It’s April! A time to celebrate International Beaver Day (April 7), National Jelly Bean Day (April 22), and Chicago Dance Month!
“April is always brimming with a tremendous range of dance offerings, making Dance Month the ideal time for the public to go out and explore new and exciting dance experiences,” says Heather Hartley, executive director of See Chicago Dance, the nonprofit service organization behind Chicago Dance Month.
This year, Chicago Dance Month is part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, presented by the League of Chicago Theatres and the City of Chicago because, “It is in our theaters—where you can see many kinds of performances,” notes Mark Kelly, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
“Home to a community of creators, risk-takers, and big hearts, Chicago is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year,” continues Kelly. “Our dance companies, artists, and presenters are no exception, and we are pleased to partner with See Chicago Dance to spread the word during Chicago Dance Month.”
Among the dance performances offered in April is the Joffrey Ballet Company’s “Across the Pond” (April 24-May 5) at the Auditorium Theatre. The program includes world premieres by both Andrea Walker and Andrew McNicol, as well as the Chicago premiere of “Vespertine” by The Royal Ballet Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett.
“Many of the world’s most exciting young dance makers are creating and showing their work in Britain. We’re thrilled that three of the U.K.’s top choreographers are traveling to Chicago to end our season with such a groundbreaking program of incredible range and style,” explains Ashley Wheater, the Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of the Joffrey.
The weird and wonderful imagery of pop-surrealist Mark Ryden will also appear on the Auditorium’s historic stage via the artist’s set and costume designs in Alexei Ratmansky’s family-friendly “Whipped Cream” (April 11-14). American Ballet Theatre (ABT) presents the Midwest premiere, which features the music of Richard Strauss performed live by the Chicago Philharmonic.
“The ‘T’ in ABT stands for ‘Theatre,’ and this ballet delivers a theatrical experience that dazzles and delights,” promises Kara Medoff Barnett, ABT executive director. “ABT is the only company in the world that performs this ballet, and we look forward to delivering a sugar rush to Chicago.”
Among the dance companies participating in Chicago Dance Month are: Bound Dance; Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre; Culture Shock Chicago; Dancing Petals; Desueño Dance; Duncan Dance Chicago; J. Lindsay Brown Dance; Joel Hall Dancers; Margi Cole and The Dance COLEctiv; Mordine & Company; Movement Revolution Dance Crew; Praize Productions; RE|dance group; South Chicago Dance Theatre; Synapse Arts; Trifecta Dance Collective; and Winifred Haun & Dancers.
An estimated 80 dance programs are slated during the month-long celebration, including the following free events:
• Day of Dancer Health, April 22
Menomonee Club Drucker Center
• 2019 Celebration and Dance Scavenger Hunt, April 30
• Open Studio Tuesdays
Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio
For more Chicago Dance Month information, visit SeeChicagoDance.com.
Photo: Scene from “Whipped Cream” by Gene Schiavone, courtesy of American Ballet Theatre.