Thodos Dance Chicago's A LIGHT IN THE DARK Subject of TV Doc SHINE, Airing Today on WTTW-TV
Chicago arts lovers, tune into WTTW-TV, Channel 11 today, September 8 at 1:30 p.m. for the debut of Shine, a new half-hour documentary about the making of Thodos Dance Chicago's critically acclaimed story ballet A Light in the Dark as captured through the lens of Emmy Award-winning Chicago filmmaker Christopher Kai Olsen.
A Light in the Dark, a 2013 world premiere co-choreographed by Broadway legend Ann Reinkingand TDC Artistic Director Melissa Thodos, tells an intimate family story about Helen Keller, the extraordinary woman who was deaf and blind yet went on to become a world-famous writer, political activist and inspiration to all, and her teacher Anne Sullivan, who led Helen into a world of education, activism and intellectual celebrity.
Shine combines inspirational behind-the-scenes events, intimate closed-door rehearsals and compelling insights on the creative process from co-choreographers Ann Reinking and Melissa Thodos, as well as many of the dancers who helped bring this incredible tale of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan to life. The documentary also reveals how Thodos Dance Chicago helped patrons who are blind or with low vision experience A Light in the Dark by providing special services such aspre-show Touch Tours of the set and real-time live audio description via two-way headsets.
Shine will be immediately followed at 2 p.m. by Olsen's amazing, full performance-on-film production of A Light in the Dark, filmed during its March 2013 debut at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. TV audiences will experience the critically acclaimed story ballet in its entirety, enjoy the storytelling magic created by two nationally renowned dance choreographers, hear original music from composer Bruce Wolosoff, and revel in breathtaking performance video of the talented Thodos Dance Chicago dancers who bring the story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan to life. Click here for a sneak peek of the full performance video of A Light in the Dark.
Note: See the LIVE production of A Light in the Dark when it is reprised as part of Thodos Dance Chicago's 2014 Winter Concert February 22, 2014 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie and March 8-9, 2014 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago.
Visit WTTW-TV's website for the schedule link for Shine and A Light in the Dark.
Christopher Kai Olsen is a renowned filmmaker and animation director who began showcasing dance in his popular Emmy-nominated PBS documentary The Artsiders, which follows dozens of artists and performers as they explain what draws them to their craft. Olsen's passion for dance moved him to write, direct, and choreograph the award-winning poetry-laced dance film Butterfly, the playful film Fancy ("a tale of romance told entirely through dance"), and the beatnik inspiredBoy.Girl.Drum, all of which have played to packed film festivals across the U.S.
Olsen also produced the acclaimed documentary Beneath the White City Lights: The Making of an American Story Ballet, about Thodos Dance Chicago's multimedia story ballet The White City: The Columbian Exposition of 1893, also co-conceived and choreographed by Melissa Thodos and Tony Award winner Ann Reinking, and named "Best Dance of 2011" by the Chicago Sun-Times.
In addition to his film and performing arts endeavors, Olsen is the founder and executive producer for Chicago-based film design company Kai/Harding, where his unique directorial approach has made its mark on a wide variety of commercial projects for an expanding roster of Fortune 500 clients. Learn more about Olsen and his company by visiting http://blog.kaiharding.com orckolsen.com.
Thodos Dance Chicago (TDC), founded in 1992 by Artistic Director Melissa Thodos, is an ensemble of twelve versatile dance artists with a captivating style that uses a variety of dance forms. The company's unique mission of inspiring expression through dance education, dance creation and dance performance has established Thodos Dance Chicago as an innovative presence in American contemporary dance. Thodos Dance Chicago features the American voice in contemporary dance and has created two critically acclaimed story ballets. In addition to performing works by Melissa Thodos and resident artists, TDC performs a diverse array of works created by other reputable choreographers: Bob Fosse, Ann Reinking, Lar Lubovitch, Shapiro & Smith, Lucas Crandall, Jon Lehrer, Michael Anderson, Zachary Whittenburg, Amy Ernst, Ron De Jesús and Gustavo Ramírez Sansano. TDC ensemble members themselves also create highly-charged, illuminating world premieres every year in the company's acclaimed New Dances choreography series.
For more information about programs and upcoming performances of Thodos Dance Chicago, visit thodosdancechicago.org.