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26th Annual Rhythm World Festival July 5-24

Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), which creates community through American tap and contemporary percussive arts in world-class, innovative performance, education and outreach programs, presents the 26th annual Rhythm World. The oldest and most comprehensive festival of American tap and contemporary percussive arts in the world takes place July 5-24 at CHRP’s American Rhythm Center in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Jazz Showcase. Rhythm World is presented in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Jumaane Taylor
Jumaane Taylor

In the first year of a five-year cycle, CHRP’s annual summer festival, directed by CHRP Founder and Director Lane Alexander, shines the spotlight on the talented performers, choreographers and teachers who have “grown up” with CHRP and the masters who first inspired them.

“The children and teens who studied with us 10 to 20 years ago are not children anymore,” said Alexander. “They are winning MacArthur Fellowship (Genius) Awards (Michelle Dorrance), choreographing on Broadway and with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (Jared Grimes), performing in historic Broadway revivals (Lee Howard and Karissa Royster) and making new works that are changing our art form forever (Jumaane Taylor’s Supreme Love and Zada Cheeks’ Diabolus). We are devoting the next several years to exploring their experiences–who inspired them and why–as well as how that inspiration is affecting the work they are creating now. We’ll provide them with classrooms and theaters to pass this inspiration to new dancers and dance audiences.

Maurice Hines
Maurice Hines

An extraordinary roster of virtuoso performers and master teachers, with special guests Maurice Hines and Dianne “Lady Di” Walker, participate in activities and events including performances at the Jazz Showcase and the Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; a student showcase and “cutting contest” at Curtiss Hall in the historic Fine Arts Building; and a wide range of residencies, courses, workshops, master classes and conferences for the field at the American Rhythm Center in the Fine Arts Building. Returning for the third year is Bessie Award winner and STOMP star Nichol- as Young and his Institute For The Rhythmic Arts (IFTRA).

JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance and other performances

Opening the final week of Rhythm World is a performance by Rhythm World faculty accompanied by a jazz trio Monday, July 18 at 8 p.m. at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Court. On Tuesday, July 19, Rhythm World students perform a showcase at 8 p.m. at Curtiss Hall in the Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Avenue.

The JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance concerts, the crowning events of Rhythm World, feature a host of extraordinary foot drummers and percussive arts masters July 20-23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Edlis Neeson Theater at the MCA, 220 E. Chicago Avenue. The programs are as follows:

Nicholas Young
Nicholas Young

Wednesday, July 20—The next generation of tap talent from across the country, including the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble, Northwest Tap Exchange and Footprints Tap Ensemble, show their best moves as part of the Youth Tap Ensemble Conference’s 15th Anniversary concert.

Thursday, July 21 and Saturday, July 23—Headlining two nights, Jumaane Taylor and M.A.D.D. Rhythms perform Supreme Love to the beats of Afrika Bambaataa’s Universal Zulu Nation and the eternal music of John Coltrane, played live by soprano saxophonist Rajiv Halim and his quartet. On Thursday, July 21, CHRP’s resident ensemble BAM! reprises Prisms by Lane Alexander and premieres work by BAM!’s own Marty Bronson and Zada Cheeks. On Saturday, July 23, the Institute For The Rhythmic Arts premieres a work by Bessie Award winner Nicholas Young.

Tickets to the “JUBA!” performances are $25-35 and go on sale May 25, National Tap Dance Day. Call 312-397-4010 or visit Performances sell out every year, early purchase is advised.

Ayodele Casel
Ayodele Casel

Education programs

Returning this year after its successful debut in 2014 is Nicholas Young’s Institute For The Rhythmic Arts (IFTRA), which provides up to 25 students (selected by application and audition) with a one-of-a-kind experience for emerging young professionals: a three-week (July 5-23) intensive program for advanced and professional tap dancers that integrates foot, hand and body percussion led by STOMP alumnus and tap dancer extraordinaire Nicholas Young, MacArthur Fellowship (Genius Award) and Princess Grace Award winner Michelle Dorrance, STOMP star John Angeles, CHRP Founder and Director Lane Alexander, percussive artist Jumaane Taylor and more.

Intensive residencies, courses, workshops and master classes take place July 11-24. The highly respected faculty of master teachers includes international guest Yukiko Misumi from Japan along with acclaimed U.S. masters will teach at the festival.

The Kids Program – July 19-22 offers intermediate tappers ages 9-12 a curriculum.

The Adult Program – July 18-21 offers intermediate-level classes and a seminar each day.

Conferences for the field – Celebrating its 15th anniversary, CHRP’s Youth Tap Ensemble Conference (YTEC) and ninth annual PrepTEC take place July 18-22.

All education programs take place at the American Rhythm Center, Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

To register, visit, call 312-542-CHRP (2477) or write to [email protected].

For complete Rhythm World information, visit or call 312-542-CHRP (2477).


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