If you go to see a great dance company like Big Muddy, you get to see the ideas and imagination that come together in any artistic expression. But because this is a concert by a dance company, you get to see more. We asked choreographer Shannon Alvis all about Big Muddy and "Beat Ballads". Here's what she told us.
Choreographer Shannon Alvis had the opportunity to explore her heritage and embark on a collaborative creative process with the artists at Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre. Here's what she told us about creating her latest work, "A Place Between Earth and Sky":
From September 27 until October 26th, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre presents their landmark series "America/Americans #CRDT20th Concert Series" at a variety of venues. We asked Artistic Director Wilfredo Rivera about Cerqua Rivera's 20th Anniversary concerts, and here's what he told us:
With new works from Shannon Alvis, Rebecca Lemme, Anna Long, Lizzie MacKenzie, Jacqueline Stewart, Jessica Miller Tomlinson, and Chicago Repertory Ballet, Dancing to Dream promises to be one of the years most imaginative dance concerts. We asked Dancing to Dream's Jacqueline Stewart about her dream to make this all happen. Here's what she told us:
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
Lou Conte not only has a name that is important to the Chicago dance community, but as the founder of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago he is someone who has changed the history of contemporary dance. He created what is today an internationally acclaimed company that dancers from all over the world dream of being a part of. I myself was one of those young dancers, and Lou helped make my dream come true by bringing me into the company just before he stepped down as director in 2000. Lou will forever hold a special place in my heart, and not only by having initiated my entire dance career. With his values and the standards to which he held his work and company, he helped shape who I am today as a dancer, artist, and now choreographer. Lou is being honored at Chicago's Dance for Life this year, and when I was given the opportunity to talk with him and ask him a few questions, I couldn't help but be thrilled at the thought. Here's what he shared with me:
On Friday, June 29th, and again on Sunday, July 1, Thodos Dance Chicago and DanceWorks Chicago will present the very latest incarnation of a legendary dance event, NEW Dances. Audiences at Chicago's Ruth Page Center for the Arts will see a brand new dance company, specially formed for this performance, in works by six choreographers, specially made for NEW Dances. This year marks a new beginning, adding a present and a future to the story of New Dances. Two of the most influential, and most creatively community-aware professionals in Chicago dance -- Melissa Thodos and Julie Nakagawa -- decided last year to transition the New Dances event to a joint effort by DanceWorks Chicago and Thodos Dance Chicago. The performances feature new works by choreographers Shannon Alvis, Braeden Barnes, Katlin Michael Bourgeois, J’Sun Howard, Chris Johnson, and Anna Long. We asked both Melissa and Julie to let us in on a little more of this story, and here's what they told us:
There’s nothing like a good get-together with friends, especially around the holidays. You never know what can happen at these gatherings, and we are certainly curious to know what will happen when the dance artists known as The Cambrians present Chicago Dances, a special gathering of their own running December 14-18 at Hairpin Studios. DancerMusic’s Kristi Licera recently ran into Noelle Kayser, and could not help but get the inside scoop on this collaborative evening of original works: