Audience Architects Presents Lights Festival Dance Celebration November 21; Free Dance performances at ARTSPACE 8

CHICAGO, ILAudience Architects, the leading service organization for building and engaging dance audiences in Chicago, showcases the depth and breadth of the Chicago dance industry with a Lights Festival Dance Celebration Saturday, November 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. at ARTSPACE 8, 900 N. Michigan Avenue, 4th floor. This FREE event is taking place during the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival®, the beloved kickoff to the holiday season in Chicago.

The lineup of six participating dance companies, which offers a variety of styles, genres and heritages, is as follows:

2 p.m.             Introduction
2:15 p.m.        Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater40th anniversary season
A suite of Flamenco dances from Andalucía, the southern part of Spain, from the provinces of Cadiz, Jerez and Seville
2:30 p.m.         RE|Dance Group
My Nearest Thought, a dance-theater work for four women that explores identity, empowerment and our need to be seen as individuals, set to an original sound score by DJ High Maintenance and other musical selections by Wim Martens and Ulrich Schnauss
2:45 p.m.         Red Clay Dance Company
Sistahs, a high-energy and fun work celebrating the bold, sassy and complex characteristics of black women, while examining the unique yet colorful relationships they share with one another
3 p.m.              Tapman Productions
A multidisciplinary arts production company with a focus on tap dance, home to the performance ensembles The Tapmen and The Modern Marvels
3:15 p.m.         Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater
3:30 p.m.         Nomi Dance Company
Highlights from their recent show INSTRUMENTAL, exploring the beautiful marriage of dance and music by fusing the dancers’ bodies with the musicians’ instruments, with music ranging from composers Bach and Vivaldi to modern-day musicians Stevie Ray Vaughn and various percussionists, integrating instruments and music that are directly influenced by the classics
3:30 p.m.         Kristina Isabelle Dance Company (in lobby)
Taking the art form to new heights by incorporating dancers on stilts to create perspective-altering “dancescapes,” aiming to engage its audiences in a contemporary dance experience that combines serious-minded, rigorously technical movement with a groundbreaking, multidimensional approach
3:50 p.m.         Kristina Isabelle Dance Company (solo in gallery)
3:55 p.m.         Concluding remarks

A networking reception with the artists follows the celebration from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

The Lights Festival Dance Celebration is free and open to the public; space is limited. Guests who RSVP  by visiting seechicagodance.com/event/lights-festival-dance-celebration receive priority admission. Programming and schedule are subject to change.

The Lights Festival Dance Celebration, a program of Audience Architects, kicks off a series of public events as part of its 2015–2016 Citywide Marketing Initiative. This initiative marks a new era of collaboration in the Chicago dance community, as 20 organizations have already committed to work together on a shared marketing and advocacy effort, led by Audience Architects. The 18-month campaign, which began with community-driven planning efforts in the summer of 2015, has the potential to promote nearly 250 dance organizations and connect the public to dance in Chicago like never before.

The Citywide Marketing Initiative is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Joyce Foundation.

Additional support for the Citywide Marketing Initiative is provided by DanceBuilders, a new, dynamic membership opportunity for dance lovers who believe in the transformative power of dance, value the growth of a strong dance sector and want to support Chicago’s role as an international dance capital. For more information about DanceBuilders, visit audiencearchitects.com/dancebuilders,

Special thanks to the following DanceBuilders, who provided significant funds to match the NEA grant: Lane Alexander, Pamela Crutchfield, Patti Eylar and Charlie Gardner, Elizabeth Liebman and Kevin McGirr.

Audience Architects is a dance service organization with a mission to build and engage dance audiences in Chicago and advocate for Chicago dance. Co-founded by Carol Fox and Niki Morrison as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2008, Audience Architects aims to provide Chicago dance companies with increased visibility, expansive resources and additional forums to showcase and share their talents. In addition to its flagship program SeeChicagoDance.com, Audience Architects offers professional development and audience building services to nearly 250 dance companies, venues and studios in Chicago.

Photo credits, top L–R: Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater by Joe Davis; Red Clay Dance Company by Cecil McDonald; Kristina Isabelle Dance Company by Craig Bortmas.

Bottom, L–R: Tapman Productions by Juan Mojica; Nomi Dance Company by Topher Alexander; RE|Dance Group by Al Zayed.