The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) invites dancers and dance fans of all ages and abilities to come together at Millennium Park for the 2nd Annual SummerDance Celebration on Saturday, August 25. The festival will feature a full day of dance competitions, social dancing, lessons and performances by local dance companies throughout the park from noon until 9 p.m.
Dancing representing many different styles and cultures will take place in every corner of Millennium Park. Highlights include a House DJ Dance Party and “The Most Versatile Dancer” contest at Cloud Gate, Bollywood dance lessons and a folk Circle Dance on the Great Lawn and a Dance Village in Wrigley Square highlighting dance companies and advocacy groups from across Chicago. In the evening from 6:30 to 8 p.m., a Chicago Dance Showcase at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion will feature performances by local dance companies Ayodele Drum Dance, Visceral Dance Chicago, Deeply Rooted, Puzzle League and Giordano Dance Chicago.
Leading up to the SummerDance Celebration are the NEW Dance Downs in the Parks, a performance series hosted by Shkunna Stewart and The Era Footwork Crew. Dance Downs are historic black Chicago talent showcases inspired by modern dance styles like bopping, Chicago footwork, online dance challenges and TV shows like Bring It and America’s Got Talent. The Chicago SummerDance program will feature three Dance Downs at Hamilton Park Cultural Center on Saturday, July 21, Austin Town Hall Park on Saturday, August 18, and the culminating event at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park on August 25, at noon.
In collaboration with the Chicago Park District’s Teens in the Park, the Dance Downs in the Parks are part of the Year of Creative Youth programming that is happening throughout the city. Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events have designated 2018 as the Year of Creative Youth to celebrate the city’s young artists and the mentors who inspire them. Presented by Allstate Insurance Company, the Year of Creative Youth also features young artists and their work at City of Chicago festivals, events and exhibitions throughout the year.
Admission to SummerDance is free. The Chicago SummerDance Celebration in Millennium Park is supported by the Chicago Transit Authority. For complete details on all Chicago SummerDance events, visit chicagosummerdance.org or call the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events at 312.744.3316.
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Participants gather for a Bollywood dance lession in Chicago's SummerDance 2017 festival (photo courtesy of the City of Chicago).
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