Auditorium Theatre Commissions New Work by Michelle Dorrance for Trinity Irish Dance Company

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Auditorium Theatre Commissions New Work by Michelle Dorrance for Trinity Irish Dance Company

The Auditorium Theatre announces the commission of American Traffic, a new work for Trinity Irish Dance Company (TIDC) created by acclaimed tap dancer, choreographer, and MacArthur "Genius Grant" recipient Michelle Dorrance and celebrated collaborator Melinda Sullivan. American Traffic has its world premiere at the Auditorium on Saturday, February 29, 2020, when TIDC returns for two performances following its lauded 2019 return to Chicago. Individual tickets go on sale Friday, October 18 at 9AM.

"We are thrilled to support this innovative new work by two of the most creative choreographers of today and look forward to seeing Trinity Irish Dance Company premiere American Traffic on our landmark stage as part of our 130th anniversary celebration," says Rich Regan, Auditorium Theatre CEO.

American Traffic is a hybrid of Irish step and American tap that celebrates the nuanced differences and historical connections between the percussive dance forms. Dorrance, who has choreographed for companies including American Ballet Theatre and Martha Graham Dance Company, has admired TIDC's work for years. She is considered the "most prominent and ubiquitous tap dancer today" (The New York Times) and has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Sullivan is an accomplished performer and choreographer who has appeared on So You Think You Can Dance? and assisted as a choreographer for The Late Late Show with James Corden, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and more.

"Trinity Irish Dance Company is the cutting edge of Irish dance," says Dorrance. "They achieve a powerful combination of cultural depth, innovation, and artistry with exceptional technical range."

Celebrating his 40th year as a choreographer, TIDC Founding Artistic Director Mark Howard offers additional premieres that epitomize his pioneering vision to push the boundaries of Irish dance while maintaining a strong reverence for tradition, including Home, choreographed by Howard and Associate Artistic Director Chelsea Hoy, and Listen, choreographed by Colin Dunne, the "Baryshnikov of Irish dance." TIDC classics, including Howard's critically-acclaimed Push and Soles, alongside the Chicago premiere of Sean Curran's Goddess, a hypnotic fusion of Irish and Indian movement, round out the program.

American Traffic, choreographed by Michelle Dorrance and Melinda Sullivan, is co-commissioned by the Auditorium Theatre with sponsorship support from Pamela Crutchfield.

Trinity Irish Dance Company is the high watermark of the art form; a uniquely Irish-American dance legacy that is rooted in tradition, yet forward-looking and ever-evolving. The result is a fresh, engaging, and integrity-filled vision that goes beyond the source without losing touch with its essence. Founded in 1990 by Founding Artistic Director Mark Howard, TIDC is the birthplace of progressive Irish dance, an innovative movement genre which opened new avenues of artistic freedom that led directly to commercial productions such as Riverdance. TIDC has significantly changed the direction and scope of Irish dance, re-introducing the art form as the phenomenon it is today. With a unique blend of uncompromising power and grace, TIDC sends a clear message of female empowerment. For more information, visit

Photo by Chelsea Hoy

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