Marinda Davis is a phenomenal choreographer who continues to fight against phenomenal odds. This past May, Marinda shared her story on the CW's My Last Days, which detailed her battle against a series of diseases that compromise her health and how dance has played a major role in fueling her resilience and healing. We are humbled and send our heartfelt love as she continues to fight for her health, but here we choose to focus on the light she brings to our world through choreography. In more recent years, Marinda has had her company and choreography featured on NBC's World of Dance and has taken a dive into the commercial side of the art form. Through the years, she never forgot about the connection she made as a dance convention assistant to the legendary Gus Giordano, and now has the opportunity to choreograph on the legacy company that he left behind. There is something incredibly satisfying and elusive about life coming full circle, and for Marinda, this experience with Giordano Dance Chicago was just that. DancerMusic Dance Editor Kristi Licera caught up with Marinda to learn more about how she formed her relationship with the company, as well as the creative process behind her work for GDC, titled "Flickers." Here's what she told us:
If you missed Giordano Dance Chicago's Fall Series at the Harris Theater back in October, have no fear; the company is doing an encore performance of their Live in the Momentum program Saturday, February 2 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. For the last 56 years, Giordano has worked to preserve and invigorate the legacy of jazz dance they have so carefully and lovingly built. As the company continues to grow, so does their network of support, including those whose task it is to curate the programs that a theater presents. At North Shore Center for the Performing Arts this task falls upon General Manager Michael Pauken. For the last 16 years, Michael has searched far and wide to bring the best of the best into a theater that falls into the same category. With such an abundance of artists and performances to choose from locally, nationally, and internationally, there has to be something unique, almost magical that makes a company or artist standout from the pack. DancerMusic's Kristi Licera caught up with Michael to learn more about why Giordano Dance Chicago fits the standard, and how his relationship with GDC has grown over the years. Here's what he told us:
Taylor Mitchell has a brand new work, and naturally, we wanted to hear all about it. It's called Out of Pocket, and its performance by MitchellMovement is part of Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival's second weekend of performances (Friday September 28 and Saturday September 29, both at 8PM). It's an ideal pairing; Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival brings together a rich spectrum of imaginative independent choreography each year, and Mitchell epitomizes the kind of engaging and impactful dance that HCCDF was founded to present. We asked Taylor to let us in on more of what we'll get to see when Out of Pocket takes the stage at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, and here's what he told us:
Dancers have the unique ability to take a piece of music and really show it to you. You may be thinking, how is that possible? Sound is a wave invisible to the naked eye, and even if you were to see that piece of music performed live, you would see the action that creates the sound, but not the sound itself. Here's where the dancer comes in. If a dancer were to create movement to your favorite song, chances are that dancer would pick up on the nuances in rhythm, accents in instrumentation, the subtle meaning behind the lyrics, and
Giordano Dance Chicago will be performing Ray Mercer's Tossed Around when they take the stage on August 18th for Dance For Life 2018 at The Auditorium Theatre. So much goes into a work like Tossed Around that if you're seeing a work like that for the very first time, it can be a lot to take in all at once. That's why it's so great when somebody can give an audience a better idea of what they're about to see. Michael McStraw is the Executive Director of Giordano Dance Chicago, and he knows Tossed Around better than most, and not just its multiple layers of design. McStraw knows what went into it, and a lot of what has come out of it for audience and artists alike. He's one of those artists who has both danced and directed dance companies, someone who can mix passion and professionalism and never drop a beat. So naturally, we asked Michael McStraw to give us a little deeper look into Tossed Around. Here's what he told us:
The reason Giordano Dance can keep bringing it year after year, decade after decade, is because they're always bringing so much that's so new. Their Summer Series at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre on June 9th is a gleaming example of that; the Company will perform works by Ray Mercer, Joshua Blake Carter, Ray Leeper and Christopher Huggins in a multichromatic display of contemporary voices in choreography. Even the two legendary works on the program by Giordano's founder, Gus Giordano, represent what is new as much as they do what is classic. We asked Cesar Salinas to give us a little closer look at the performance, and here's what he told us:
On March 23 & 24, the dancers of GDC will grace the stage at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago to celebrate 55 years of legacy and innovation. Among the works being presented is the world premiere of Take a Gambol, choreographed by former company member and current Operations Manager and Giordano II Director, Joshua Blake Carter. DancerMusic's Kristi Licera asked Joshua about his journey through Giordano, as well as the creative process behind his new work. Read on to learn more about Joshua and how he is weaving his thread into the fabric of American jazz dance:
In just a few days, Giordano Dance Chicago will be holding its annual audition in Chicago, and we thought this was the perfect opportunity to sit down with Linnea Stureson-Tolbert, who recently was promoted into the main company. Linnea worked her way through the ranks in GDC's second company, Giordano II, and this historic 55th season at GDC will be her first as a Company Dancer. DancerMusic's Kristi Licera asked Linnea all about her journey, from audition all the way through her experience thus far. If you've ever wondered what it takes to be a Giordano dancer, here's your chance to find out:
Giordano Dance Chicago's story may one of amazing accomplishment, but unlike other stories that you can only read about, you can actually go and see this one. You'll be seeing the accomplishments of fifty-five years of imagination and determination, and more than that, you'll be seeing the accomplishment and excitement of the choreographers and performers that keep making this company move like they were just getting started. They're at the Harris Theater on Friday, October 27th at 7:30pm and on Saturday, October 28th at 7:30pm.
Each August, the Chicago dance community packs the city's Auditorium Theatre for Dance For Life. For a special look ahead, DancerMusic reached out to each of the Partner Dance Companies that perform each year at Dance For Life. Each of them has selected a photo from their performance, and given us some insight into what they will be performing.