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CHICAGO DANCING FESTIVAL
Five years in, this all-free fest has become a full-on institution. Which means if you don’t already have a ticket, just pirouette and walk away.
8/23–27 In its fifth year, this comprehensive salute to dance founded by Lar Lubovitch and Jay Franke expands its programming and its roster of venues. Expect more cutting-edge experimentalists alongside modern masters and nods to pivotal moments in dance history.
8/23 Moderns. Chicago’s usual suspects—Hubbard Street, Joffrey, River North—join Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Ballet West (Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph)
8/24 MCA Moves. Richard Move, the foremost Martha Graham impersonator who prefers loving homage to outsize camp, hosts an evening of postmodern dance (Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago).
8/25 Masters. Highlights include Graham’s seductive Adam and Eve–themed Embattled Garden and Jiří Kylián’s sublimely fleeting Petite Mort (Auditorium Theatre, 50 E Congress).
8/26 Muses. A lecture/demo [editor’s note: hosted by Chicago’s own Lucia Mauro] considers the relationship between choreographers—Martha Graham Dance Company’s Janet Eilber, Hubbard Street’s Alejandro Cerrudo—and the dancers who bring their works to life (Museum of Contemporary Art)
8/26 Movies. The Chicago Cultural Center hosts an eight-hour screening of iconic dance films, including the titleholder of Craziest Ballet Fable Pre–Black Swan, 1948’s The Red Shoes (78 E Washington).
8/27, Celebration of Dance. The festival’s grand finale includes New York City Ballet’s Gonzalo Garcia and Tiler Peck performing George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Taylor’s virtuosic Esplanade (Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Washington).
8/23 at 7:30, 8/24 at 6, 8/25 at 7:30, (Muses) 8/26 at 6, (Movies) 8/26 at 10, 8/27 at 7:30. Free. Reservations strongly recommended. chicagodancingfestival.com.