“Enuf” was originally created by a group of dancers at Northern Illinois University in 2017. Dance Loop Chicago Founder Paula Frasz saw a train go by, and on there was graffiti and in big words it said “Enuf” and she felt like that was true: Enuf is enough with all of the violence going on in Chicago. So she decided to set a piece about it. At the time, I was a student at Northern so I helped Paula by giving different stories that I had gone through, have seen, or stories passed down to me. Later this same piece was taken to Washington, DC - it was a finalist in the American College Dance Association in 2017. We are pleased to now have this piece be our signature piece for Dance Loop Chicago.
Most of the dancers who are performing this weekend are getting ready to graduate from Northern Illinois University and others are graduates of the University. So all dancers come together and reunite to work on this amazing piece. We all share our stories of how the piece makes us feel and how we want the audience to view the matter.
- Amber Echols, Dance Loop Chicago
See Dance Loop Chicago in Stories of Chicago, running January 24th and 25th at Ebenezer Lutheran Church Auditorium!
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Dancing Beyond the Borderline provides first account recollections of the Great Migration, a look at life in Chicago's infamous Black Belt through Jazz in the Alley founder Jimmy Ellis, and a forward to a celebration of resilience through Black social dances of the 1990's. This excerpt of the work features South Chicago Dance Theatre company member Shannon Washington dancing to Al Green's "Summertime" in an ode to my great grandmother, who migrated to Chicago's Black Belt during the Great Migration.
- Kia Smith, South Chicago Dance Theatre
Kia Smith (Choreographer, Executive Artistic Director of South Chicago Dance Theatre) is the founding Executive Artistic Director of the South Chicago Dance Theatre and the company's Resident Choreographer. She uses a range of aesthetic values to cultivate versatile artists including the Lester Horton technique, the American Ballet Theatre's National Training Curriculum where she is a Project Plie Partner teacher, Jazz, Improvisation, and Africanist principals of movement theory. In 2018, she received the inaugural Young and Ambitious Entrepreneurship Award from the Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League and was chosen by the New York City-based Stage Director's and Choreographers Foundation as a member of the national Observership class.
See South Chicago Dance Theatre in Stories of Chicago, running January 24th and 25th at Ebenezer Lutheran Church Auditorium!
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Preparing for our tenth anniversary, Lucy and I wanted to celebrate by presenting an evening of new work that dove into the many emotions, feelings, and sensations we have felt over the past two years. It’s not in my nature to be overtly political, but recently I’ve felt an insistent call to participate in the world around me more truthfully. With Lucy’s encouragement and the dancers’ willing nature, we began the months long process of unraveling a point of view that shouts with anger and softens with tenderness. At the heart of RE|dance group’s work is an unyielding yearning for love and acceptance. This idea stirs deeply throughout The Biggest Wail From The Bottom Of My Heart.
This dance theatre work reflects the urgency, need, and desire to reject ignorance. The work subtlety calls attention to revolution. Feelings of despair and uncertainty are powerful mechanisms for change. A personal voice is a powerful voice. This work, for me, is a call to action, a plea, and a proclamation.
Lucy and I are so grateful to have established a home with RE|dance group that has nurtured our creative voices for the past 10 years. We find this to be one of our greatest accomplishments both personally and professionally. This work would not be possible without a group of artists who bring their full selves to the studio every time. Daiva, Zach, Stacy, Erika, Corinne, Anthony, Danielle and Melanie are remarkable human beings. Their commitment, drive, and energy exemplify and deepen our mission to create emotionally complex work that examines the human condition. I am awed by their curiosity, intellect, vulnerability, and courage.
CDE’s Art + Activism series is giving us another opportunity to share excerpts from The Biggest Wail From the Bottom of My Heart in response to the current political landscape; which promotes marginalization rather than unity. The excerpt explores how the body, through percussive action, represents a protest against established societal norms. Subject matter considers how we, as a company of primarily white dancers, contribute to the expanding dialogue about race, injustice and ignorance in America.
- Michael Estanich, RE|Dance Group
Michael Estanich (Artistic Director, RE|Dance Group)'s creative research currently examines ideas about the intersection of the physical body with space, architecture, and landscape often resulting in dances supported by sculptural environments. He is a Professor of Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he teaches modern dance technique, composition, dance pedagogy, movement analysis and dance history. He earned his MFA from The Ohio State University and his BFA from Denison University. Michael’s performance credits include Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak, Cerulean Dance Theatre, Rebecca Rosen, Melanie Bales, Bebe Miller, a reconstruction of Mark Morris’ choreography All Fours, and Susan Marshall's ARMS. He is the Mainstage Choreographer at the Trollwood Performing Arts School in Moorhead, MN and Vice President of Nominations and Elections for the American College Dance Association (ACDA).
See RE|Dance Group in Stories of Chicago, running January 24th and 25th at Ebenezer Lutheran Church Auditorium!
Tickets On Sale Now!