Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre presents New Works in MUSIC+MOVEMENT FESTIVAL

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By Wilfredo Rivera, Artistic Director of Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre (CRDT) redefines "performance ensemble" by fusing contemporary dance, live music and visual art onstage, creating multi-sensory excitement. The company will take you through an inspiring and moving landscape by exploring and celebrating the cultural diversity of contemporary American life.

Cerqua Rivera's MUSIC+MOVEMENT FESTIVAL performance features CRDT’s solo violinist and composer James Sanders, composer and vocalist Joe Cerqua, and music director Stu Greenspan.

The performance includes 10 dancers, 7 musicians and live visual work. CRDT will premiere two new pieces for the festival:

"Come to Light" features an original composition by Mr. Sanders and choreography by CRDT choreographer and soloist Raphaelle Ziemba.
“Lagrimas Negras” is inspired by the1929 composition by Miguel Matamoros and choreography by CRDT Artistic Director Wilfredo Rivera.

Other works being performed include:
The haunting excerpts from “Corner Sketches”- A tribute to Miles Davis (2009).
 “CAFÉ 1930” (2011) is CRDT’s abstract tribute to the evolution of the tango through the 20th century. Music composed by Astor Piazolla, with choreography by Rapahelle Ziemba.
“Dos Gardenias” (2008), a sensual, aching dance inspired by the Buena Vista Social Club’s rendition.

For further questions about the program you may contact Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre at: or call (312) 243-9310

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre with James Sanders, Stu Greenspan, and Joe Cerqua

Venue: Katten / Landau Studio
Dates: Saturday, March 2
Times: 7:30 pm
Price: $10 Adult - $5 Student
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre (CRDT) fuses contemporary dance, live music, and visual art onstage, creating a multisensory engagement focusing on different segments of society. CRDT will be accompanied by noted jazz violinist James Sanders, CRDT Musical Director Stu Greenspan, and Composer-in-Residence/vocalist Joe Cerqua.

Learn more about the MUSIC + MOVEMENT FESTIVAL.
Seats may not be available at the door.

Box Office: 50 E. Congress Pkwy. | Phone: 800.982.ARTS (2787) 

To buy a pass by phone: call 312.341.2357.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

From Before, Pas De Duke, Home, Revelations - Alvin Ailey Program B [video]

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater visits the Auditorium Theatre for 10 performances, March 8-17, 2013. The company will bring several programs, each featuring different pieces from their repertoire.  Learn a bit about the pieces in Program B below!

For tickets and information, click HERE.

From Before**, Pas de Duke/Home/Revelations
Saturday, March 9 at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm
Friday, March 15 at 7:30 pm

** Company Premiere

From Before (Company Premiere): Choreographed byGarth Fagan
Mr. Fagan said of his work: “From Before was looking back at my origins in the West Indies and seeing how I could take away all the trimmings and the costumes of African or Caribbean dance and strip it right down to the bare bones.”  He attributed its popularity with audiences all across the world to “the fluidity of Caribbean dance, the polyrhythms of African, the precision of ballet and the strength and weight of modern dance.”

Pas de Duke: Choreographed by Alvin Ailey
Originally created as a showcase for Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov, Pas de Duke is Alvin Ailey’s modern-dance translation of a classical pas de deux, celebrating the musical genius of Duke Ellington. Ailey’s choreography brilliantly captures the exuberance of the dancers’ star qualities and techniques as the duo mirror each other toe-to-toe and line-for-line in this playful, jazzy dance. The New York Times praised the work as “one of those special dances that lives in new ways with each new set of performers.”

Home: Choreographed by Rennie Harris
Home, returning to Auditorium Theatre again for the second year, is choreographed by bold hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris and is inspired by the stories of people living with or affected by HIV. Drawing upon poems and images submitted in 2011 to the Fight HIV Your Way contest, an initiative of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Harris created a compelling work that conveys both the chilling isolation and uplifting sense of community many experience.

Revelations: Choreographed by Alvin Ailey
Using African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul.  More than just a popular dance work, it has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive “I Been ’Buked” to the rousing “Wade in the Water” and the triumphant finale, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Another Night, Strange Humors, Petite Mort, Revelations - Alvin Ailey Program A

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater visits the Auditorium Theatre for 10 performances, March 8-17, 2013. The company will bring 3 programs, each featuring different pieces from their repertoire.  Learn a bit about the pieces in Program A below! 

