The Chicago Dancing Festival Preview – Featuring Top Dance Companies from Across the Nation

The Chicago Dancing Festival (CDF) is coming.  Well, not until August but it will be here before you know it.  Co-produced by renowned choreographer and Chicago native Lar Lubovitch and highly esteemed Chicago dancer Jay Franke, it returns for its 8th season of free dance performances and events, August 20 – 23, 2014, featuring top ballet, modern and hip-hop dancers from Chicago and across the country. 


The Festival draws from top dance companies across the nation, this year’s program will once again be featured in top venues across Chicago’s downtown summer playground, including the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion of Millennium Park.  Highlights of the 2014 Festival include:


  • The World Premiere of a new work commissioned by the Chicago Dancing Festival from choreographer Kyle Abraham, performed by Chicago’s own Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
  • A simulcast of the opening night performance on the massive outdoor screen of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, greatly increasing the audience.  The simulcast is a joint presentation between the Harris Theater and the Chicago Dancing Festival.
  • The Festival debut of Stars of American Ballet, featuring dancers from New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. 
  • The Festival debut of New York-based contemporary ensemble Pam Tanowitz Dance performing with live music.
  • The Festival debut of Philadelphia-based “next generation” hip-hop troupe Rennie Harris Puremovement.
  • The return of Festival favorites Adam Barruch, dancers of The Juilliard School, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Stars of the Washington Ballet and Chicago’s own The Joffrey Ballet.


“Commissioning new work is an important component of the Festival,” said Franke.  “Last year, we were proud to bring Alexander Ekman’s wild and exciting Episode 31 to The Joffrey Ballet, and before that it was Larry Keigwin’s Bolero Chicago for non-dancer Chicagoans and Charlie Moulton’s 9-Person Precision Ball Passing for River North Chicago Dance Company.  It’s important to not only bring outside dancers and companies to our city, but also to bring in works that Chicagoans have never seen before that can then live in our local companies’ repertories.  This year, we’re proud to commission a brand new World Premiere by Kyle Abraham, who has distinguished himself as a unique voice in dance, exploring identity, race, history and social politics through movement that defies categorization.  We can’t wait to see what he does with the exceptionally talented dancers of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.”


“The City welcomes the Chicago Dancing Festival for its 8th season of bringing free dance performances to Chicago residents and visitors,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  “Watching the amazing national dance artists that come to Chicago each year, and seeing the excitement of the public to experience this powerful art form, is inspiring to me and a highlight of the summer.” 


Chicago Dancing Festival 2014 Schedule


Wednesday, August 20 – 7 pm


Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Street

The Chicago Dancing Festival opening night program will be simulcast on the outdoor screen of the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. 

A Gala Benefit on the Harris Terrace follows the free indoor program


  • Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, CDF original commission by Kyle Abraham    
  • The Juilliard School, The Jig Is Up by Eliot Feld
  • Martha Graham Dance Company, Errand (an arrangement of Errand into the Maze) by Martha Graham
  • Stars of American Ballet*, Fancy Free by Jerome Robbins


Friday, August 22 – 6 pm and 8 pm


Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Avenue

An evening of duets

  • Adam Barruch, Belladonna by Adam Barruch
  • The Joffrey Ballet, Bells (excerpt) by Yuri Possokhov
  • Martha Graham Dance Company, Errand by Martha Graham
  • Pam Tanowitz Dance*, Passagen by Pam Tanowitz (live music)


Saturday, August 23 – 7:30 pm


Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph Street

“Celebration of Dance” Grand Finale

  • The Joffrey Ballet, Nine Sinatra Songs by Twyla Tharp
  • The Juilliard School, The Jig Is Up by Eliot Feld
  • Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Falling Angels by Jiří Kylián
  • Rennie Harris Puremovement*, Students of the Asphalt Jungle by Dr. Rennie Harris
  • Stars of Washington Ballet Brooklyn Mack and Maki Onuki, pas de deux from Le Corsaire by Marius Petipa


Additional events and artists for the 2014 Festival to be announced!

All programs are subject to change.




All events are free but tickets for indoor events must be reserved in advance by contacting the venue’s box office.  Tickets will be released in early July and more details will be announced soon.


No tickets are needed for the outdoor Pritzker Pavilion events, including the simulcast on August 20 and the Grand Finale performance on August 23. 



For more information on the Chicago Dancing Festival, its history and programs, visit: ChicagoDancingFestival Website 


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