Chicago's dance scene is revving up for a busy spring, full of many great performances by local groups and some fantastic visiting companies. Here is a sampling of dance performances to look forward to:
Very timely for Earth Month, modern dance ensemble The Seldoms premieres Monument April 3-12 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn. This evening-length work, choreographed by Artistic Director Carrie Hanson, explores the idea of the trash landfill as a 'monument' to society's addiction to consumption and waste. 312-328-0303; $12-$18.
American Ballet Theatre. Photo by Gene Schiavone
American Ballet Theatre ( ABT ) gets audiences in the mood for spring with the Chicago premiere of The Sleeping Beauty, with staging by artistic director Kevin McKenzie, former ABT ballerina Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov. ABT brings this classic fairy tale about the beautiful Princess Aurora and the evil sorceress Carabosse to life in a lavish all-new production. Seven performances only, April 9-13, at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker; 312-902-1500; $30-$110.Read more story below....
The Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, presents the latest creation from the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Chapel/Chapter, April 9-12. Through a seamless blend of dance, music, text and video, Chapel/Chapter addresses the news media, the judicial process and the prison system in an evocative tale of violence, morality and humanity. 312-397-4010; $28-$40.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre makes its annual spring visit to Chicago's Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress, April 16-20. Each of the company's seven performances will feature a different program, with highlights including Maurice Béjart's innovative reworking of Fokine's Firebird; the company premiere of Robert Battle's sensuous Unfold; and the company revival of Talley Beatty's 1959 The Road of the Phoebe Snow, among other great pieces. 312-902-1500; $30-$79.
Zephyr Dance presents its spring concert April 17-19 at the Holstein Park Auditorium, 2200 N. Oakley. The program will include the Chicago premiere of Emily Stein's An Atlas of Here, a work for four dancers and numerous rolls of masking tape that explores geography, travel and memory. In addition, Artistic Director Michelle Kranicke will preview excerpts from her newest work-in-progress, Erased Dance, exploring how women are depicted in visual art. 773-489-5069, $10.
The Joffrey Ballet presents a program showcasing the beauty and power of contemporary ballet in 'American Moderns,' May 14-25 at the Auditorium Theatre. The Joffrey dancers show off their athleticism in four pieces, including Paul Taylor's hip and elegant Cloven Kingdom; Mehmet Sander's Inner Space, a funny and harrowing work for three dancers in a Plexiglass Box; Lar Lubovitch's ' … smile with my heart'; and The Joffrey premiere of Twyla Tharp's Waterbaby Bagatelles, featuring dancing from the company's men lit by ever-shifting arrangements of fluorescent bulbs. 312-902-1500; $25-$140.
Hedwig Dances opens its 24th spring season at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts May 16-18. The company presents two works by Founder/Artistic Director Jan Bartoszek, including the world premiere of Earthly Tongues, which explores the rich terrain of ancestry, memory and the human tendency to fantasize about individual and collective origins. Also on the program is the revival of Ache of the Arc, a quintet piece performed on a set of ladders and walls that contrasts the human capacity for both extraordinary kindness and profound cruelty. 773-871-0872; $15-$22.
Salt Creek Ballet ( SCB ) brings its acclaimed staging of Alice in Wonderland to the McAninch Arts Center of College DuPage, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn, May 17-18. This three-act ballet features guest artist Alexander Kozadayev as the Cheshire Cat and a corps of over 40 dancers, with imaginative choreography by SCB Artistic Director Sergey Kozadayev and Susan O'Connell. 630-942-4200; $18-$28.
Celebrating National Tap Dance Day, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project presents 'Windy City Rhythms' May 22-24 at the Vittum Theatre, 1012 N. Noble. These tap dance performances will feature Guillem Alonso and his Spanish ensemble Tap Olé, the Huntley Hoofers, Tre Dumas' JustLisTeN, The Cartier Collection, Reggio 'the Hoofer' McLaughlin, Lane Alexander's group BAM!, Jimmy Payne Jr. and Nico Rubio's IllNoise. 773-281-1825; $15-$25.
Rounding out the spring season will be Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre's 'Vintage Modern,' June 5-8 at Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield. This evening of evocative, humorous, and powerful contemporary dance will include the company premiere of Shirley Mordine's Thin Ice, as well as choreography by Zachary Whittenburg, Colleen Halloran, Faye Driscoll and Ashleigh Leite. 773-281-0824; $12-$15.