More CDF News

The Chicago Dancing Festival (CDF) is getting some great press this week!

First, a piece in the August issue of Dance Magazine in the Dance Matters section by the über-talented Zac Whittenburg, plus a short article in Front Desk Chicago‘s Culture section by my alter ego (me!) and yesterday festival co-founder Jay Franke was on WGN‘s Midday News and introduced Hubbard Street dancers Jessica Tong and Jason Hortin who performed a duet from Kylían’s Petite Mort.

Nice.  I hope everyone is as excited as I am about this year’s fest!

CDF’s 5 After 5 Event

Jay Franke and Evin Eubanks address the crowd while Chicago Cabaret Project's Kyle Hustedt looks on. Photo by Vin Reed.

Last night the Chicago Dancing Festival (CDF) kicked off its summer season with a launch party 5 After 5 at Benchmark in Old Town.  Dance enthusiasts, supporters, board member, artistic staff, bloggers, pr reps and dancers all gathered on the top floor of the swanky bar to mingle and toast the start of CDF events.  Executive Director Evin Nicole Eubanks greeted guests at the door, while Co-Founder Jay Franke worked the crowd.  Notable absent was Co-Founder Lar Lubovitch who is out of town with his company that is performing at Jacob’s Pillow through July 24th.

Kristi Burris and Jessica Chapuis show us how it's done! Photo by Vin Reed.

After sipping cocktails — Bean and Body even crafted a signature Cinq cocktail for the event – emcee Kyle Hustedt from the Chicago Cabaret Project opened with a rousing and humorous rendition of Wilkommen from what else…Cabaret!  After “wilkommening” the crowd, Hustedt introduced the first of three dance performances of the evening.  Chicago Human Rhythm Project‘s Kristi Burris and Jessica Chapuis delivered (I really want to say good, old-fashioned) tap-off with each taking syncopated turns on their wooden stages.  Fun!

Amber Jackson and Louis Jackson perform at CDF's "5 After 5". Photo by Vin Reed.

After a short pause, DanceWorks Chicago dancers Amber Jackson and Louis James Jackson (no, they aren’t related) literally exploded out of the crowd with a sassy piece “Beat in the Box” choreographed by Brian Eno.  I found out later that this was the last performance with DWC for these two beautiful dancers.  Louis is heading out as a performer on a cruise ship and Amber is looking for a job as a school teacher.  Best of luck to both!


Moníca Cervantes and Eduardo Zuñiga of Luna Negra getting close. Photo by Vin Reed.

Luna Negra dancers Moníca Cervantes and Eduardo Zuñiga later wowed the crowd with a flirty duet created  by Artistic Director Gustavo Ramírez Sansano for the event.  After the performances, more mingling ensued.  I got to meet some of my fellow CDF bloggers (click the icon at the top right of this page for more info) in the festival blogger intiative:  Scott Silberstein, Miguel Cano, Araceli Arroyo as well as Astek Consulting rep Rachel Yeomans and catch up with Silverman Group gurus Beth Silverman and Eric Eatherly.  I especially enjoyed hanging with visual artists Sasha Fornari and Vin Reed.

It was a fun evening and great way to start the CDF festivities!

CDF Tix Info & New Blogger Initiative

Richard Move as Martha Graham. Photo by Josef Astor.

The Chicago Dancing Festival (CDF) is taking it up a notch!  This year, celebrating its 5th anniversary, the fest not only expands to five days of free dance events, but they’ve added a blogger outreach program and Foursquare initiative (more info to come) to get the word out.  RB is proud and excited to be a part of this new blogger program!  Check out the CDF widget on the upper right side of this blog page.  This icon (click on it!) will take you directly to the CDF blog that talks about the new initiative and introduces you to the other bloggers involved.  (A big thanks to Rachel and Tom at Astek for all of their help with this!)

For my part, I will be focusing on the dance/performance angle with previews, interviews with dancers and choreographers, behind-the-scenes tidbits and rehearsal viewings.  I’m particularly excited to talk with Richard Move, a multi-talented artist who has won awards for his portrayal of Martha Graham.  Move will be hosting the MCA Moves program on Wednesday, August 24th.  “It’s quite a coup for us to have him this summer,” says CDF co-founder Jay Franke.  “Especially for us forging into this new territory for the festival with kind of more avant garde work, we thought it was really important  to have him because he’s kind of the glue that keeps it all together and will be able to narrate it for the audience.  He’s basically narrating the evening.  The way we’re setting it up is almost a vaudeville style.  The beginning he will be giving kind of a tutorial on the Graham technique, then the various performances he will introduce  and he finishes by doing his version of Lamentation.  He’s brilliant.”  I can’t wait to hear how his obsession with Martha began.

To see Move and the other artists performing throughout the festival, first, you have to get tickets.  Tickets for all venues are general admission and limited to two (2) tickets per order.  Yes, they are FREE!, but it will take fortitude and a bit of luck to get them.  Here’s how:

Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) tickets – this includes the MCA Moves (Aug 24) and Moderns program (Aug 26) – to be released (while available) at 10:00 am on Tuesday, July 19th.  You can get them in person at the MCA Box Office (220 E Chicago Ave), by calling 312.397.4010 or going to  You are limited to two tickers per order and any unclaimed tickets will be released 15 minutes before curtain time for the wait list, which begins one-hour before the performance.  (*You must be in line, in person.)  All tickets to be held at Will Call.

Harris Theater tickets for the Moderns programs (Aug 23 & 24) to be released on Wednesday, July 20 at noon at the theater box office (205 E. Randolph) or by phone at 312.334.7777.

Auditorium Theatre tickets  for the Masters program (Aug 25) will be released Thursday, July 21st at 11:00 am and will be available at the theater box office (50 E Congress), at 1.800.982.ARTS or by visiting this Ticketmaster web page.

Tickets for the Movies program (Aug 26) and the festival finale Celebration of Dance performance at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park are first-come, first-serve with no tickets required.  Past seasons have “sold out” extremely fast.  Good Luck!