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.
In addition to the dozens of dance performances and classes taking place throughout the month, Chicago Dance Month "Open Doors, Open Spaces" partners are offering FREE events that welcome dance fans to an open rehearsal, a site-specific performance in an unusual venue or a discussion about the creation and presentation of dance. To introduce audiences to companies they might not have seen before, CDM25 Hot Deal ticket partners are offering at least 25 percent off full-price tickets to their performances.
Check out these Chicago Dance Month highlights:
April 3, 6 to 7:15 p.m. | Navy Pier Aon Grand Ballroom
Join the celebration at the kickoff of the 5th Annual Chicago Dance Month on Navy Pier on Monday, April 3, featuring FREE performances from 6 to 7:15 p.m. in the Aon Grand Ballroom. The program includes performances by Ayodele, Giordano Dance II, Natya Dance Theater and Culture Shock Chicago.
The evening will also include a special conversation with Yossi Chaikin and Gabriella Sorrentino, two company members and dance captains currently performing in the musical HAMILTON. The conversation will be moderated by HMS Media Executive Producer, Scott Silberstein.
A reception with the artists will immediately follow the performance. The performance is FREE but reservations are requested. The reception will offer guests the opportunity to meet the performers and enjoy tasty appetizers and beverages at Tiny Tavern, the newest gastro pub on Navy Pier. Tickets to the reception are $50.
Navy Pier | 600 E. Grand Avenue | 312-595-7437
Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1, 7:30 p.m. | Harris Theater
America's original jazz dance company, GDC, 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. 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.
The performance also honors dancer Meaghan McHale's 10th anniversary with the company.
Harris Theater | 205 E. Randolph Street | 312-334-7777
April 3, 6 p.m. | Chicago Cultural Center
A free, two-month citywide celebration of authentic, rhythmic dance companies from a variety of world cultures, including American tap, Spanish, Mexican, African, Chinese, and Irish dance. The series culminates with the grand finale at the Studebaker Theatre on Friday, June 2.
Featured Chicago companies are: Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre, Mexican Folkloric Dance Company, Muntu Dance Theatre, and Trinity Irish Dance Company.
Chicago Cultural Center | 78 E. Washington Street | 312-744-6630
April 8, 7:30 p.m. | Harris Theater
Visceral Dance will continue its fourth season offerings with SPRINGFOUR, the third mainstage Chicago performance of the company's fourth season. It will include a world premiere, entitled Synapse, by Artistic Director Nick Pupillo, as well as the technically charged Minor Threat from Canadian-based choreographer Mark Godden. The SPRINGFOUR program will also mark the return of Pupillo's Atlas and Mónica Cervantes' Changes (2014), which explores fast-paced relationships in our modern day.
Harris Theater | 205 E. Randolph Street | 312-334-7777
April 21–22 and 28–29, 7:30 p.m. | Ruth Page Theater
A concert inspired by questions of place, time, sense and self. The two-weekend event features Jan Bartoszek's Four Strong Winds on both weekends with Madison, Wisconsin-based Kate Corby's Harbor on the first weekend and Victor Alexander's Parting Shadows on the second weekend. Four Strong Winds probes the experience of cyclical time in the north.
The sextet is informed by Bartoszek's research of ways in which expression and body language in cold Northern locations have developed as a result of geography, weather and other forces. Harbor, a duet performed by married couple Ben Law and Chih-Hsien Lin, is an exchange of ideas, a reorganization of shared space, a seeking of balance between power and submission, intimacy and conflict, waiting and action. Parting Shadows by Victor Alexander is a quartet about perception and illusion. It is inspired by Plato's cave allegory describing enchained, deluded people for whom shadows are the only reality.
Originally performed by Hubbard Street 2, Parting Shadows is being remounted on Hedwig Dances.
Ruth Page Theater | 1016 N. Dearborn Street | 312-337-6543
April 26–May 7, 7:30 p.m. | Auditorium Theatre
The Joffrey Ballet continues its staging of cutting-edge contemporary ballet with three exciting works. Celebrated around the globe for his originality and humor, Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman returns to the Joffrey with his unique cinematic vision for a world premiere. Master of invention Yuri Possokhov stages the Chicago premiere of The Miraculous Mandarun, set to Bartók's dramatic post–World War I tableau. Annabelle Lopez Ochoa returns to the Joffrey with Mammatus, her spellbinding take on a turbulent cloud formation and oppositional forces that occur in nature.
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University | 50 E. Congress Parkway | 312-341-2310
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 dance highlights in the month of April at SeeChicagoDance.com.