All stories by Lauren Warnecke on BroadwayStars

Friday, November 9, 2018

Miami City Ballet at the Harris review: Two-thirds nostalgia, one-third choreographer Brian Brooks by Lauren Warnecke

“It’s our birthday!” said Patricia Barretto, president and CEO of the Harris Theater, in her Thursday night curtain speech. It was 15 years to the day since the underground marvel open…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:40AM
Monday, November 5, 2018

Ballet Folklorico de Mexico is traditional — it has to be — but it's also changing for the times by Lauren Warnecke

The Palacio de Bellas Artes is a majestic art nouveau gem in the heart of Mexico City, standing on the edge of the oldest urban green space in the Americas, the Alameda Central. Considered o…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:00PM
Saturday, October 27, 2018

Here's how Giordano fills the Harris Theater better than any other dance company by Lauren Warnecke

The Harris Theater can be a tough space for dance companies, swallowing up the subtleties of fine-tuned gestures, text or facial expressions. It’s got a chilly subterranean atmosphere that…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:30PM
Friday, October 19, 2018

At the Dance Center, Tere O’Connor’s ‘Long Run’ asks what it means to be present by Lauren Warnecke

Choreographer Tere O’Connor splits his time between New York and Champaign, where he is a professor in the dance department at the University of Illinois. As the occasional U. of I. alum h…

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

'Swan Lake' is a new Joffrey treasure — Christopher Wheeldon's changed ending and all by Lauren Warnecke

When you consider that just a few months ago dancers of the Joffrey Ballet were standing at the lip of the Auditorium Theatre’s stage in their underwear as part of Alexander Ekman’s “M…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:45AM
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

‘Swan Lake’ is the ballet everyone knows and loves — the Joffrey is bringing it back by Lauren Warnecke

Every great city with a great ballet company deserves a great “Swan Lake,” and until recently, Chicago didn’t really have a full-scale production to call our own. Sure, the pre-profess…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Friday, October 12, 2018

Asherie Dance's 'Odeon' has upbeat street dance, Latin dance — but the scene of violence didn't work for me by Lauren Warnecke

If break dancing and bossa nova had a baby, it might look something like the style of Ephrat Asherie Dance, which performs its evening-length Chicago debut titled “Odeon” through Saturda…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:45PM
Friday, October 5, 2018

'Unwanted' at MCA is a harrowing choreographed work about rape, focusing on Rwanda by Lauren Warnecke

The first thing you’ll notice walking into the Edlis Neeson Theater at the MCA for “Unwanted” is a striking, free-standing mural placed just off-center on the stage. The corrugated met…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM
Saturday, September 22, 2018

Everything from duets to grunge to high-energy jazz dance at Harvest Dance Fest by Lauren Warnecke

A chicly renovated lobby and some important behind-the-scenes updates to the beloved Ruth Page Center for the Arts have made a once-dilapidated space fresh and inviting for the ninth edition…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:15PM
Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Dance COLEctive resurfaces with 'REboot' at Dovetail Studios by Lauren Warnecke

In 2016, veteran choreographer, dancer and educator Margi Cole announced she was folding her Dance COLEctive ensemble after 20 years of operation. Rather than continuing as a conventional da…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:25AM
Friday, September 14, 2018

Dance works 'IS/LAND' and ‘Burrow, Tousle’ present very different versions of home by Lauren Warnecke

Entering Links Hall’s Studio A Thursday night, there was a cozy living room vibe with just two rows of seating and warm lamp lighting from a gaggle of incandescent table lamps spread aroun…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:05AM
Thursday, September 6, 2018

From Harvest Fest to Joffrey to a visit from Miami, 10 dance events coming this fall by Lauren Warnecke

When that first chill hits the air, it brings a wave of concert dance that’s been fairly dormant during the dog days of summer. Think not about “Nutcrackers”; now is the time to see da…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 09:00AM

Roell Schmidt directs Links Hall in 40th season, with no time to look back by Lauren Warnecke

When experimental choreographers Bob Eisen, Carol Bobrow and Charlie Vernon rented a studio space together in 1978, they surely didn’t predict it would be around 40 years later. They calle…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Amid change and new faces, Dance Center kicks off season with hip-hop-influenced 'Odeon' by Lauren Warnecke

Now in its 45th season, the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago has grown from a small building in Uptown, isolated from Columbia’s main campus, to a four-story facility in the heart …

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:00PM
Monday, August 13, 2018

'Dance for Life' will feature Chicago's top dance companies and honor Lou Conte and Nan Giordano by Lauren Warnecke

On Saturday, the dance community will gather for “Dance for Life,” a must-see annual staple on Chicago’s summer dance calendar. If you’re interested in dance, “Dance for Life” is…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:30PM
Friday, August 10, 2018

'Set Free' at Links Hall: What if a dance had time to breathe and change? by Lauren Warnecke