For tickets and information, click HERE.

Another Night*, Strange Humors**/Petite Mort**/Revelations 
* Chicago Premiere
** Company Premiere

Another Night – Choreography by Kyle Abraham
Kyle Abraham, one of the most in-demand young choreographers today, presents a richly inventive contemporary jazz piece that showcases the artistry and versatility of the Ailey dancers.  Another Night was inspired by the legendary drummer Art Blakey’s interpretation of the jazz classic “A Night In Tunisia” by Dizzy Gillespie.

The New York Times exclaims, “Hurray to Robert Battle, now in his second year at the helm of this tradition-steeped institution, for seeking out new work from the young contemporary choreographer Kyle Abraham.”  Mr. Battle stated that “Kyle Abraham is someone I’ve known and watched for quite some time.  His work is provocative, with a diverse dance vocabulary that embodies a variety of traditions and styles.  It is the right time for him to create a new work on the dancers of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and I’m proud to be able to provide this platform for him.”

Although Another Night marks his first work for the main Company, Abraham first lent his creative voice to the Ailey organization in 2010 with The Corner, an acclaimed work commissioned by Ailey II that depicts urban social interactions through the use of contemporary and post-modern movement.

Strange Humors – Choreography by Robert Battle
Equal parts comedic and combative, Artistic Director Robert Battle’s Strange Humors is an eccentric, jocular display for two dancers.  Composer John Mackey, with whom Battle is a frequent collaborator, provides a fiery score propelled by elements of African hand drumming and Middle Eastern folk music.

Stationed far apart along a narrow shaft of light, the duo mirrors the building tension between Mackey’s string quartet and djembe with quirky spasms. They ultimately meet for an explosive confrontation of wits and prowess, as though “possessed by the force of feelings beyond their control” (The New York Times).

Petite Mort – Choreography by Jiří Kylián
Visual surprises abound in this tantalizing contemporary ballet, which blends a classical sensibility with a bold, modern wit.  The choreography includes six men, six women, and six fencing foils. The foils are, in many ways, the men's real dancing partners and sometimes turn out to be more stubborn and willful than a human partner.  Kylián also makes playful use of black baroque dresses, which seem to exist both separately from the dancers and molded to their bodies.

Czech native Jiří Kylián – “one of the most influential choreographers of the last thirty years” (New York Times) – originally created this piece for the 1991 Salzburg Festival, to mark the second centenary of the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.   Kylián set his work to two of Mozart’s most popular Piano Concertos (Nos. 21 and 23), and the gorgeous slow movements of these Concertos serve as counterpoint to the onstage jousting and coupling.

Revelations – Choreography by Alvin Ailey
Using African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul.  More than just a popular dance work, it has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans.SeeingRevelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive “I Been ’Buked” to the rousing “Wade in the Water” and the triumphant finale, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.”

Ailey said that one of America’s richest treasures was the African-American cultural heritage —“sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful.” This enduring classic is a tribute to that tradition, born out of the choreographer’s “blood memories” of his childhood in rural Texas and the Baptist Church. But since its premiere in 1960, the ballet has been performed continuously around the globe, transcending barriers of faith and nationality, and appealing to universal emotions, making it the most widely-seen modern dance work in the world.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Introducing John Walton, Sales Associate

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Hello, I’m John Walton, and I’m the new Sales Associate at the Auditorium Theatre. As a former intern in the Auditorium’s operations department, it’s fun to return here in the marketing and sales department. I’m having a blast working with all our group and subscription patrons, since everyone is excited and thrilled about attending our performances.

I graduated from Western Illinois University in Music Business. Originally a Music Education major, I switched to Music Business with a focus on arts administration because I wanted to pursue a career that offers more opportunities. I chose arts administration because I want to work with a not-for-profit organization ensuring that I work on projects I’m truly passionate about–and working here makes that a reality.

Born and raised in Chicago, I have been involved with music my whole life including: playing trombone and piano, dabbling in Double Bass and participating in my church choir. With Chicago’s vibrant arts community, it’s easy to see why I haven’t traipsed far from home. Though I’m busy starting my arts administration career, it would be great to perform again with a big band, concert ensemble or popular music group with my buddies one day.

