This year, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre celebrates its 20th anniversary season. Every dance company dreams of celebrating such a milestone, so what is the secret to the success? It might have something to do with the incredible blend of live dance and music that the company continues to curate, but more likely it is the passionate and consistent commitment to their artistic mission that co-founders Wilfredo Rivera and Joe Cerqua demonstrate year after year. Despite the challenges of building and maintaining an audience, procuring funding, and pushing the boundaries of both music and dance, CRDT has nourished the creative talents
Now on the cusp of their twentieth anniversary season, CRDT's success is due largely in part to the consistently strong choices of Artistic Director and Co-founder Wilfredo Rivera. As from the beginning, Wilfredo's passion, creativity, and commitment to artistic collaboration continue to lead the company to new performance venues, new audiences, and new creative projects that push the boundaries of both the individual artist and the ensemble as a whole. Behind the scenes, there is another person integral to the success and growth of Cerqua Rivera - Executive Director Catherine Painter. For the last five years, Catherine has worked alongside the artistic team at CRDT to ensure that their unique mixture of dance and live music can reach as many communities as possible. The work and thought she has put behind each and every choice for Cerqua Rivera culminated last year in the company's first ever three-venue tour of Chicago. This year's Fall Concert Series placed CRDT back to the same three venues: the series opened in Evanston, traveled down to Lakeview, and will soon close in Hyde Park. The big difference is the program has already made a much bigger splash than in the previous season, and there's still one performance to go. DancerMusic's Kristi Licera caught up with Catherine to learn more about Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre and the choices they continue to make that create the enriching experience the Fall Concert Series offers their audiences. Here's what Catherine told us:
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.