The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), which promotes a mission to build community through American tap and contemporary percussive arts via world-class performance, education and outreach programs, will spotlight Chicago's exceptional and diverse percussive dance community with the third annual citywide Stomping Grounds series this spring. As in seasons past, the series will culminate the popular grand finale, Chicago Rhythm Fest at the Harris Theater June 2. Showcasing African, Irish, Mexican, Spanish, Chinese, Indian and American cultural traditions, this multi-performance event is a celebration of the rhythmic arts that connects diverse communities through rhythm.
A series of free events in six distinct communities, Stomping Grounds showcases eight percussive dance companies. Of those, five Chicago companies will host "Performalogues," which includes a host company, a featured company and a guest company in performance accompanied by a Q&A with the artists, food trucks and costume exhibitions.
In addition, Shanghai-based GuGu Drum Group will performe, and Chicago companies Kalapriva and Movement Revolution will offer ancillary programs at Chicago Public Schools.
Events are many and diverse and highlights include the series’ kickoff event (Early April date TBD) featuring the five primary companies engaging in conversation about the rhythmic arts (each company performing a duet); Mexican Folkloric Dance Company serving as the host company for a performance at the National Museum of Mexican Art (April 8); Trinity Irish Dance Company serving as the host company for a performance at the Irish American Heritage Center (April 29); and Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre hosting a performance at the Garfield Park Conservatory (May 24).
Funding for Stomping Grounds is made possible with major support from the Chicago Free For All Fund at The Chicago Community Trust and The Chicago Community Trust with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, along with generous individuals.
For 26 years, Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) has done an extraordinary job of fostering the revival of American tap dance throughout North and South America, Australia, Europe and Asia. CHRP presents the oldest and largest annual festival of American tap and percussive dance in the world-Rhythm World-and has expanded through community outreach, ongoing education programs in public elementary and high schools, commissions of new work, innovative conferences for the field and a commitment to social reconciliation and local investment. CHRP also led the development of Chicago's shared dance/arts space, the American Rhythm Center, which offers daily dance classes for children, teens, adults and seniors.
For more information about Stomping Grounds programming, including the Grand Finale: Chicago Rhythm Fest, visit chicagotap.org.
Chicago Human Rhythm Project dancers (photo courtesy of Chicago Human Rhythm Project).
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts