Dance for Life 2018 Hanna Brictson and Dancers

It’s no secret dancing is food for the soul and good for one’s body. But it also benefits others—especially when it comes to Dance for Life, an annual show that raises money and awareness for the Dancers’ Fund and AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

This summer, the 27th annual event features “Tossed Around” by Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC) and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s signature work “The 40s” choreographed by Founding Artistic Director Lou Conte. Both Conte and GDC’s artistic director Nan Giordano will also be honored for their achievements.

“Nan continues the artistic vision of her father, Gus, who founded GDC 55 years ago. For the last 25 years, Nan has guided the development of GDC’s large and diverse repertoire,” explains Dance for Life Board President Kevin McGirr.

“My father was someone who believed deeply that unity in the dance community brings strength,” adds Nan Giordano. “Dance for Life unifies our community unlike any of our dance peers nationwide.”

Dance for Life 2018 Tossed Around
Giordano Dance Chicago in Tossed Around by Gorman Cook Photography.

After opening with Randy Duncan’s finale piece from 2007, the 2018 lineup includes a diverse group of performers, including Nomi Dance Company, which will perform excerpts from “Kim,” choreographed by GDC’s Joshua Blake Carter.

The Joffrey Ballet will present “Body of Your Dreams”— choreographer Myles Thatcher’s offering on fitness crazes and body image—while Chicago Dance Crash will showcase its span of breakdance, acrobatics, hip hop and other dance moves created in a living piece conceived and structured by Artistic Director Jessica Deahr.

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre will execute excerpts from “Between Us” by Chicago choreographer Sherry Zunker, who collaborated with the company’s co-founder and composer Joe Cerqua.

Hanna Brictson and Dancers (including artists who have been associated with Visceral Dance Chicago) will perform “My Darling” which, according to Brictson, was “created and inspired by all my fond memories of music and dance growing up as a young artist.”

Brictson, who grew up dancing and training in Elgin and Chicago, says she wanted to create a dance “that leaves you inspired to find the simple pleasures in life. Emotion-filled, step-filled and a stage full of giving dancers was my vision…Having been a dancer in Dance For Life for more than a decade it seems surreal that now my choreography and dancers will be on that same stage.

“My work is a very much a part of my heart,” continues Brictson. “With dancers from the Chicago community joining my original cast, it feels like a full beautiful circle of what has been my life and what it will continue to be. I hope to bring joy and togetherness to the Dance For Life stage that night.”

Following a gala reception at the Hilton Chicago, Dance For Life will perform at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, on Aug. 18.

Dance Divas, a female impersonation performance, will be held on June 24-25 in conjunction with the fundraiser at Chicago’s Baton Show Lounge. For details, visit

Pictured above: Hanna Brictson and Dancers by Chloe Hamilton.

Ms. Arvia is a Rebellious columnist and movie critic; entertainment ghostwriter; award-winning artist; and grant-winning filmmaker.