistic director Lar Lubovitch, and featuring works choreographed by Lubovitch and others, performed by members of American Ballet Theatre, Brian Brooks Moving Company, Miami City Ballet and The Joffrey Ballet at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday evening, August 28.

Established in 2007 by Lar Lubovitch and Jay Franke, the Chicago Dancing Festival presents a wide variety of dance of the highest caliber each year, enriching the lives of the people of Chicago, providing increased accessibility to the art form, and helping create new audiences.

 For more information about this year’s event or for schedules or tickets, visit

Dancers Xiaochuan Xie and Tadej Brdnik perform as part of the 2014 Chicago Dancing Festival lineup (photo by Cheryl Mann).

Eclectic Program Slated for Chicago Dancing Festival 2015