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Starry companies and community ‘Bolero’ set for Chicago Dancing Festival

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s “Scarlatti” by TwylTharp Harris Theater. | © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2011

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s “Scarlatti” by Twyla Tharp at the Harris Theater. | © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2011

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Updated: June 3, 2012 9:54PM

This summer will mark the arrival of the sixth annual Chicago Dancing Festival — the weeklong summertime celebration that showcases world class companies from Chicago and beyond, and fills the Harris Theater, Auditorium Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art Theatre and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park with a grand array of dance performances and special events.

This year’sfestival, running Aug. 20-25, will feature performances by such companies as the Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet Arizona, Houston Ballet, Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago and stars of the San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet, among others.

The lineup also will feature two special community-oriented pieces. One is a new take on “Bolero,” set to the Ravel classic, to be devised by New York choreographer Larry Keigwin. He will bring members of his own troupe to the city for a two-week residency that will draw on the participation of 50 to 75 ordinary citizens, with the goal of creating a work that reflects the city’s diversity and movement styles. Also planned is a new work by Nicholas Leichter for an After School Matters ensemble.

A full overview of the festival, which is co-produced by choreographer Lar Lubovitch and Chicago-based dancer Jay Franke, follows:

“CHICAGO DANCING” (Aug. 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive):

—“Bolero Chicago” by Larry Keigwin (Chicago premiere).

— Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in Twyla Tharp’s “Scarlatti.”

— The Joffrey Ballet in William Forsythe’s “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.”

—After School Matters in a new work by Nicholas Leichter (a festival commission)

— Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago in “Two Become Three” a festival commission of Alexander Ekman, a contemporary Swedish choreographer.

“DANCING MOVIES” (Aug. 21, beginning 12 noon at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Avenue):

A day of screenings of dance on film highlighting innovative collaborations between contemporary dance artists, filmmakers and musicians. Selections include the Academy Award-nominated “Pina” (2011); “All is Not Lost” (2011), a collaboration between the rock band OK Go and Pilobolus; “Two Seconds After Laughter” (2012), by David Rousseve; “Fanfare for Marching Band” (2012), a collaboration between Chicago dance filmmaker Danièle Wilmouth and the punk circus marching band Mucca Pazza; two films about flex and turf style dancing, plus other short and feature-length films. Curated by Sarah Best.

“DANCING WEST AND EAST OF CHICAGO” (Aug. 22 at 7:30 pm at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress):

— Pacific Northwest Ballet in Jerome Robbins’ “Afternoon of a Faun.”

— Ballet Arizona in George Balanchine’s “Rubies.”

— Stars of San Francisco Ballet (Sofiane Sylve and Vito Mazzeo) in “Continuum,” a pas de deux by Christopher Wheeldon.

— Martha Graham Dance Company in Graham’s “Chronicle.”

— Brian Brooks Moving Company In Brooks’ “Descent.”

— Stars of New York City Ballet (Ana Sophia Scheller and Gonzalo Garcia) in Marius Petipa’s “Don Quixote” pas de deux.

Aug. 23: The Chicago Dancing Festival will partner with SummerDance Chicago, with program details to be announced at a later date.

“CHICAGO NOW” (Aug. 24, at 6 pm at the Museum of Contemporary Art):

— A discussion of the state of dance in Chicago today featuring three local companies performing in a lecture-demonstration format. Program details to be announced at a later date.

“CELEBRATION OF DANCE” (Aug. 25 at 7:30 pm at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park):

— Houston Ballet in Mark Morris’ “Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes” (performed with live music).

— Martha Graham Dance Company in “Steps in the Street,” an excerpt from Graham’s “Chronicle.”

— Stars of San Francisco Ballet (Sofiane Sylve and Vito Mazzeo) in Helgu Tomasson’s “Sleeping Beauty” pas de deux.

— “Bolero Chicago” by Larry Keigwin.

— After School Matters in a a new work by Nicholas Leichter.

— Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in Twyla Tharp’s “Scarlatti.”

NOTE: All programs are subject to change. All events are free, but tickets for the indoor performances must be reserved in advance. No reservations are needed for the film screenings at the MCA or the outdoor “Celebration of Dance” performance at the Pritzker Pavilion. Tickets will be available to the general public beginning the week of July 16. For more information and ticketing guidelines visit

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