Chicago Dancers United (CDU), which supports the health and wellness of Chicago's professional dance community, presents seven companies and a world premiere finale for its 31st annual fundraiser, Dance for Life 2022. The event takes place Saturday, Aug. 13, at 6 p.m. at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., followed by an after-party at Venue SIX10, 610 S. Michigan Ave.
The complete lineup of companies includes Chicago Dance Crash, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Giordano Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, NAJWA Dance Corps, and Trinity Irish Dance Company.
Randy Duncan is choreographing a world premiere finale, Never Enough, with music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and featuring dancers from throughout the Chicago area. "The very inspiration came by way of the song with the same name," Duncan said. "We dance for joy, community, love, and hope. This is the spirit of the dance."
Dance for Life 2022 Co-Chairs are Jennifer Edgcomb, Ted Grady, and Ross Slotten.
Dance for Life raises money for The Dancers' Fund, which provides Chicago dance industry professionals with financial support for preventative health care and critical medical needs. The event showcases the city's unique variety of dance traditions and styles by bringing together professional dance companies and dancers from throughout Chicago, who unite to support their peers by generously donating their time, energy, and artistry. Throughout its history, Dance for Life has presented more than 40 Chicago-based professional dance companies representing a variety of genres, sizes, and histories and numerous choreographers, artists, and designers. Additional beneficiaries of Dance for Life are AIDS Foundation Chicago and American Cancer Society.
Chicago Dance Crash performs the Chicago premiere of "Us vs. Them," a section of its 20th anniversary work Booms Day! choreographed by Annie Franklin to music by Man From Sol, Jonah k, and Overlook.
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater performs Parallel Lives, choreographed by Co-Founder and Associate Artistic Director Gary Abbott to original music by Evangelos Spanos, based on La Folía. This modern work is inspired by poor working women who've shared life-changing events, both beautiful and tragic.
Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater performs Baile de Luis Alonso, choreographed by Irma Suárez Ruiz to music by Gerónimo Giménez, based on a one-act lyrical play by Javier de Burgos that premiered in 1889 at the Teatro Español. Composer Giménez fell in love with the production; in 1896 it opened as a zarzuela (Spain's light opera) at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid to great reviews.
Giordano Dance Chicago performs Shirt Off My Back, a jazz work choreographed by Ray Mercer to music by Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds, and Bongi Duma. Beginning with indistinct whispers, fluid lines, and undulating torsos, Mercer modulates the go-for-broke energy with interludes of liquid partnering and solos. A brief section underscores the strength of the company's men in precise unison moves. The dancers make swift exchanges across space, volleying shirts on and off from dancer to dancer. A rousing wind-up culminates in an ecstatic group finale.
The Joffrey Ballet performs Olégie by Yoshihisa Arai set to Morceaux de Fantasie by Sergei Rachmaninoff, performed live on piano by Jorge Ivars. Olégie is about a love gone bynot just the loss of it, but the passion and beauty that comes from time spent with another. It's an homage to the meaning that can come from the deepest, most visceral human connection. The dancers embody Rachmaninoff's incredible score, making the experience both visual and auditory.
NAJWA Dance Corps performs sections of The Guinea Suite, choreographed by Mouminato Camara to live percussion: "Guinea Fare," a celebration of the Susu people featuring a dance women perform for marriages, naming ceremonies, and female initiations, and "Sorsene," an initiation dance for the young of the Baga people from the Boke village of Guinea, West Africa..
Trinity Irish Dance Company performs American Traffic, a progressive Irish dance work choreographed by Michelle Dorrance and Melinda Sullivan, set to drums and hand percussion by Steven Rutledge. The work offers a hybrid of Irish step and American tap that plays at the intersection of rhythmic sensibilities and rebellious histories.
Tickets are $500 for the performance and after-party, $25125 for the performance only, and are on sale at 312.341.2300, auditoriumtheatre.org, and in person at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office. Group tickets (10 or more) are available by calling 312.341.2300.
All programming is subject to change.
The mission of Chicago Dancers United is to foster the health and wellness of Chicago's professional dance community by providing financial support through The Dancers' Fund for preventive health care and critical medical needs. Anyone working in or retired from a professional capacity within Chicago's dance communitydancers, technical staff, administrators, choreographers, instructors, accompanists, and moreis eligible.
For information, visit chicagodancersunited.org .