Chicago, IL â€” In a virtual parade of some of contemporary dance’s leading choreographic voices, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago presents a tour de force season, beginning in fall 2011 with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, David Gordon’s Pick Up Performance Co(s), Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan and, in a co-presentation with the Harris Theater of Music and Dance, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Legacy Tour. The season continues in 2012 with Margaret Jenkins Dance Company; Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak; a shared program featuring The Space/Movement Project, Rachel Damon/Synapse Arts and Erica Mott; and Ballet Hispanico. Subscriptions and single tickets go on sale July 11 at The Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Avenue, 312-369-8330 and online at colum.edu/dancecenter.
The Dance Center’s FamilyDance Matinee Series continues for its 13th season, featuring special one-hour family-oriented performances preceded by free parent/child movement workshops with the artists. FamilyDance Matinees will be presented by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan (October 29); Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak (February 25); The Space/Movement Project, Rachel Damon/Synapse Arts and Erica Mott (March 10); and Ballet Hispanico (March 24).
DanceMasters and other community programs
To facilitate meaningful dialogue with Chicago audiences and artists, most artists will participate in DanceMasters, community master classes presented by The Dance Center’s Community Outreach and Education office. Classes are for dancers at the intermediate level or higher. Discussions with the artists will follow most Thursday performances, and some programs will feature pre-performance talks with artists and Dance Center personnel or guest lecturers. Most out-of-town artists will provide learning opportunities for Dance Center students and conduct community-based residency and educational activities, which might include master classes, lecture/demonstrations, in-school and community- based workshops, professional development workshops for educators and service providers and panel discussions.
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Companyâ€”Classics Revived
September 29â€“October 1, The Dance Center
ABill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (a program of New York Live Arts) presents restaged and reconsidered early works by Jones alone and with Zane, including Monkey Run Road (1979), Continuous Replay (1977, rev. 1991) and Blauvelt Mountain (1980, rev. 2002). These works remain some of the most significant examples of postmodern performance. Both physically and conceptually rigorous, they challenge performer and viewer through their notions of task-based movement and non-narrative structure. This program contains full nudity.
Pick Up Performance Co(s)â€”Chicago Premiere
October 13â€“15, The Dance Center
Dancing Henry Five is a reduction of Shakespeare’s Henry V incorporating theatre, narration, scenery and prop manipulation and dance. Directed/choreographed/designed by postmodern icon David Gordon, the hour-long work provokes an ironic reflection on the (im)morality of war. The piece for seven dancers and a narrator (Valda Satterfield) includes a score with excerpts of music by William Walton from the 1945 film version of Henry V, plus recordings of performances of the play by Laurence Olivier and Christopher Plummer.
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwanâ€”Chicago Premiere
October 28 and 29, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph
Lin Hwai-min’s newest work, Water Stains on the Wall, is performed on a white raked stage (evoking rice paper) containing projected images of drifting clouds in different degrees of blackness. The projections look like flowing ink, creating spaces that are constantly shifting, reminiscent of Chinese classical landscape painting. Dancers are deeply grounded on the floor, yet appear to be floating on top of the white space, with music using traditional Asian instruments. Suggesting a long process of natural evolution, “water stains on the wall” is a popular Chinese metaphor representing the highest state in the aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy.
Merce Cunningham Dance Companyâ€”Co-presented with the Harris Theater
November 18 and 19, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph
As the Legacy Tour draws to a close, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company presents work from several decades as a celebration of Cunningham’s lifetime of artistic achievement and a testament to the choreographer’s enduring genius. Program A (November 18) includes Squaregame (1976), last performed in 1980 (prior to its revival for the Legacy Tour), which was the first commission for MCDC Music Director Takehisa Kosugi and features dÃ©cor by Mark Lancaster; Quartet (1982), which, despite its title, is a work for five dancers set to David Tudor’s live electronic composition “Sextet for Seven,” with costumes by Lancaster; and Antic Meet (1958), structured like a series of vaudeville scenes set to a John Cage score and with dÃ©cor, costumes and lighting by Robert Rauschenberg. Program B (November 19) is Roratorio (1983), an evening-length large-scale work set to Cage’s complex 1979 composition “Roaratorio, an Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake,” consisting of an audio collage of music, text and sounds collected by Cage from locations in Ireland referenced in Joyce’s novel.
Margaret Jenkins Dance Companyâ€”Midwest Premiere
February 9â€“11, The Dance Center
Light Moves is a collaboration between Margaret Jenkins, multimedia artist Naomie Kremer, composer Paul Dresher and poet Michael Palmer. Kremer’s video imagery is interwoven with eight dancers utilizing several projectors and projection surfaces to focus attention on the architecture of the theater while challenging notions of foreground and background, visible and hidden.
Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak
February 23â€“25, The Dance Center
FamilyDance Matinee: February 25
Molly Shanahan characterizes the latest iteration of her multiyear movement exploration, Stamina of Curiosity, as undulatory, fluid and sensual, using intricately connected gestures and overlapping spatial loops that describe the space as an organic, wave-like terrain.
The Space/Movement Project, Rachel Damon/Synapse Arts, Erica Mott
March 8â€“10, The Dance Center
FamilyDance Matinee: March 10
A shared program of three premieres by The Space/Movement Project (TS/MP), a dancemakers’ collective that creates work weaving together extended segments of unison, simultaneous yet polarized solos, layered gestures, whole body movement and strong weight sharing; Rachel Damon, who uses improvisation to challenge the ability of her collaborators to react to one another in real time, and so invites the viewer to explore how body states are experienced, projected and perceived; and choreographer and installation/visual performance maker Erica Mott, who uses humor and surprise to explore polar opposites: male and female, wealth and poverty, organic and synthetic, animate and inanimate.
Ballet Hispanicoâ€”Chicago Premieres
March 22â€“24, The Dance Center
FamilyDance Matinee: March 24
Led by Eduardo Vilaro (former artistic director of Luna Negra Dance Theatre and Dance Center faculty member), Ballet Hispanico explores, preserves and celebrates Latino culture through dance. For 2011â€“12, the company has commissioned Espiritu Vivo, from African-American choreographer Ronald K. Brown, which investigates the intersection of the African and Latino diasporas in the Caribbean and Latin America, set to a suite of four songs performed by Peruvian singer Susana Baca. Also on the program is a new work by Vilaro to music by Celia Cruz and Naci, choreographer Andrea Miller’s investigation of the Moorish influences on Sephardic Jewish culture of Spain.
THE DANCE CENTER
The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, named “Chicago’s Best Dance Theatre” by Chicago magazine and “Best Dance Venue” by the Chicago Reader, is the city’s leading presenter of contemporary dance, showcasing artists of regional, national and international significance. Programs of The Dance Center are supported, in part, Alphawood Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, Sara Lee Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Arts Midwest, The Boeing Company, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Irving Harris Foundation and New England Foundation for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. Special thanks to Friends of The Dance Center.
Subscriptions and single tickets go on sale July 11 at The Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Avenue. All programming is subject to change. The theatre is accessible to people with disabilities. Call 312-369-8330 or visit colum.edu/dancecenter.