It may be one of the hottest tickets of the social season, but with few local companies participating in the Chicago Dancing Festival, Dance for Life is also summer’s top one-stop shop for home­grown dance talent. Launched in 1992 by Keith Elliott and Harriet Ross in response to the impact of AIDS on the dance community, the annual program has grown into the largest performance-based AIDS fundraiser in the Midwest. Participating troupes carry the event beyond the clinical, with uplifting full-ensemble pieces by Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet, River North Chicago Dance Company, and Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, with a special ode to the latter’s founder, Gus Giordano, who passed away earlier this year at 84. The evening’s most anticipated act, though, is Randy Duncan’s original Finale—set to Alicia Keys’s chart-topping "No One," a tear-starter in its own right—featuring all of the night’s dancers. 

 Aug 23. Gala at 5; concert at 7:30. $75 and up. Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph. 312-334-7777. 


Photography: Pedro Brenner