All stories by Lauren Warnecke on BroadwayStars

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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 …

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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: …

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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 …

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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…

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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 …

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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 …

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Friday, April 13, 2018

'Poor People’s TV Room' mixes Boko Haram history with Oprah — and is a tough, tough piece to unpack by Lauren Warnecke

“There was a time, way, way back, when Oprah was a human being,” said Thuli Dumakude near the beginning of Okwui Okpokwasili’s “Poor People’s TV Room,” running through Sunday at …

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Friday, April 6, 2018

'In a Rhythm': Choreographer Bebe Miller talks a lot, the music includes a Nelly hit — it's a fascinating, atypical approach to dance by Lauren Warnecke

In 1955, a 14-year-old African-American boy was kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi. His name was Emmett Till. Till’s mother insisted on a glass topped casket for his funeral. The story …

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

With group works, jumps and kicks, Giordano Dance Chicago proves it's jazz dance royalty by Lauren Warnecke

“How does any organization make it to 55?” asked executive director Michael McStraw on stage at the Harris Theater Saturday. A valid question, though Giordano Dance Chicago, which McStra…

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Chicago Dance Month: For dance fans and newbies trying something for free, what to see by Lauren Warnecke

A tidal wave of dance is upon us. Each April, See Chicago Dance, the city’s dance service organization formerly known as Audience Architects, shines a spotlight on the wealth of dance offe…

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

There's a fascinating story of crossing cultures at the center of 'Layla and Majnun,’ but the dance doesn’t go far enough by Lauren Warnecke

The Silk Road, consisting of ancient trade routes that connected Asia, the Middle East and Africa with Europe, shaped modern American culture today. Trade between Eastern and Western culture…

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