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Artists Announced For The Elevate Chicago Dance 2022 Festival

The festival runs October 13-16.

Artists Announced For The Elevate Chicago Dance 2022 Festival

30 local dancemakers and dance companies will be featured October 13-16 in Elevate Chicago Dance 2022, produced by Chicago Dancemakers Forum as part of the Year of Chicago Dance. The festival will take place across four days in six locations and feature staged works, dance on camera, virtual reality, augmented reality, works-in-progress sharings, installation performance, outdoor experiences, and industry conversations.

"It's been four years since the last Elevate Chicago Dance festival and it's an understatement to say that a lot has changed in that time. 2022 is the Year of Chicago Dance so we are embracing the added hype to call attention to some of the incredible dance artists in this city who are making new work, reflecting on the times, envisioning more sustainable futures, and experimenting with forms, technologies, practices, and presentations. Some of us just want to get back on stage, others want to dismantle and reimagine the paradigms within our field, and most of us see value in all the above. The Elevate festival is an opportunity for us to come together to consider what we need and want now, and to celebrate each other's remarkable work," expressed Chicago Dancemakers Forum's Executive Director and Elevate 2022 Managing Producer, Joanna Furnans.

Speaking to the curation of dancemakers, work, and spaces, Yolanda Cesta Cursach Montilla, Elevate 2022 Curator, shares "The purpose of putting on a festival in 2022 is for the joy in trying. It's about how the festival can bring light into our reality, open the space between the public concern and private experience, meaning, where performers make work. When I'm in the audience, I want to sustain attention on something I think is cool or interesting for a duration of time, and that I return to at undefined moments later, that changes something inside. For instance, I think a lot about public space and refuge, the systemic barriers preventing connection to Chicago's natural environs, to knowing intimately the land. Parkland tends to weave into my other curiosity, for technology erasing or simulating the dancer's body, becoming a body extension or tooling a communal transformation. I don't think there's an innate truth to be told by the festival, but rather the artists are always ahead of us, and the truth is going to be reached by coming together."

Here are the dancemakers presenting staged work during Elevate Chicago Dance 2022:

· BOOM CRACK! Dance Company, choreography by Trae Turner

· Ivelisse Bombera de Corazon Diaz - Bomba

· FORCE! an opera in three acts

· Hedwig Dances, choreography by Jan Bartoszek

· Ishti Collective, choreography by Kinnari Vora and Tuli Bera

· Donnetta Jackson / M.A.D.D. Rhythms

· Erin Kilmurray

· Ginger Krebs

· Nico Rubio (Shuffle Liiife Productions)

· Nora Sharp

· South Chicago Dance Theatre, choreography by Kia S. Smith

· Christopher "Mad Dog" Thomas / Kuumba Lynx

Dancemakers Presenting Outdoor Work:

· Ysayë Alma

· Aaliyah Christina

· Ayako Kato / Art Union Humanscape

· Jasmine Lupe Mendoza, Lia Kohl and Corey Smith

Dancemakers Offering Panels, Workshops, and Dance Experiences:

· BraveSoul Movement and ChiBuck Movement

· Maggie Bridger, Cultivating Chicago's Disability Dance Community

· Cristin Carole and Alumni of the Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre

· Enneressa Davis with Monique Haley

· Yoshinojo Fujima aka Rika Lin

· Lydia Jekot with queer Chicago dance artists

· Christopher Knowlton

· Maria Luisa Torres

Artists Screening Dance on Camera / Dance Film:

· Carolyn Carney aka GoldGrrl / Chicago Movement Series

· JaNiah Cooper

· Every house has a door (Lin Hixson and Matthew Goulish)

· Gabriel Bruno Enrique Lopez Eng Gonzalez with Adanya Gilmore

· Nadia Oussenko

· Grace McCants & Nora Sharp

· Synapse Arts: Rahila Coats, Maggie Bridger, and Rachel Damon/Aaron Greer

Full festival lineup including virtual experience options and accessibility details will be announced mid-September. Ticketing and reservations will also open at that time. Those interested in volunteering for the festival can contact the Festival Manager at

Elevate 2022 held an open call in May inviting proposals for public performances and other activities by Chicago-based dancemakers to present at a range of spaces as part of the festival. 91 artists/companies responded to the open call and 31 were invited to participate. Those reviewing and scoring the proposals were the following panelists: Stephen Bell, Yolanda Cesta Cursach Montilla, Joanna Furnans, Kim Grigsby, Zhenesse Heinemann, Donnetta Jackson, Jorge Pérez, Brenda Torres Figueroa, Meredith Sutton, and Anna Martine Whitehead. Panel Observers and Notetakers were Alex Fryson, Sanjana Kumar, Sigrid Neptun, and Trinity Olgaldez.

This is the third iteration of the festival. In 2015-2017, Chicago Dancemakers Forum led the way, in partnership with the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), to produce the local Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI) which culminated in the first Elevate Chicago Dance, held at 11 venues over four days in October 2017. The following year, Elevate Chicago Dance 2018 was a one-day festival of performances plus installations, workshops and discussions by 45 Chicago dancemakers, attended by over 2,500 Chicagoans, at the landmark Chicago Cultural Center. After the pandemic forced the cancellation of Elevate Chicago Dance 2020, Chicago Dancemakers rescheduled the festival for 2022 to coincide with the Year of Chicago Dance.

Elevate Chicago Dance 2022 is supported by the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks program, and National Endowment for the Arts.

Elevate Chicago Dance 2022 Team

Dominique Atwood, Festival Manager

La Mar Brown, Operations

Alé Campos, Virtual Experience Manager

Yolanda Cesta Cursach Montilla, Curator

Joanna Furnans, Managing Producer

Cameron Heinze, Artist Liaison

Shawn Lent, Festival Accessibility and Marketing

Margaret Nelson, Technical Director

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