In theater, it’s not uncommon for a production to have several weeks, if not months, of performances. The actors jell with each other and learn more about their characters. The director co…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:00PM
Saturday, July 21, 2018

Human Rhythm Project’s 'JUBA!' review: The tap shoes are another jazzy instrument in the band by Lauren Warnecke

Here’s what I remember from playing in my high school jazz band for nine months: When improvising with other musicians, say “yes” to what they’re offering. Use the song’s base rhyt…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM
Friday, July 20, 2018

'Mycelial: Street Parliament' review: Ever been invited to a dance about digital connection and your phone doesn't work? by Lauren Warnecke

How can it be that not one, but two dances this year are inspired by mushrooms? Now at the Hyde Park Art Center, Erica Mott Productions and Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble present “Mycelial: …

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:00PM
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

World-premiere 'Blackbird' from Aerial Dance Chicago, the only company doing this kind of work by Lauren Warnecke

On the heels of its 20th anniversary, Aerial Dance Chicago presents “Blackbird,” an ambitious full-length work highlighting the company’s signature blend of contemporary dance and aeri…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Dance in the Parks is back for 10th summer. It may be first time you've seen modern dance — so 'it has to be good' by Lauren Warnecke

Eleven years ago, a 20-minute phone call between Katie McCann and Krista Bryski-Richard resulted in Dance in the Parks, a nonprofit organization whose mission is pretty simple: They dance in…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Sunday, June 24, 2018

Tap Theatre’s fun diva spectacle needs rehearsal, and maybe a diva by Lauren Warnecke

The always daring Chicago Tap Theatre premiered its first rock spectacular in 2016 — an extravaganza blending tap dance with the music of Queen for a summer tribute to LGBT Pride. “Kille…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:50AM
Saturday, June 16, 2018

Ensemble Espanol pushing Spanish dance into the 21st century by Lauren Warnecke

Ensemble Espanol ends each season — of which there have now been 42 — with “Flamenco Passion,” the main attraction of the annual American Spanish Dance & Music Festival at Skokie’s…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:30PM
Monday, June 11, 2018

A modern 'Cinderella' tale debuts in Hyde Park by Lauren Warnecke

This weekend, the Hyde Park School of Dance celebrates its 25th anniversary with four performances of “Amira: A Chicago Cinderella Story.” This world premiere, a modern, abbreviated take…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:45PM
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Joel Hall steps down from namesake dance company; Jacqueline Sinclair named new director by Lauren Warnecke

At age 69, Joel Hall is preparing for the next phase of his career, officially naming Jacqueline Sinclair as heir apparent to the Joel Hall Dancers & Center. Sinclair has danced with the com…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Stomping Grounds: Free evening of percussive dance in beautiful Garfield Park — what's not to like? by Lauren Warnecke

Since April, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project has been traversing the city, bringing percussive dance into neighborhoods far and wide as part of a two-month festival called Stomping Grounds.…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:40PM
Sunday, May 20, 2018

Rolling Meadows native Michael Novak named successor to modern dance pioneer Paul Taylor by Lauren Warnecke

Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Jose Limon, Erick Hawkins and Paul Taylor. This is a short list of pioneers who shaped and transformed 20th century modern dance in America. Taylor started h…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:55PM
Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ballet Nacional de Cuba's 'Don Quixote' is unapologetically unrefreshed — and the dancing is glorious by Lauren Warnecke

The last time Ballet Nacional de Cuba (BNC) came to Chicago was 2003. Prima ballerina Viengsay Valdes was 26 at the time. Her performance at the Auditorium Theatre was anticipated by Tribune…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:30AM
Friday, May 11, 2018

Moving Company’s ‘Dance Shelter’ always defies expectations; sometimes, it works by Lauren Warnecke

When visiting Hamlin Park Theater for the annual Dance Shelter series, it’s important to know a couple things: 1) This is an iconic modern dance space, developed by Chicago Moving Company …

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:30AM
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

‘Art in Response’ uses tanztheater, or dance, to ignite conversation about social justice by Lauren Warnecke

Tanztheater, or “dance theater,” is a post-World War I expressionist art form originating in Germany and Austria which blends dance and theatrical techniques. Ellyzabeth Adler studied ta…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:30PM
Friday, April 27, 2018

Lucky Plush triple threats are smart and funny, but these works don’t work on the Harris stage by Lauren Warnecke

The Harris Theater’s main curtain opened Thursday to a cast of familiar characters swaying their hips back and forth and bopping to the beat of their own tunes. If you listen closely, you …

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:05PM
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Joffrey's North American premiere of 'Midsummer' is a 'Joy.' That’s its only problem. by Lauren Warnecke

“Think Shakespeare? Think again,” says the Joffrey’s Ballet advertising campaign for the North American premiere of Alexander Ekman’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the final home …

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:40PM