Established seven years ago as a "Free to All" Festival, the Chicago Dancing Festival had yet another incredibly inspiring and successful year at multiple major venues for dance in the city. An important event in Chicago, the Dancing Festival affords any and all who are curious about dance, the opportunity to see world class dance for free. Yes. FOR FREE. Featuring local companies like The Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Chicago Human Rhythm Project, and visiting companies like the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, and Brian Brooks Moving Company, the Chicago Dancing Festival combines world-class dance and serves it to the public on a $Free.99 price tag platter.
As the rich-voiced stadium-style announcer brings in the festival over the loud-speaker, the crowd goes quiet, only to return with standing ovations and erupting applause, it absolutely warms me and reminds me why I dance in the first place. The awe as a young dancer of watching true professionals grace the stage in an almost perfected fashion is truly something special. Seeing and hearing it renewed to me as a respected and celebrated venture truly gave me goose bumps in the already too cold theater. This, friends. This, is why we dance.
Click the photo above to view the list and reviews of each piece presented on Tuesday.
Beginning the program was the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, a company I had never seen before but will absolutely see again. Performing a work commissioned specifically for the event, in honor of the Harris Theater's 10th Anniversary, In the beginning... brought back (or perhaps instilled in me, for the first time) my love for tap dancing. What a treat! Performed by eleven tappers (including choreographers Lane Alexander and Bril Barrett), In the beginning... proved a fun and easy-going way to start the evening.