Redmoon Presents 15th Annual WINTER PAGEANT, Now thru 12/22

This December, Chicago's acclaimed Spectacle company Redmoon presents the 15th Annual Winter Pageant featuring collaborators The Happiness Club of Chicago, Kalapriya Dance, Indonesian Dance of Illinois, Pineapple Dance Studio, Mexican clown artist Fernando Córdova Hernández, aerialist Helena Reynolds and surf-rock band The San Andreas Fault. The approximately 50-minute-long production is directed by John Musial and Will Bishop with Redmoon Producing Artistic Director Frank Maugeri and choreographed by Pranita Jain. Redmoon's Winter Pageant takes place at the company's Pilsen home at 2120 S. Jefferson Street, tonight, December 13-15 and 20-22 (Fridays at 7 pm, Saturdays at 4 pm & 7 pm, Sundays at 1:30 pm & 4 pm). Press night will be opening night, Friday, December 13.

Open Access Builds

On the Saturdays leading up to Winter Pageant, November 16 - December 7, 12-2 pm each day, Redmoon opens its doors (2120 S. Jefferson Street) to the public for Open Access Builds, where community members of all ages build material and costumes and paint sets for Winter Pageant. Participants will be presented the opportunity to join Redmoon's "sewing circle," working with Redmoon's costume designer to sew and build costumes for the 40 performers, and will work with the scenic artists to paint large backdrops for the production. Open Access Builds participants then have a chance to come back to see their work in the production and will receive a "Friends of Redmoon" discount on their tickets.

About the Winter Pageant

The 2013 Winter Pageant presents a new original myth inspired by the poem "The Conference of the Birds" by Farid ud-Din Atta. It is anintersection between western and eastern culture and performance and Redmoon's robust history of puppet and object-based theater. Through masks, machines, song and dance, a cast of 40 interdisciplinary performers tells the story of a flock of birds that live a playful, happy life protected by their sacred Tree of Light until the Light is stolen by an evil Raven. The birds select a brave young Pigeon to retrieve the light, joined by a Dove, an unlikely partner. Together they venture through forests, under seas and through the Underworld on a journey of hope and discoverywhere they encounter colorful characters and unexpected creatures.

This collaborative project includes: the young hip-hop dancers of The Happiness Club; Indian dancers of Kalapriya led by Jain; the Southeast Asian dancers of Evanston-based Indonesian Dance of Illinois, led by Igusti Ngurah Kertayuda; belly dancers from Pineapple Dance Studio, led by Middle Eastern dance artist Erika Ochoa; and aerial artist Reynolds performing on a massive Redmoon machine. Together, these artists bring sumptuous life to Winter Pageant and its characters with both eastern and western contemporary dance. Córdova Hernández, from Mexico City-based clown company La Piara, joins his renowned clown artistry with the Redmoon ensemble. The San Andreas Fault, led by Rob Warmowski, completes the production with live, original music.

The 2013 Winter Pageant evokes themes of hope, community, family, strength, bravery and light within darkness, all apt for the holiday season. Audiences at this nontraditional family production can expect intricate mechanics, inventive shadow puppetry, delightful mask work and Redmoon's unique style of visual wonder.

Additionally, audiences of this year's Winter Pageant will enjoy post-show complimentary special treats provided by Eli's Cheesecake.

"I'm excited to return to the annual tradition of the Winter Pageant, with a large cast, machines, puppets and a non-traditional story, all in our new Pilsen home," said Maugeri. "I'm especially excited to watch John, Will and Pranita, along with our extraordinary guest artists, wrap their hands and minds around a new mythical story-telling experience that audiences will be able to access and understand through the universality of music, movement and imagery."

"Winter Pageant has always been a show I look forward to every year," noted Musial. "The theme of a community of performers and spectators coming together in the darkest part of the year to make our own light has always warmed me and seems especially important at this time of year. I am honored to work with my longtime friends at Redmoon and to have the opportunity to collaborate with new friends and cultural traditions."

