City Wide STOMPING GROUNDS Festival Begins 4/2

City Wide STOMPING GROUNDS Festival Begins 4/2The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), an icon of Chicago dance and a true advocate for American tap and global percussive arts, announces its fourth annual STOMPING GROUNDS Festival, a collaborative, city-wide celebration of diverse rhythmic expression featuring nine companies performing and teaching in seven community venues and their neighboring Chicago Public Schools. Community events run April through May, with a June 7th Grand Finale at the Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion, which will also kick off CHRP's 30th Anniversary Season.

STOMPING GROUNDS enlightens, entertains, educates and, at the same time, connects diverse communities throughout Chicago. The Festival will showcase many of Chicago's most accomplished percussive dance companies from cultural traditions including CHRP's Stone Soup Rhythms (American tap), Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Mexican Folk Dance Company of Chicago, Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago (African), Trinity Irish Dance Company and the Trinity Irish Dance Ensemble and, new to this year's Festival are the Itotia Mexica Xi (Aztec dance), Chicago Dance Crash (Urban Fusion) and Natya Dance Theatre (Indian).
STOMPING GROUNDS presenting partners are Chicago Cultural Center, Beverly Arts Center, Irish American Heritage Center, National Museum of Mexican Art, DuSable Museum of African American History, Garfield Park Conservatory and Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Billed as a "Performalogue," each program in the STOMPING GROUNDS Festival will feature three or more companies in a combination of performance and open rehearsal. Each event begins with free dance instruction, includes culturally specific arts and crafts, and concludes with open dialogue between artistic directors, artists and the audience. The schedule of Performalogues as of today are:

  • April 2, 6 p.m., Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington Street: This kickoff event will feature all nine companies
  • April 14, 7:30 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W 111St.: CHRP's Stone Soup Rhythms, Chicago Dance Crash, Muntu Dance Theatre, Trinity Irish Dance Company and Trinity Irish Dance Ensemble
  • April 21, 7:30 p.m., Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Avenue: Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Muntu Dance Theatre, Trinity Irish Dance Company and Trinity Irish Dance Ensemble
  • April 28, 7:30 p.m., National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W 19th St.: Mexican Folk Dance Company, Natya Dance Theatre, Trinity Irish Dance Company and Trinity Irish Dance Ensemble
  • May 5, 7:30 p.m., DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place: Itotia Mexica Xi, Chicago Dance Crash, CHRP's Stone Soup Rhythms, Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago
  • May 23, 6:00 p.m., Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Avenue: CHRP's Stone Soup Rhythms, Chicago Dance Crash, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Natya Dance Theatre
  • June 7, (TBD) p.m., Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park Grand Finale, 201 E Randolph St.: The finale will feature eight companies.

STOMPING GROUNDS events are open to the public and are either completely free or majority-free. Events at the Chicago Cultural Center, Garfield Park Conservatory and Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion are completely free and at the other venues, sixty percent of all seats are free and forty percent will be offered for $5. Reservations are available at Advance reservations are highly encouraged as most venues "sell out" early. In addition to the Performalogues, students from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) surrounding the Festival's community centers will receive free education programs called "We All Got Rhythm." Each school receives a lecture/demonstration, five genre-specific master classes, and a professional development seminar for teachers featuring five festival company artists. Nearly 4,000 underserved students from eight schools will have an opportunity to engage in these activities.

STOMPING GROUNDS embodies the core mission of CHRP - to present performance, education and community development programs that foster artistic excellence and social reconciliation.

Chicago Human Rhythm Project

The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), has helped to foster the revival of American tap dance in Chicago. Through its leadership for three decades, CHRP has helped to support new tap organizations throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. CHRP presents the oldest and largest annual festival of American tap and percussive dance in the world-Rhythm World-and has expanded through community outreach, ongoing education programs in public elementary and high schools, commissions of new work, innovative conferences for the field and a commitment to social reconciliation and local investment. CHRP led the development of Chicago's shared dance/arts space, the American Rhythm Center, which offers daily dance classes for children, teens, adults and seniors and functions as a social enterprise and business development incubator for independent artists and small companies.

For nearly 30 years, CHRP has educated and performed globally for millions of people; received an Emmy Award nomination, as well as national airings, for JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance, which was co-produced with ITVS and WTTW/Channel 11; earned an NEA American Masterpieces grant administered by the Illinois Arts Council Agency; curated the first full-length tap concert in any of the Kennedy Center's three largest theaters for a sold-out audience of 1,100 in the Eisenhower Theater; provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in tap dance scholarships to more than 400 deserving, talented teens; and, most recently, led a collaborative effort to establish a shared dance/arts space in the center of the Chicago Cultural Mile: the American Rhythm Center (ARC). CHRP's vision is to establish the first global center for American tap and percussive arts, which will create a complete ecosystem of education, performance, creation and community in a state-of-the-art facility uniting generations of diverse artists and the general public. For information, visit

STOMPING GROUNDS is made possible with major support from Engaging Dance Audiences, a program of Dance USA funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Chicago Free-For-All Fund at The Chicago Community Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for the City of Chicago, Philip and Marsha Dowd, Elaine Cohen Rubin and the Creative Schools Fund. Chicago Human Rhythm Project is supported by the MacArthur Fund for the Arts and Culture at Prince, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Deluxe Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for the City of Chicago, BMO Harris, DeKalb Community Foundation, Charles Gardner and Patti Eylar, Jane Ellen Murray Foundation, The Oppenheimer Family Foundation, Joyce Chelberg, Lyon Family Foundation, The Weinberg Family Foundation and Jeannette & Jerome Cohen Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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