The city has officially designated 2022 as the Year of Chicago Dance, presenting exciting performances and special dance events in venues all around town. This citywide, year-long focus on dance is the first of its kind in the United States. And Chicago is the perfect host, home to a thriving dance community that includes some of the premier ballet and contemporary dance companies in the country. The city is also the birthplace of footwork, as well as other innovative dance styles.
Chicago Dance Month
See Chicago Dance, the city’s leading service organization for dance artists, marks the Year of Chicago Dance by presenting Chicago Dance Month throughout June. Now in its 10th year, Chicago Dance Month offers performances by a diverse array of dance companies and artists throughout the city. The free Chicago Dance Month Kick-Off Celebration will be held on May 28 at Navy Pier’s Lake Stage. Some of the featured performers include Chicago Tap Theater, Najwa Dance Corps, Chicago Repertory Ballet, Raks Inferno, and Visceral Dance Chicago.
New to Chicago Dance Month this year is the free Pier Dance, held on Thursday evenings from June 2 – 30 at Navy Pier’s City Stage. Each week, a different dance company will teach an introductory dance lesson to movers and shakers of all ages. Join in interactive instruction with Bellydance By Phaedra, Meher Dance Company, Andres Meneses of Latin Street Music & Dancing, and additional companies to be announced.
Also look for Wave Wall Moves, held on Saturday afternoons from June 4 through August 22 at Navy Pier’s Wave Wall Platform. Catch free pop-up dance performances and interactive dance classes that run 15 minutes each and feature a rotating roster of dance companies, including Ballet 5:8, Maywood Fine Arts, Shubuki/Asian Improv Arts Midwest, and more.
Don’t miss On the Move, held on June 7 and June 21 at beautiful Sherman Park, presented in partnership with the Chicago Park District and Night Out in the Parks. Audiences will follow a map and discover hidden pockets of dance performances throughout the park. See a series of short, site-specific pieces performed by Ayodele Drum & Dance with J. Lindsay Brown, dropshiftdance, Helen Lee/Momentum Sensorium, Synapse Arts, and many more.
Year of Chicago Dance
In celebration of the Year of Chicago Dance, Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, in partnership with the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at The University of Chicago, will present two dynamic performances in the spring and summer to amplify diverse voices in dance throughout the city. Don’t miss the special Year of Chicago Dance performance in Millennium Park on August 27. The Project’s eight partner companies include Ayodele Drum and Dance, Chicago Multicultural Dance Center, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Forward Momentum Chicago, Joel Hall Dancers & Center, Muntu Dance Theatre, Najwa Dance Corps, and Red Clay Dance Company.
Throughout 2022, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events will present many free programs, including the much-loved Chicago SummerDance. Events include a range of social dances and live music held downtown and in neighborhoods across the city, special dance concerts in Millennium Park, and more. Don’t miss the free Chicago SummerDance Celebration on September 17, a full day of participatory and professional dancing throughout Millennium Park in honor of National Day of Dance.
Art on theMART will celebrate the Year of Chicago Dance with four new projections as part of its summer and fall presentations, highlighting choreographers, dancers, and visual artists. Watch for Floe by Carrie Hanson, an untitled piece by Shkunna Stewart and Wills Glasspiegel featuring youth dance groups, Trap Moulin Rouge by Jasmin Taylor, and Love Letters by Yuge Zhou.
In October, Chicago Dancemakers Forum presents Elevate Chicago Dance: eMerge, a festival highlighting the extraordinary artistry of Chicago’s radically diverse dancemakers. Elevate features performances and workshops by Chicago-based dancemakers at venues across the city, including the Chicago Cultural Center, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, and Big Marsh Park.
Learn more about the Year of Chicago Dance and find the latest information on upcoming dance events.