Chicago Dancing Festival Finale Review - Great Works and Companies

The  Chicago Dancing Festival ended it’s most recent run, it’s ninth season, on Saturday, August 29, 2015, with a grand finale program at The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millenium Park. This  elegant  deconstructivist structure, designed by architect Frank Gehry, is an outdoor venue hosting free concerts at 201 E. Randolph, and is home to the Grant Park Music Festival. Soaring 131 Ft. high, it has no cloud cover, and the final night of dance was unfortunately somewhat damp! But this did not deter the dancers or the crowd, who enjoyed a full and varied program of two hours in length, starring some of the best performing artists and choreography in the business.

  

Chicago Dancing Festival - Backstage and Rehearsal. Photo by Todd Rosenberg

The evening began with the Chicago Human Rhythm Project,(CHRP)  including  members of Ensemble Espanol and Trinity Irish Dance. Next on the bill was a piece commissioned by the Chicago Dancing Festival from CHRP founder and   artistic director and tap dancer extraordinaire, Lane Alexander,called “In the Meantime”. CHRP presents American tap and contemporary percussive arts through performance, education, choreography and outreach programs, and enlivens the Chicago dance scene with an annual summer festival as well as presentations throughout the year.

 

Mark Yonally, Sioned Papparotto, Martin Bronson, Starinah Dixon, Zada Cheeks, Jessica Chapuis Bronson, Tristan Bruns, Heather Brown and Matt Pospeshil. Chicago Human Rhythm Project. Photo by Cheryl Mann

The festival program continued with performances by two ballet companies, and two ballet theatre companies: the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre performed “Sandpaper Ballet” by Mark Morris; our own Joffrey Ballet came forth with “In Creases” by Justin Peck, the guest Miami City Ballet shown with “Sweet Fields”, by master modern choreographer Twyla Tharpe, and then a stunning medley ensued with performances by solo artists from New York’s American Ballet Theatre, probably the most prestigious company in The United States.

  

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in “Sandpaper Ballet” by Mark Morris. Photography by Rich Sofranko

The program”s last dance was “Torrent” by Brian Brooks of the Brian Brooks Moving Company, New York City, associated with the America Dance Institute of Rockville, Maryland.

 

Miami City Ballet dancers in Allegro Brillante. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Daniel Azoulay

This concluded the last in a wonderful week of dance performances, beginning with the opening night celebration, at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance and another evening at that venue called “Dancing at the Harris”, followed by two evenings of “Modern Women”, at the Museum of Contemporary Art and another program there, entitled “2015 Chicago Dancing Festival Gala”.

 

Chicago Dancing Festival 2014. "The Jig is Up" performed by The Julliard School. Photo by Cheryl Mann

 

We look forward to next years festival and another line-up of great works and companies, local and country-wide, at our terrific  settings!

  

Chicago Dancing Festival 2014 - "Cyclic Connections " performed by After School Matters, commissioned by Chicago Dancing Festival. Photo by Cheryl Man

Photos: Courtesy of Silverman Group

 

The Joffrey Ballet in In Creases by Justin Peck. Photo by Cheryl Mann

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