Today – Monday, July 25, 2011 – marks the start of Chicago Human Rhythm Project‘s (CHRP) 21st annual Rhythm World, a two-week festival of American tap and contemporary percussive art. The festival offers performances, educational and community outreach programming, master classes, workshops, residencies and conferences. CHRP Founder and Artistic Director Lane Alexander leads the way with classes beginning today at the Fine Arts Building at 410 S. Michigan Avenue. Rhythm World 2011 features instructors and performers from Canada including Kim Chalovich, Heather Cornell, Travis Knights, Tasha Lawson, Lisa La Touche, Danny Nielson, Matt Shields and Everett Smith.
The intensive residencies brings in percussive powerhouses to teach: Bril Barrett of MADD Rhythms, Derick K. Grant of Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk (loved that show!) and Imagine Tap, Step Afrika! Artistic Director Jakari Sherman and Sam Weber, winner of the Bessie Award for outstanding creative achievement. In addition to the classes and workshops, CHRP honors tap community members Heather Cornell (Aug 4) and Randy Skinner (Aug 6) with the JUBA! Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field. Congrats!
The first week of August has multiple performances at three separate venues. Monday, Aug 1, is the Jazz Showcase featuring Rhythm World faculty, students and jazz musicians at 8 pm (806 S. Plymouth Ct. – $10/door). Tuesday, Aug 2, has the faculty and students tapping at an informal showcase at the Harold Washington Library’s Cindy Pritzker Theater (400 S. State – $5 suggestion). The rest of the week’s performances (Aug 3, 4, 6) will be at the MCA Stage (220 E. Chicago). JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance shows off emerging “beat-niks” or artists in their 20s in Emerging Voices, Canadian performers (named above) in Spotlight on Canada as well as the best of the best from the local tap scene in Chicago Celebration. Tickets for JUBA! are $30 for the public. For more information: 312.397.4010 or mcachicago.org.