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Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.

Author: Lynn Colburn Shapiro

Lynn Colburn Shapiro is editor of SeeChicagoDance.com. A former dancer and choreographer, she is a published writer of fiction, non-fiction, plays, and poetry. 

See Chicago Dance is Chicago's premiere dance publication, sponsored by Audience Architects, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing and sustaining a vibrant Chicago dance scene through audience development and professional dance industry support across all dance genres.  

You won’t want to miss LYRIC OPERA and THE JOFFREY BALLET’s stunning new production of Gluck’s ORPHÉE ET EURYDICE, directed, choreographed and designed by John Neumeier, and sung in French with projected English translation.

Dance in Chicago revs up for a lively fall season with major companies, smaller ensembles, solo artists, and interdisciplinary projects. Here are five highlights to see Chicago dance performances this September:

Dance for Life Chicago is arguably the Chicago dance community’s single most significant event of the year. Unique in its scope, it serves as a model for the arts community throughout the country, uniting the very highest levels of artistic achievement with the very noblest of humanitarian endeavors in its annual showcase of what makes Chicago dance, and Chicago’s dancers, so very special.

The annual benefit dance concert presenting and showcasing the city’s unique diversity of talent, dance traditions and styles brings together the incredibly talented, world-renowned professional dancers of Chicago for one night on the same stage.

Strike up the band for July! Tap Dance dominates with the Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s annual Rhythm World Festival (July 17-23) and Chicago Tap Theatre’s extended run of “Changes” (June 30-July 16).

Joining the midsummer Chicago dance roster are three programs devoted to the development of new choreography: Cerqua Rivera (July 13), Thodos Dance Chicago (July 15-16) and DanceChance (July 28). Natya Dance Theatre brings Indian tales to Maggie Daley Park (July 19), and Chicago Dance Crash launches an unconventional trip down the yellow brick road with “The Bricklayers of Oz” (July 28-August 5).

June kicks off a summer of Chicago dance with neighborhood festivals, company seasons and single events, with dance styles ranging from contemporary to jazz and tap, multi-disciplinary to culturally specific, musical theater to hip-hop. Check out our highlights, and try something new in June! 

The merry month of May is blooming with dance in Chicago. Audiences can delight in a colorful springtime bouquet of ballet, modern dance, and tap of all kinds, beginning with Jessica Lang Dance's welcome return visit with a new-to-Chicago multi-disciplinary story ballet, and wrapping up the month with Chicago Dance Crash's insanely fun annual dress-up dance event, KTF: A Night of Villains," and much, much more! Here are the top dance performances to see in Chicago this month.

Joffrey Ballet

Go crazy! Whether you're a dancing fool or a fool for dance, April is Chicago Dance Month, so kick up your heels and head out for a month that showers the city with the breadth, diversity and artistic richness of the Chicago dance community.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

There is enough wonderful dance happening in Chicago to keep you on your toes almost every night throughout the month of March. Local and touring companies from out of town grace stages small and large throughout the city. The town is fairly bursting with new, creative collaborations between choreographers, dancers, musicians, filmmakers, videographers, actors, poets and more.

The Joffrey Ballet

February is jam-packed with a roster of exciting and varied dance events, with the blurring of genre lines as modern meets tradition. The Shen Yun Show highlights ancient Chinese tradition at the Harris Theater, while challenging programming from The Joffrey Ballet's "Game Changers" sends us to the cutting edge in contemporary ballet at the Auditorium Theatre. Kick the winter blahs, get out of the house, and See Chicago Dance!

Chicago Flamenco Festival

The year is off to a healthy start for dance in Chicago, with lots of exciting events coming up through winter and spring from both Chicago and touring companies, so plan ahead and mark your calendars! Here are 13 upcoming dance shows to see in Chicago.

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