This Thursday, November 1, Embarc teams up with The Joffrey Ballet for a night of dancing, food and fun for a great cause. Embarc Chicago takes students from the city’s most forgotten (and dangerous) communities and gives them firsthand, real-world experiences through workshops, seminars and field trips to downtown theater and restaurants. According to Embarc Executive Director, Imran Khan, most of these kids have never been outside a four block radius of where they live. “We’re creating networks with businesses to build a bridge into communities, so that everyone has access to opportunity,” says Khan.
Working with Joffrey came organically, with dancers Anastacia Holden (Business Coordinator) and Derrick Agnoletti (Board Member) already associated with the non-profit. Khan also gives credit to Joffrey artistic director Ashley Wheater. “Ashley believes in the power and purpose of art to change lives and make the world better,” he says. The dancers follow his lead and were eager to give up their time and talent again this year for the benefit. Seven works – including six world premieres – of in-house choreography from Joffrey dancers and staff will be performed on Thursday night. (*Links to the artist’s statements below.) A piece choreographed for last year’s event by dancer Michael Smith ended up being reworked and performed at Dance For Life this past August.
Good news (for them) is the event this year has exceeded expectations and is already SOLD OUT. Khan hopes to expand next year with a bigger venue and possibly inviting other companies to join in the performance.
For more information on their program or to donate, go to www.embarcchicago.org.