"On behalf of Kalapriya Dance, I am looking forward to melding the intricate and intimate art of South Asian performing arts with the energetic and dynamic aesthetic of Redmoon and working collaboratively with Frank, John and Rob to create the Winter Pageant," added Jain.

Show Times and Tickets

The 15th annual Winter Pageant is presented December 13-22 as follows:

Fridays at 7 pm

Saturdays at 4 pm & 7 pm

Sundays at 1:30 pm & 4 pm

Single tickets are priced at $25 for adults, $15 for kids 3-18 years old, $10 for college/university students with IDs, and free for kids under 3. Tickets are on sale now by calling the Redmoon Box Office at 312-850-8440 x123 or online at Discount group rates for 10 and more are available through the Box Office.

About the Winter Pageant Artists

The Happiness Club is a diverse group of Chicago kids who are committed to helping their peers by encouraging positive values and social change through original hip-hop and pop music, dance and rap. The Happiness Club sings out against drugs, violence, gangs and bullying and says "Yes" to education, tolerance, high self-esteem and better nutrition for kids. The mission is simple: capture kids' attention through music and dance and inspire them with the lyrics. The Happiness Club has been featured on the First Lady's new CD "Songs for a Healthier America" and has performed at the White House, Kidzapalooza, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Michigan Avenue Lights Festival and countless schools and festivals throughout Chicago. The Happiness Club is a not-for-profit organization.

The Indonesian Dance of Illinois (IDI) is a not for profit organization that is dedicated and focused on promoting the Indonesian cultural arts to the community. The organization is based in Evanston and gives free dance and music lessons to the community. The group offers dance and music workshops to universities and schools. In the past, the Indonesian Dance of Illinois has offered dance and music workshops to schools such as the Skokie School in Wilmette, Illinois, and to universities such as Northern Illinios University, University of Illinois in Chicago, Loyola University; and even colleges out of state such as Walter State Community College in Tennessee. The Indonesian Dance of Illinois has also performed in different venues and events, most notably in the past the group has performed for the Indonesian Embassy in Washington D.C., and has performed for arts and cultural events in the Old Town Folk of Music, the Evanston Arts Festival, the Bucktown Arts Festival, and the International Festival annually held in Midtown, Ohio. The Indonesian Dance of Illinois is proud to perform in venues and shows throughout the Chicago-land and the Midwest.

The Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts was founded in Chicago in 1994 by critically acclaimed dancer and teacher Pranita Jain. Kalapriya Dance is a professional performance group that presents various styles of Indian dance that includes classical, folk and contemporary. Kalapriya's mission is to support, celebrate and present to a wide range of audiences the dance and music of India through performances, workshops, educational outreach and formal dance instruction. Since Indian artistic practices are constantly evolving as they are influenced by exposure to cross-cultural exchanges, Kalapriya programs retain the unique Indian essence that defines the Indian Diaspora.

Helena Reynolds is an aerial artist with a background in contemporary dance and ballet. She is passionate about combining the beauty and grace of dance with the power and spectacle of the aerial arts. She received her B.F.A. from the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts and has travelled the world performing both circus and dance. She's had the pleasure of working with arts collaboratives such as the Generating Company, Circus Flora, Aloft Circus Arts and Midnight Circus. Reynolds' specialties include aerial hoop, hula hoops, silks and various duo acts.

Founded in 1999, The San Andreas Fault quickly established itself as Chicago's only epic-surf instrumental band. The Fault appeared live with original genre stars Dick Dale and Link Wray, recorded the 2003 LP Encantada and contributed soundtracks to television and games before going on hiatus in 2004. Reconstituted in 2013, The Fault recorded a new 7" single entitled Blowne Leafe and has been commissioned by Redmoon to write and perform original music for the 2013 Winter Pageant. Longtime Chicago bandleader, multi-instrumentalist and composer Rob Warmowski, founded the band.

More On: Dance Company, Daniele Finzi, Nelson Algren, Mark Miller, Arts Council,

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