The Chicago Dancing Festival is a free, five-day event showcasing the best dance talent from across the country. This year the Chicago Dancing Festival has an amazingly diverse line-up including several Chicago dance companies. In anticipation of the upcoming August 20 – 24 festival, I asked Krithika Rajagopalan from Natya Dance Theatre about her dance company’s participation in the Chicago Dancing Festival.
“The festival represents some of the highest quality companies in dance today. Each company values the integrity of the art, the form which they represent, the aesthetics, and the artistic vision. We at Natya Dance Theatre want to make our art more accessible and reach mainstream audiences. Often there is a fear of not understanding our art form and exposure through this lens will hopefully raise awareness of Bharatanatyam and increase our audience base,” said Krithika. “Apart from having a wider reach, I hope that other organizations can see our work so we can build partnerships and establish new avenues of artistic collaboration.”
I have always wondered how dance companies choose the work they perform. As Krithika explained, ” “Sometimes, we don’t choose, our work chooses us. Sthithihi: In the Stillness is the present of my life. It is simultaneously what I live and what I aspire.” I think it’s true of most artists. I’ve heard other performers say a song came to them or a painting just popped into their heads.
For those viewing the Natya Dance Theatre for the first time, she offers this advice,”Bharatanatyam is 2,000 years old. It is extremely technical and highly codified. It is highly expressive and can tell any story, and convey any concept or message. To the uninitiated eye, it is ornate, visually stunning and rhythmically complicated, yet the expressions and message still reach the beholder. We, Natya Dance Theatre, present this classical art through a contemporary lens and we are consistently pushing our boundaries to create works with a message of social change.”
Whether you are a seasoned dance fan or a newcomer to the art, the Chicago Dancing Festival 2013 truly offers a sampling of diverse dance companies. While all shows are free, you do need to have a ticket to attend these three. The good news is that even though tickets are “sold-out” you can still attend.
For each show there is a stand-by line that forms one hour before the show. About 15 minutes prior to show time, unclaimed tickets are released to the stand-by line. While there are no guarantees in life, the stand-by line is a pretty good bet. Here’s the schedule for the festival:
HARRIS THEATER FOR MUSIC AND DANCE
Tuesday, August 20 at 7:30 p.m.
AUDITORIUM THEATRE OF ROOSEVELT UNIVERSITY
Thursday, August 22 at 7:30 p.m.
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Friday, August 23 at 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
· Samuel Lee Roberts of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, In/Side by Robert Battle
These performances are worth taking a chance in the stand-by line. Don’t miss your opportunity to see these free show. Additional information on The Chicago Dancing Festival 2013 can be found at http://www.chicagodancingfestival.com/tickets.
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