The Dance Presenting Series celebrates its 46th year of programming with a roster of fresh faces and a renewed commitment to Chicago artists. “This season, we are shifting our relationship with local companies, Series Director Ellen Chenoweth explains. “All of our season artists are being supported and presented by the Dance Center. We are excited by the work that is being made in Chicago and we want to support local artists in a robust and enthusiastic way. We are grateful to be a part of the Chicago dance ecosystem.” Same Planet Performance Project and Natya Dance Theatre will be the first artists presented in the Chicago Artists Performance Platform. One additional Chicago company will be announced later in the summer that will receive a one-week production residency at the Dance Center in January 2020.
At the same time, there will be a number of international artists as part of the season. “It feels particularly important to have multiple international voices on our stage this season, and we look forward to welcoming Astad Deboo with Natya Dance Theater from India, Noé Soulier from France, Pol Pi from Brazil, and Qudus Onikeku from Nigeria,” says Chenoweth. Onikeku was a practitioner-in-residence at Columbia College Chicago in the fall of 2018. Soulier and Pi will be presented as part of the Between Gestures platform.
The season will open with a highly unusual performance from Emily Johnson, who last appeared at the Dance Center in 2010. Then A Cunning Voice and A Night We Spend Gazing At Stars will take place at Calumet Park, in partnership with the Chicago Park District. The event has only had one previous presentation (in New York City, at Randall’s Island), and will include multiple meals, snacks, storytelling, performance, and more, all taking place on a bed of quilts that have been handmade by volunteers at community events over the past several years.
There is no official theme for the season, but Chenoweth says that connection is woven through many of the presentations. “I think Kimberly’s title I hunger for you and Natya’s INAI sums up a lot for me. I think we’re hungry for connection with each other, with the land, and with new ideas. We’re going to start the season with a collective, outdoor experience with Emily Johnson and her collaborators where we’ll break bread together, literally helping to feed each other. I hope this sets the stage for the rest of the season, where the artists will bring us into communion with each other, leading us to new places and new experiences.”
Find out about our whole 2019-20 Season and the incredible artists sharing their work on our stage and in Chicago.