Amid the Pandemic, Dance is Alive and Kicking in Chicago

dance in chicago online

Forget about masks and hand sanitizer, all you need is WiFi and your device of choice to enjoy dance this spring.

Lucky Plush Productions invites dance lovers and their families (including pets) to Plucky Lush. Slated for 7 p.m. on Friday, May 22, the company’s annual fundraiser will now take place online. The virtual event includes interactive movement activities, the debut of a retrospective video of the company’s work from the past 20 years, trivia games, a live paddle raise and raffle, and an at-home dance party.

“With canceled tours and local performances due to COVID-19, Lucky Plush and our artists need the support of our community more than ever,” says founder and artistic director Julia Rhoads. “This milestone event will bring Lucky Plush’s signature combination of dance, comedy, storytelling and intimate staging right to your home. We look forward to laughing, dancing and celebrating 20 years with you!”

Tickets ($10-$200) and sponsorships ($1,000 and up) will help the company make up for the loss of earned income due to cancelled and postponed performances because of the pandemic.

Since health and wellness is a priority in the dance community, See Chicago Dance (SCD) is partnering with Chicago Dancers United on Dance Health Month, featuring free articles and programs (via Zoom) such as “Dancing Through Quarantine” (Tuesday, May 12, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.). Registration is available here. For updates, visit seechicagodance.com.

“We originally were planning to expand last year’s Day of Dancer Health as part of this year’s Chicago Dance Month,” says SCD Interim Executive Director Surinder Martignetti. “Although we can’t gather for a daylong event at this time, we nonetheless want to offer dancers, choreographers, administrators, designers, technicians, and anyone who works in the dance community the opportunity to hear from experts on maintaining and strengthening their health and well-being.”

Mandala South Asian Performing Arts hosts the Mandala Makers Festival on its all-new digital platform. The online event (Saturday and Sunday, June 13-14) features perspectives from artists as they navigate their own processes during the COVID-19 crisis.

“With our shelter-at-home circumstances, the festival has become a space to support the unfolding processes, experimentation, and resilience of artists during the uncertainty of the pandemic,” says Mandala Program Manager and Principal Artist Ashwaty Chennat, the festival’s curator.

Leading up to the festival, the organization presents the “Mandala Makers: In Concert” series on Facebook and YouTube. The videos include Ameera Nimjee (Kathak dance artist and musicologist) and Colin Mascarnhenas (Odissi dance artist) performing dance sets in a lecture-demonstration format on Friday, May 15.

Through Wednesday May 27, Hedwig Dances is offering virtual dance classes for $5 per session on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. The lessons are designed for all levels of expertise and are taught by company members Olivia Gonzalez, Jessie Gutierrez, and Rigo Saura.

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater presents The Continuum Process, a series of virtual guided discussions on self-awareness and personal growth informed by each participant’s creativity and artistic process. The free service is available on May 28.

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Image: Lucky Plush ensemble member Kara Brody warming up for her Virtual Dance Lab Contemporary Dance class. To learn more, visit luckyplush.com.

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Ms. Arvia is a freelance writer, former filmmaker, artist and Janet-of-all-trades who is pleased to serve as Arts & Culture Editor on our magazine since she’s always been Rebellious.