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.
The Museum of Contemporary Art presents a series of events highlighting the work of Merce Cunningham, beginning with "The Cunningham Event." Drawing from key works that span six decades of original choreography, former dancers of the remarkable Merce Cunningham Dance Company, perform Cunningham's signature approach to dance in non-conventional spaces.
Presented in the 4th-floor lobby, it is an experience of unmitigated Cunningham genius at full strength. Event is performed twice each day during gallery hours (with limited capacity) and last about 30 minutes.
220 E. Chicago Avenue
FREE WITH MUSEUM ADMISSION
One of Merce Cunningham's most beloved pieces, "Sounddance," presented in collaboration with the Dance Center of Columbia College. Created in 1975 in opposition to the uniformity and unison of classical ballet, the work is fast and vigorous, driven by a powerful score by musician-composer David Tudor.
Inspired by the 64 hexagrams in the I ching, Cunningham created Fabrications by combining 64 dance phrases to form a deeper interconnected whole. The multidisciplinary collaboration features live music by the original composer Emanual Dimas de Melo Pimenta, and striking visual design by artist Dove Bradshaw.
1306 S. Michigan Avenue
Three cutting-edge choreographers challenge expectations in the much anticipated winter season of the Joffrey Ballet with "Game Changers," featuring the Chicago premiere of Justin Peck's "Year Of The Rabbit," Christopher Wheeldon's "Fool's Paradise," and Wayne MacGregor's "INFRA."
50 E. Congress Parkway
"The Andalusian Trail: The Roots of Flamenco" Kicks Off the 15th Chicago Flamenco Festival" // At City Winery Chicago
The 15th Chicago Flamenco Festival is presented by the Instituto Cervantes, City Winery Chicago, Old Town School of Folk Music and the Flamenco Arts Center.
This year's extended, 5-week festival kicks off with an evening of music and dance featuring the shared cultural history of medieval Andalusia to the present by members of the ensemble Surabhi (founded by Saraswathi Ranganathan). The performance will include original and traditional repertoire with Spanish guitar, Arabo-Andalusian poetry, music by Ronnie Malley on oud and harmonium as well as Rajasthani folk dance by Kinnari Vora and flamenco and Mid-Eastern dance by Marisela Tapia.
The Chicago Flamenco Festival joins a diverse mix of the most respected names in pop, rock, jazz, blues, world music, theater, dance, spoken word and comedy.
1200 W. Randolph Street
Thodos Dance Chicago brings an eclectic program to Skokie's North Shore Center for the Performing Arts February 25, and a special 25th Anniversary Performance at the Auditorium Theatre March 11 will feature the American voice in dance through new and archival choreography.
50 E. Congress Parkway
Features work by global choreographer Nacho Duato, paying tribute to its two-decade relationship with the Spanish-born artist by reviving his plaintive, pastoral "Jardí Tancat" (1983), for three couples and set to Catalan music recorded by vocalist María del Mar Bonet i Verdaguer; and a duet from "Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness" (1999), Duato's two-act tribute to the composer J. S. Bach.
Completing the Spring Series program are Lucas Crandall's full-company work "Imprint" (2016), with improvised live percussion by Hubbard Street Dancer David Schultz; and Crystal Pite's "Solo Echo" (2012), to music for cello and piano by Johannes Brahms.
205 E. Randolph Street
March 31–April 1
Giordano Dance Chicago debuts a new work by Liz Imperio, hailed as choreographer to the stars, when the company presents their spring engagement at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. The program will also feature former GDC dancer and River North Dance Chicago Artistic Director Frank Chaves' restaging of "Grusin Suite," a work that had its birth with GDC debuting as part of their Jazz Dance World Festival in 1993.
205 E. Randolph Street
Among the touring companies coming to the Harris Theater:
- The State Ballet Theatre of Russia (January 21–22)
- Israel's Batsheva Dance Company (January 27)
- Wendy Wheelan (February 24)
and look for the return of:
- Alvin Ailey to The Auditorium Theatre (March 22–26)
- The Dance Center of Columbia College brings Malpaso Dance Company of Cuba (March 9–11)
- Liz Gerring (April 6–8)
This feature is brought to you by SeeChicagoDance.com, the definitive guide to Chicago's dance scene and your source for a full calendar of performances in the city. Read about all the 2017 Winter and Spring highlights at SeeChicagoDance.com.