On Friday, November 16, three groundbreaking contemporary dance companies perform on the Auditorium Theatre’s landmark stage in the “Made in Chicago” 312 Dance Series. The evening features Ate9 Dance Company, performing the work calling Glenn with live music from Chicago-based percussionist Glenn Kotche (Wilco); Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, performing Kevin Lega Jeff’s Church of Nations, Kevin Lega Jeff and Gary Abbott’s Heaven, and Nicole Clarke-Springer’s Until Lambs Become Lions; and Visceral Dance Chicago, performing company founder Nick Pupillo’s Soft Spoken.
“We are thrilled to feature these three innovative companies as we open our 2018-19 ‘Made in Chicago’ 312 Dance Series,” says Rachel Freund, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Auditorium Theatre. “This evening will highlight the creativity of these distinct companies and showcase the breadth of contemporary dance styles that we present on our historic stage.”
The Los Angeles-based Ate9 Dance Company makes its Auditorium Theatre debut with calling Glenn (2017), created by company founder and artistic director Danielle Agami in collaboration with Chicagoan Glenn Kotche. Agami, a former member and rehearsal director of Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, was inspired by the idea that while humans are creatures of habit, something magical happens when they break the cycle and try something new. Kotche composed original music for the piece based on Agami’s direction, and performs live on stage throughout the work.
“I find Chicago a ‘lead by example’ city when it comes to dance,” says Agami. “I was always impressed by the place of dance in the city and I am honored to have a chance to be a part of it with our company’s debut at the Auditorium Theatre.”
Chicago’s Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, known for combining elements of American and African American dance, brings three works from the company’s repertory: company co-founder and artistic director Kevin Iega Jeff’s Church of Nations (1991), a work that explores the relationship between religion, spirituality, and war; Heaven (2004), an uplifting piece by Jeff and company co-founder/associate artistic director Gary Abbott that represents joy, humanity, clarity, and resolve; and dance education director Nicole Clarke-Springer’s Until Lambs Become Lions (2014), a work for four dancers set to Nina Simone’s “Isn’t It a Pity.”
“Deeply Rooted’s return to the Auditorium Theatre stage is exciting,” says Jeff. “We last performed at the venue in 1999, in an evening with the legendary songstress Roberta Flack. Now, in 2018, we look forward to sharing the evening with our illustrious dance colleagues.”
Visceral Dance Chicago performs company founder and artistic director Nick Pupillo’s Soft Spoken (2018), a work that explores the stages of relationships, from beginning to middle to end. Soft Spoken is set to a medley featuring Colin Stetson, Frank Sinatra, Arvo Pärt, Joni Mitchell, Max Richter, and Irma Thomas.
“Visceral Dance is excited to be a part of this distinctive series at the Auditorium and is looking forward to presenting with these other diverse artists who create a mirror of Chicago’s cultural vibrancy,” says Pupillo.
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