Ailey dancer Dwana Adiaha Smallwood

The regular attending public is small, but ardent,” says the choreographer Lar Lubovitch, of the inverse relationship of dance companies (growing) to audiences (flattening) that he’s observed in his hometown. By ardent, he means financially so: along with dancer Jay Franke and ex–Hubbard Street chief Gail Kalver, Lubovich has assembled a megawatt dance fest for Millennium Park for August 22nd, funded privately (he won’t name donors) and geared toward a public that doesn’t know Merce (Cunningham) from Martha (Graham). Not even in New York do Alvin Ailey, American Ballet Theatre, and The Joffrey share a stage as they will here: “Accessible but elevating” is how the Chicago-reared Lubovitch describes the free evening. “That is the desirable line.”





Photograph: Andrew Eccles