JUBALEE Review - Global Rhythms Continues the Celebration


Celebrations are glorious events, especially when you’re celebrating art.  When the artist is Lane Alexander, a versatile, magnanimous talent whose vision is creating a collaborative space he will share other artists like him, the event is electrifying.

That's the cause célèbre of Chicago Human Rhythm Project’sJUBALEE, its annual gala benefit supporting performance, education and community programs.

The JUBA Award

 At this year's JUBALEE, CHRP honored Chicago civic leaders Donna LaPietra and Bill Kurtis with a JUBA Award for their Lifetime Commitment to Chicago and longtime support of CHRP.

"Donna and Bill are known as tireless champions of many nonprofit institutions in Chicago, and they have made a critical difference in CHRP's growth and success over the last five years, leading annual fundraising events and championing our mission to promote social reconciliation through percussive arts," said CHRP Founder and Director Lane Alexander.



Gala co-chairs are WLS-TV/ABC 7 reporter Theresa Gutierrez, CHRP board member Diana E. Harris and Harold and Lynn Leftwich. Over 200 guests attended and $100,000 was raised.

 Global Rhythms Showcases Mexican, Spanish And
African-American Rhythmic Dance Nov. 26–27


The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) opens its 22nd season with Global Rhythms. This year’s performances spotlight national and international artists.Performances are November 26 and 27 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park.

 Global Rhythms Artists



  • Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater (Nov. 26 only) performs a suite of Flamenco-style dances from Andalucia, the southern part of Spain, including its masterwork Bolero to the hypnotic music of Maurice Ravel.


  • Step Afrika! (Nov. 26 and 27), returning for the third year with all-new works, is the first professional company in the world dedicated to stepping, a unique dance tradition that grew out of the song and dance rituals practiced by historically African-American fraternities and sororities in the mid-1900s. Step Afrika! creates an “ocean of sound” with contemporary stepping and hip hop alongside ancient Zulu dances, South African gumboot dancing and more.

 Thanks 4 Giving

When purchasing tickets, patrons receive a 10 percent discount by mentioning one of more than 50 participating Chicago-area nonprofit organizations, and CHRP shares 50 percent of the revenue from that sale with the selected organization. In previous years, Thanks 4 Giving has produced as much as $32,000 in revenue for Chicago-based nonprofits. Visit this link for a current list of 2011 participants to date.

Ticket information

Global Rhythms performances take place Saturday, November 26 at 8 p.m. (Step Afrika! and Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater) and Sunday, November 27 at 7 p.m. (Step Afrika! and Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago) at theHarris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, 205 E. Randolph Dr.Tickets are $15–55 and are available by calling 312-334-7777 or visitingharristheaterchicago.org. All programming is subject to change. For information visitchicagotap.org.


About Chicago Human Rhythm Project

Founded in 1990, Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) builds community by presenting American tap dance and contemporary percussive arts in world-class and innovative performance, education and community outreach programs. The organization’s vision is to establish the first global center for American tap and percussive arts (The American Rhythm Center), which will create a complete ecosystem of education, performance, creation and community in a state-of-the-art facility uniting generations of diverse artists and the general public.

CHRP Founder/Director Lane Alexander served as the only member of Chicago's dance community on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s transition team for Arts & Culture. And CHRP has raised more than $700,000 to support the establishment of the Collaborative Space for Sustainable Development (working title), which will serve as a shared, affordable and eventually self-sufficient education, rehearsal and administrative facility for several Chicago arts organizations.

Photos: Mike Warot






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