A chill in the air, sweaters, and hot chocolate with marshmallowsthese make up the quintessence of fall. Although Chicagoans might not be ready for el niño, for arts patrons the abundant autumn months also mean lots and lots of dance.
A number of milestones will be celebrated this fall, including silver anniversaries featuring fresh premieres and audience favorites from Evanston's Jump Rhythm Jazz Project at Stage 773 Oct. 24-Nov. 2 ( www.stage773.com/tickets ) and River North Dance Chicago Oct. 10-11 at The Harris Theater for Music and Dance ( www.harristheaterchicago.org ). Also celebrating a birthday is the 125-year-old Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University, with a full line-up that includes American Ballet Theater ( Oct. 3-5 ) with works by Twyla Tharp, Clark Tippet and Jerome Robbins ( www.auditoriumtheatre.org ) and two programs from The Joffrey Ballet: Stories in Motion ( Sept. 18-21 ) and Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake ( Oct. 15-26 ). By the way, Joffrey is also celebrating its 20th season in Chicago ( joffrey.org ).
BalletX kicks off the 41st season at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago Sept. 18-20, followed by performances from Minneapolis-based Rosy Simas Dance ( Oct. 16-18 ), and Heidi Latsky Dance, a mixed-ability modern dance company out of New York ( Nov. 6-8 ). Hedwig Dances rounds out the fall season Oct. 9-11 with the world premiere of "Trade Winds/Aires de Cambio," a collaboration with DanzAbierta in Havana, Cuba, in celebration of its 30th anniversary season ( colum.edu/Dance_Center/performances ).
The Dance Center is also co-producing Beijing Dance Theater Oct. 28-29 in its Chicago premiere at The Harris Theater for Music and Dance. The Harris is a busy place this fall, with Giordano Dance Chicago in a Broadway-inspired world premiere from So You Think You Can Dance's Ray Leeper Oct. 24-25 and Visceral Dance Chicago Nov. 21-22 with an additional Oct. 26 engagement at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts ( NSCPA ) ( northshorecenter.org ). Visceral's ambitious second season opener includes world premieres by Brian Enos, Harrison McEldowney, Banning Boulding, Nick Pupillo and a company premiere by Ohad Naharin.
The iconic 1983 Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker work Rosas danst Rosas makes its way to the Edlis Neeson Theater at Museum of Contemporary Art ( MCA ) Oct. 9-12. Michael Clark Company makes a visit to the MCA Oct. 25-27 for "come, been and gone," a performance set to the music of David Bowie that echoes the museum's "David Bowie Is" exhibition ( mcachicago.org ).
Links Hall has an eclectic line-up this fall, with performances from emerging and established voices. Anjal Chande takes her newly formed professional company Soham Dance Project out of its home in Ukrainian Village for a weekend premiere of her work Pay No Mind Sept. 19-21. The Dance COLEctive premieres new work from Artistic Director Margi Cole and company member Madelyn Doyle alongside a revival of Colleen Halloran's 2003 "Middle of a Life" Oct. 31-Nov. 2. Esoteric Dance Project continues its fast pace of producing new work with three premieres by husband and wife Artistic Directors Christopher Tucker and Brenna Pierson-Tucker Oct. 3-5 ( linkshall.org ).
Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival is the last big birthday on this list, celebrating five years Sept. 26-28 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. The festival features a different roster of local and regional artists each night, including Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Joel Hall Dancers, The Leopold Group and RE|Dance ( hccdf.com ). Across town at Defibrillator Gallery, Zephyr Dance presents the beginnings of "The Balance In Between," a three-year project from Artistic Director Michelle Kranicke ( Sept. 19-28 ). Pair the weekend Sept. 20 with Inaside Chicago Dance's fall concert at the Athenaeum Theater.
Elements Contemporary Ballet rides the wave of momentum from this summer's performance at NSCPA with Aerial Dance Chicago, taking an ambitious leap to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion Nov. 13-15 for an entirely free event sponsored by DCASE. The new ballet "The Sun King" is inspired by King Louis the XIV of France, who is attributed with the birth of ballet as a concert dance form.
Speaking of ambitious, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is undertaking its biggest collaboration to date by teaming with The Second City for its Fall Series Oct. 16-19 at The Harris Theater, proving once again the versatility of this phenomenal group, and, hopefully, also showing a capacity for humor. The Winter Series ( Dec. 4-14 ) at the MCA will feature Kyle Abraham's Counterpoint ( premiered at the Chicago Dancing Festival this month, with new work from fellow Princess Grace Awardees Victor Quijada and Robyn Mineko Williams.