In the background, quiet and mostly unseen, there's an art that makes all of the other arts that we see in dance concerts possible. Dance concerts don't just happen; somebody has to present them, and doing so well is very much an art. But it's a complicated one, and it's even more complicated when you present dance and theater and music and fine art at the same venue. Moraine Valley Community College's Fine and Performing Arts Center has been doing that so well for so long that they're not only celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year, they're doing it with an even more imaginative and engaging series of presentations. One of the most imaginative is the Chicago Dance Crash performance on Saturday, November 17th at 7:30pm, and because of who Crash is, and how this all came together, it promises to be one of the most engaging as well. Tommy Hensel is the Managing Director of the Moraine Valley Fine and Performing Arts Center, and he's seen the last eleven years of the Center's accomplishments first hand. We asked Tommy to share with us some more of the impressive backstage story behind the front-of-house performance we'll be seeing on November 17th. Here's what he told us:
It's great to be bold and imaginative, but it's never easy to keep being bold and imaginative, at least not for long. Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival --- the bold and imaginative two-weekend festival that Nicole Gifford and Melissa Mallinson produce -- has managed to be imaginative, bold and successful every year for eight full years. On September 21, 2018 when HCCDF 2018 opens at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago, that will make it nine. It sounds like quite an accomplishment, and it certainly is, and when you find out more about it, about the many dance artists who get the chance to present their own imaginative visions, about the audiences who get to share in them, it starts sounding like even more of an accomplishment. Naturally, we wanted to find out more about it, so we reached out to Nicole Gifford. Here's what she told us:
Noumenon Dance Ensemble was founded in 2014, and since then the company has worked steadily to increase their impact on, and their outreach to, the community they are part of as the resident company at Dance Avondale. They are especially dedicated to their "mission to elevate female dance artists", and at their Spring Preview (Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30pm at Chicago's Links Hall), they will present works by choreographers Kristi Andarcia, Kristi Licera and Artistic Director Alia Montijo, along with guest dance company South Chicago Dance Theater. We asked Alia to tell us more about this unique company and their dedication to a very positive, proactive view of the art of dance. Here's what she shared with us:
Ashley Deran founded A. Deran Photography in 2011 with a focus on dance concert events and dance publicity. Since then, she has photographed for companies including Chicago Dance Crash, The Seldoms, Chicago Repertory Ballet, Inaside Chicago Dance, Chicago Dance History Project, Salty Lark Dance Company, The Chicago Fringe Festival, Columbia College, and Western Michigan University. It is also worth mentioning that Ashley is an established dance artist in Chicago and is the Co-Director of Project Bound Dance. Her keen eye both inside the studio and behind the camera lens, as well as the ability to direct a dancer in both circumstances, produce sharp, expressive images that any dancer would love to have. In this 4PHOTOS, Ashley takes us through the four images that every dancer should have in their portfolio, plus the do's and don'ts on how to get them. Here's a pro's advice on how to put your best foot (and face) forward:
Soul and soles. If you're wondering what those two things have to do with one another, just ask Project Bound Dance Co-Artistic Director, Ashley Deran. Well, we asked, and got some answers that made us want to ask a hundred more questions. In collaboration with vocalist Jazelle Morriss, Project Bound Dance will premiere 'Imprint' at Hamlin Park Field House Theater October 19 + 20. DancerMusic's Kristi Licera took some time with Ashley to find out more:
Visceral Dance Chicago kicked off their Fall Engagement series with a performance at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie this weekend, and DancerMusic's Kristi Licera was in the audience to capture what you missed:
Chicago Dance Crash is a company as unique as its artists, with a history of bending the rules of concert dance. In its 15th anniversary season, this band of professional misfits took on the task of creating an original full length production, 'The Bricklayers of Oz' - currently in the running for 'Most Inventive New Work' in Dance Magazine's Readers' Choice Awards 2017. Company Dancer Kristi Licera tells us why this show deserves your vote!
New Dances 2017 marks the end of an incredible era of dance creation supported by Thodos Dance Chicago. The project aims to provide up and coming choreographers a chance to bring their fully realized visions to the stage. Take a look inside the studio with choreographer Brennen Renteria as he mounts his second contribution to the New Dances project series.