These days, it seems that you have all the entertainment you need at your fingertips. Wherever you go, you are sure to see people enraptured by their mobile devices, scrolling through videos on social media or streaming their favorite TV shows. There is no shortage of convenient entertainment, which certainly creates problems for those involved in the performing arts. So, how do you begin to compete with convenience and draw an audience into the theater? If you are Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, you have found a solution – create a unique concert dance experience coupled with a live jazz band.
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theater has been on a relentless build-up to their 2018 Fall Concert Series since last April. It's something they've been doing for years, a very carefully planned series of monthly presentations -- they call them Inside / Out --- that bring their audience, their performers, and the creators of their upcoming works together. The settings are informal but the results always informative, an engaging blend of discussion and performance. The last of the 2018 Inside / Out series takes place on Thursday, September 20th at 7pm at Chicago's Fine Arts Building, and it promises to be a great one. The subject is a new work called The Process Takes a Lifetime, an exceptionally rich and well-thought out story by choreographer Joshua Ishmon and --- in keeping with Cerqua Rivera's trademark practice of pairing great choreographers with great composers --- an original score by Pharez Whitted. Of course DancerMusic wanted to find out more, so we asked Joshua Ishmon if he would give us some insight into The Process Takes a Lifetime. Here's what he told us:
Like many summer programs, Deeply Rooted's four-week summer intensive offers technique classes and gives participants the opportunity to learn, rehearse, and perform select pieces of DRDT repertory. But here's what makes this program special: in addition to technique and repertory, select summer scholarship awardees are invited for an additional two-week process prior to the intensive to participate in the creative process of up-and-coming choreographers. These choreographic works are then presented in the intensive's culminating performance in a feature called the Emerging Choreographers Showcase. In this way, DRDT's summer intensive also serves as a creative incubator for the selected choreographers. In conjunction with sharing a program with some of DRDT's most accomplished choreographers and most beloved works, the emerging choreographers are also given access to the many tools they need to reach their choreographic vision including rehearsal space, a cast of talented dancers, and administrative support. Recently, DancerMusic's Kristi Licera caught up with Emerging Choreographers’ Showcase Producing Director Joshua Ishmon to learn more about the showcase and the choreographers involved. Here's what Joshua told us: