Welcome to the 2016–17 Presenting Series. Our 43rd season is an action-packed year featuring nine programs of great aesthetic diversity hailing from three continents, several Chicago premieres and three of our most treasured Chicago-based dance companies. If you love dance, then The Dance Center is where you want to be all year long.
September 17, 2016 • One Night Only
Tadashi Endo performs his work Fukushima mon Amour, dancing the pain and tragedy Japan experienced in the wake of the 2011 tsunami and resultant Fukushima nuclear disaster—and the hope of reconstruction that carried the nation forward. Director of the Butoh-Center MAMU and the Butoh-Festivals MAMU in Göttingen, Germany, Endo embodies the wisdom of the Western and Oriental dance and theater traditions. His repertory includes Noh theatre, Kabuki and butoh, as well as the traditional forms of Occidental theater. In this synthesis of worldwide traditions, Endo transcends the boundaries of each, expressing the fields of tension between Ying and Yang, the male and female and their everlasting alteration.
Lucky Plush Productions
September 29–October 1, 2016
Tripping the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip, the newest evening-length work from Lucky Plush, draws from classic pulp novels and comic books in a blend of dance, theatre and visual design that moves between live performance and projected video in unexpected ways. SuperStrip follows a group of washed-up superheroes attempting to reinvent themselves by starting a nonprofit think tank for do-gooders. Complex training missions and specialized movement techniques bring structure to their collective, but the unlikely supers are unable to find a shared mission and brand. In the struggle to achieve consensus, they discover that real-world problems are far more complex than singular forces of evil and having power is part of the problem.
October 13–15, 2016
FamilyDance Workshop and Matinee: Oct. 15
Warfare has entered new territory—cyberspace. The Fifth, a new commission for The Seldoms by longtime ensemble member and notable performer Philip Elson, investigates virtual and surreal worlds, bringing to life the origins, captors and masters of the secret sphere. Perpetrators face internal struggles in the fight for what they believe is a greater good. But the strong voices of survivors can’t be ignored. The tension between disruption and unity tells this tale.
nora chipaumire and Kaolack
October 20–22, 2016
In the evening-length portrait of myself as my
father, chipaumire continues her artistic investigations focused on the black body, on Africa and on the self. Performed by chipaumire, Senegalese dancer Kaolack (who danced with Compagnie Jant-Bi for many years) and Shamar Watt, portrait considers the African male through the lens of cultural traditions, colonialism, Christianity, liberation struggles—and how these ideas might impact the African family and society on a global scale. portrait is timely in its examination of black maleness as it asks, “What is it about the male body, which happens to be black, that we are afraid of?” The work takes place within a boxing ring and invites the audience to sit close as well as at a distance in witnessing the performance.
Tere O’Connor Dance
November 3–5, 2016
In the Chicago debut of his company, O’Connor brings a duet, Undersweet, and an as-yet untitled trio in a chamber evening. In Undersweet, created on and with Michael Ingle and Silas Riener (former member, Merce Cunningham Dance Company), O’Connor proposes that formalism might be generated by repressed sexual desire, a paradox that finds expression through this choreographic meditation. The second work, as yet untitled, bears the imprint of upheaval in our world and the sense of the loss of human traits such as compassion and reason. James Baker, a longtime collaborator, will create the musical score for the new trio.
Ballet de Lorraine
February 18–19, 2017
in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Making their first-ever tour to the United States, the Centre Choréographique National – Ballet de Lorraine, a contemporary ensemble of 26 ballet-trained dancers, is one of the most important companies working in Europe. They open our spring season with three works on the MCA Stage. Sounddance, one of Merce Cunningham’s most beloved pieces, is a work in opposition to ballet’s uniformity and unison, a fast and vigorous dance winding up into an orgy of movement that then unwinds as the dancing continues…elsewhere. Musician and composer David Tudor’s driving score provides the energetic accompaniment to Cunningham’s fast-paced choreography. Fabrications, another Cunningham work, features a shifting ensemble of 15 dancers. Choreographed using Cunningham’s signature chance procedures, the work offers a dramatic and elegiac tone, accompanied by music from Brazilian composer Emanual Dimas de Melo Pimenta. The third work of the program is Untitled Partner #3, choreographed by Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley. This interdisciplinary work combines dance and film in a performance-installation, searching for but never finding equilibrium between id and ego.
Ballet de Lorraine will perform at the Edlis Neeson Theater at the MCA Stage, 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago.
Chicago Human Rhythm Project—BAM!
February 23–25, 2017
FamilyDance Workshop and Matinee: Feb. 25
After an absence from The Dance Center stage of almost 15 years, Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), Chicago’s beloved and inventive percussive dance company, presents an evening of mixed repertory featuring classics from past masters and world premieres choreographed by members of BAM!, Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s resident performance ensemble. Technical virtuosity and passion are the hallmarks of the company, which never fails to engage and surprise the most seasoned audiences. CHRP formed BAM! in 2004 as a choreographic project with funding from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum and an Illinois Arts Council Choreography Fellowship and has since performed at the 5th Anniversary Beijing International Dance Festival, the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic), Dance For Life and San Antonio’s Third Coast Rhythm Project, among other performances. BAM! appeared as part of Dance Chicago, in Jubilate at the Harris Theater and at the Spertus Institute and other Chicago venues.
Malpaso Dance Company of Havana
March 9–11, 2017
Malpaso is a passionate contemporary dance ensemble that embodies the rich culture of Havana. Under the leadership of choreographer and Artistic Director Osnel Delgado, the company works to bring Cuban contemporary dance into the 21st century by collaborating with top international choreographers and nurturing new voices in Cuban choreography. Following its critically acclaimed international debut at The Joyce Theater in 2014, Malpaso continues to take the dance world by storm with evocative music and dazzling dance. The Dance Center program, the company’s Chicago debut, includes a new work by one of the world’s most in-demand choreographers, Aszure Burton.
Liz Gerring Dance Company
April 6–8, 2017
In her company’s first Chicago appearance, Liz Gerring presents Horizon, which features seven dancers performing multiple phrases simultaneously in an evening-length work described as “exuberantly athletic” in The New York Times. Working with composer Michael J. Schumacher, production designer Robert Wierzel and costume designer Liz Prince, Gerring’s newest work, performed under a white ceiling cantilevered over the stage, is fresh testimony to her pure, movement-driven action and exhilarating physical surprises in a constantly changing media-saturated stage-world. Gerring is considered a 21st century formalist, about whom New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay has written, “This is not choreography that turns into poetic images, metaphors, stories, anything other than itself. Yet at times it’s wild, cold, amusing, surprising, impetuous.”
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Banner: Malpaso dancers in Despedida. Photo: David Garten. Below, in order: Tadashi Endo in Fukushima mon Amour. Photo: Marciej Rusinek. Lucky Plush dancers Daniel Gibson, Sojourner Zenobia, Marc Macaranas, Michel Rodriguez Cintra, Benjamin Wardell, and Melinda Myers in Trip the Light Fantastic. Photo: William Frederking. Choreographer Philip Elson in The Fifth. Photo: Kristie Kahns. nora chipaumire in portrait of myself as my
father. Photo: Elise Fitte Duval. Tere O’Connor Dancers Silas Riener, Jimena Paz, and Eleanor Hulihan. Photo: Julieta Cervantes. CCN – Ballet de Lorraine in Fabrications>. Photo: Bernard Prudhomme. Chicago Human Rhythm Project dancers Tristan Bruns, Kristi Burris, Starinah Dixon, Zada Cheeks, and Heather Brown. Photo: ProPhotoSTL. Malpaso dancers in Despedida. Photo: Cherylynn Tsushima. Liz Gerring dancers Jake Szczypek, Molly Griffin, Pierre Guilbault, Claire Westby, Brandon Collwes and Joseph Giordano in Horizon. Photo: Miguel Anaya.