DANCE FOR LIFE returns to the auditorium on August 13

Chicago United Dancers (CDU), which supports the health and well-being of Chicago’s professional dance community, presents seven companies and a world premiere finale for its 31st annual fundraiser, Dance for Life 2022. The event takes place Saturday, August 13 at 6 p.m. at the Auditorium Theater, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive, Chicago, followed by an after-party at Venue SIX10, 610 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

The full line of business includes Chicago Dance Crash, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Giordano Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, NAJWA Dance Corpsand Trinity Irish Dance Company.

Randy Duncan choreographed a world premiere finale, Never Enough, with music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and featuring dancers from across the Chicago area. “The very inspiration came from the song of the same name,” Duncan said. “We dance for joy, community, love and hope. That’s the spirit of dance.”

Dance for Life 2022 co-chairs are Jennifer Edgcomb, Ted Grady and Ross Slotten.

Dance for Life raises funds for The dancers fund, which provides Chicago dance industry professionals with financial support for preventative health care and critical medical needs. The event showcases the city’s unique variety of dance traditions and styles by bringing together professional dance companies and dancers from across Chicago, who come together to support their peers by generously donating their time, energy and of their artistic talent. Throughout its history, Dance for Life has featured over 40 Chicago-based professional dance companies representing a variety of genres, sizes and histories and numerous choreographers, artists and designers. Other Dance for Life grantees are AIDS Foundation of Chicago and American Cancer Society.

Chicago Dance Crash presents the Chicago premiere of “Us vs. Them”, a section of its 20th anniversary work Booms Day! choreographed by Annie Franklin to music by Man From Sol, Jonah k and Overlook.

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater performs Parallel Lives, choreographed by Co-Founder and Associate Artistic Director Gary Abbott to original music by Evangelos Spanos, according to La Folia. This modern work is inspired by working poor women who shared life-changing events that were both beautiful and tragic.

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater performs Baile by Luis Alonso, choreographed by Irma Suárez Ruiz to music by Gerónimo Giménez, based on a one-act lyrical piece by Javier de Burgos premiered in 1889 at the Teatro Español. Composer Giménez fell in love with the production; in 1896 it opened as a zarzuela (Spanish light opera) at Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela to excellent reviews.

Giordano Dance Chicago performs Shirt Off My Back, a jazz piece choreographed by Ray Mercer to music by Max RichterOlafur Arnalds, and Bongi Duma. Beginning with indistinct whispers, flowing lines and undulating torsos, Mercer modulates go-for-broke energy with interludes of liquid partners and solos. A brief section highlights the strength of the men of the company in precise movements in unison. The dancers perform rapid exchanges across the space, putting on and taking off shirts from one dancer to another. A rousing wind-up culminates in an ecstatic group finale.

The Joffrey Ballet performs Elégie by Yoshihisa Arai on Morceaux de Fantasie by Sergei Rachmaninoff, performed live on the piano by Jorge Ivars. Elegy is about a past love, not just its loss, but the passion and beauty that comes from spending time with another. It is a tribute to the meaning that can come from the deepest and most visceral human connection. The dancers embody Rachmaninoff’s incredible score, making the experience both visual and auditory.

NAJWA Dance Corps performs sections of The Guinea Suite, choreographed by Mouminato Camara for live percussion: “Guinea Fare”, a celebration of the Susu people with female dance for weddings, baptism ceremonies and female initiations, and ” Sorsene”, an initiation dance for the young people of the Baga people of the Boké village of Guinea, West Africa..

Trinity Irish Dance Company performs American Traffic, a progressive Irish dance choreographed by Michelle Dorrance and Melinda Sullivan, put on drums and hand percussion by Steven Rutledge. The work offers a hybrid of Irish stepping and American tap dancing that plays at the intersection of rhythmic sensibilities and rebellious stories.

Chicago Dancers United presents Dance for Life 2022

Saturday August 13 at 6 p.m.
at the Auditorium Theater, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr.,
followed by an after-party at Venue SIX10, 610 S. Michigan Ave.

Tickets are $500 for the show and after party,
$25-125 for performance only,
and are on sale at 312.341.2300,,
and in person at the Auditorium Theater box office.
Group tickets (10 or more) are available by calling 312.341.2300.
All programming is subject to change.

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