Thodos Dance Chicago Celebrates 21st Birthday at 21 Club Gala Benefit Tonight

In addition to a busy performance and touring schedule, each year Thodos Dance Chicago nurtures and supports its ensemble dancers to express their own choreographic vision through the company's nationally unique New Dances program. Over the past 11 years, Thodos's New Dances series has provided the framework and support for nearly 100 Chicago-based choreographers and over 200 Chicago dance artists to develop and showcase their skills and build their reputations. Many works from New Dances have entered the repertory of Thodos Dance Chicago and been showcased at Dance Chicago, while others were embraced and received subsequent productions by noted directors Gerald Arpino of the Joffrey Ballet and Jim Vincent of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

Reaching young minds through dance education is vital to Thodos Dance Chicago. As a teaching company, members of this highly trained ensemble hold BAs and MFAs in dance, and teach at the elementary, high school and university levels. TDC is well suited for residency programs where performances, lecture demonstrations, workshops and master classes go hand in hand. TDC also fulfills its education mission by offering dance instruction for ages 3 to adult at Chicago's Menomonee Club for Boys and Girls, where it also trains its own Thodos Youth Ensemble.

Thodos Dance Chicago continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Founder and Artistic Director Melissa Thodos, Executive Director Gail Ford, Grants and Booking Director Rick Johnston, Board President Elaine Rosenfeld Margulis, a dedicated board of directors and administrative staff, and the support of thousands of loyal contemporary dance enthusiasts both in Chicago and nationwide.

Current TDC ensemble members, who each teach, choreograph and perform with innovative flair, include Cara Carper, John Cartwright, Caitlin Cucchiara, Annie Deutz, Ray Dones, Alissa Tollefson, Kyle Hadenfeldt, Brian Hare, Joshua Manculich, Jessica Miller Tomlinson, Diana Robertson and Jon Sloven. Laura Gates is the company's rehearsal director and ballet mistress.

TDC is supported by the Illinois Arts Council - a state agency, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs - City Arts Program II, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and many individual and corporate sponsors.

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