In my spare time, I enjoy brewing my own beer. Like anything in life, it’s quite challenging, and you need more than one set of hands to make it happen. When everything comes together, it’s also very rewarding.

If the remainder of the season is anything like my first month here, I believe working in sales will be very fulfilling. I look forward to working with everyone within these historic theatre walls.

If you are interested in becoming a subscriber or bringing a group of 10 or more of your favorite people to the Auditorium Theatre, feel free to contact John at 312.341.2357 or e-mail him here

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


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The Auditorium Theatre’s MUSIC + MOVEMENT FESTIVAL welcomes the best of Chicago musicians and dance companies for a celebration spanning February through June of 2013. In a series of collaborations, 11 dance companies will pair off with musicians to create brand new works. 

The MUSIC + MOVEMENT FESTIVAL will feature: 

Feb - April: 10 new collaborations in the Auditorium's Katten/Landau Studio - 425 S. Wabash, 4th Floor | Chicago 
April 13: HAVANA BLUE, a World Premiere collaboration between River North Dance Chicago and Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s Chamber Ensemble 
May 15: MUSIC + MOVEMENT SHOWCASE featuring Giordano Dance Chicago and Luna Negra Dance Theater, plus the top 5 studio collaborations 

The MUSIC + MOVEMENT FESTIVAL will continue with community performances through June in select locations around Chicago.

Chicago Tribune
Music + Movement Festival to bow at city's stages 
February 05, 2013|Howard Reich

A new festival celebrating music and dance will launch Feb. 28 under the auspices of the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and run into June in venues downtown and across the city. 

The Music + Movement Festival will present 11 Chicago dance companies performing newly commissioned work with live music, some of it created for the occasion.

Two key events – by River North Dance Chicago with Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (April 13) and a Music + Movement Showcase with Giordano Dance Chicago and Luna Negra Dance Theater (May 15) – will unfold on the stage of the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy. The other performances will take place at the Auditorium’s Katten/Landau Studio (425 S. Wabash Ave., 4th floor) and in Chicago community centers to be named.

“This really came about because of a desire on the Auditorium’s part to work with a lot of great artists in Chicago that we normally wouldn’t be able to work with because of the costs,” said Auditorium Theatre executive director Brett Batterson.
“We thought: There are all these terrific musicians, all these terrific dance companies – could we raise enough money to put them together and see what happens?”
The Auditorium found support from the Chicago Community Trust, the Boeing Company and the Joyce Foundation for a festival budgeted at approximately $150,000, said Batterson. The River North/Chicago Jazz Philharmonic event, already announced as part of the Auditorium’s 2012-2013 season, is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.
Read the entire article HERE

Chicago Sun Times
Auditorium Commissions 11 world premieres for festival
By Hedy Weiss and Thomas Conner Staff Reporters February 5, 2013

The Auditorium Theatre has announced a major new initiative, “The Music + Dance Festival,” a project designed to pair 11 of Chicago’s finest dance troupes with some of Chicago’s best live music makers. The festival, which will unspool over a five-month period (beginning this month and running through June), is being underwritten with $145,000 in grants from the Chicago Community Trust, The Boeing Company and The Joyce Foundation.

The festival will begin with 10 performances taking place in the Auditorium’s Katten/Landau Studio, 425 S. Wabash (4th floor), and will continue on the Auditorium Theatre stage, 50 E. Congress, with the highly anticipated April 13 collaboration between River North Dance Chicago and Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic in “Havana Blue,” and exploration of Afro-Cuban music and dance.

The Auditorium also will host a May 15 showcase featuring five selected performances from the festival as well as Giordano Dance Chicago and Luna Negra Dance Theater.
“This festival came out of a conversation [River North artistic director] Frank Chaves and I had when we were both part of the Miles Davis Festival at the Auditorium,” Orbert Davis, co-founder and conductor of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, said Tuesday. “We talked about what we could do, something bigger, that blended music and movement. Then he mentioned that his family was from Cuba.”
Davis and Chaves spent nine days in Cuba in September. Davis, a trumpeter, was transformed: “I became truly inspired. My goal was to become Cuban, which meant taking my horn to every restaurant. Guys in the street, I was playing with them. Guys in a band would see I had an instrument and say, ‘Come on over and play!’”
The result is the new “Havana Blue,” one segment of which features both musicians and dancers improvising.
Read the entire article HERE

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