For 17 years, Chicago’s innovative Thodos Dance has fostered new dance creation by producing New Dances, one of this city's first and, still today, most extensive in-house choreography incubation programs. Now, in the series' final year under Thodos Dance Chicago's auspices, New Dances 2017 will give eight members of the company's ensemble one last chance to get behind the stage and curtain and showcase their skills as creators and directors of their own, self-conceived new works. 

With so much creative freedom, New Dances is always the must-see of Chicago's summer dance season, never failing to serve up a diverse line-up of fresh, homegrown, fully produced new works. New Dances traditionally invites a guest choreographer to contribute an additional new work. This year, in celebration of the final year of the project, company founder and artistic director Melissa Thodos will return to her passion for new work and set a world premiere.

Premiering new works in this summer’s New Dances production are John Cartwright, Abby Ellison, Alex Gordon, Hattie Haggard, Thomas Jacobson, Jessica Miller Tomlinson, Brennen Renteria and Luis Vazquez. Their mentors during the three-month new work incubation period are Chicago dance community leaders Margi Cole, Kristina Isabelle, Billy Siegenfeld and Zachary Whittenburg.

New Dances 2017 takes place Saturday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 16 at 3 p.m. at the Athenaeum Theatre (2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago).

​For tickets and information, visit or call (773) 935-6875.

Thodos Dance to Present Company's Final New Dances Premiering New Works of 8 Thodos Dance Artists

Chicago dance maker Melissa Thodos, founder of Thodos Dance Chicago, will launch the company's final New Dances this summer in celebration of the choreographic talents of 8 Thodos dancers. It all takes place at Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago's Lincoln Park y (photo by Todd Winters).