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Auditorium Theatre Highlights Innovative Contemporary Dance Today

Auditorium Theatre Highlights Innovative Contemporary Dance Today On Friday, November 16, three groundbreaking contemporary dance companies perform on the Auditorium Theatre's landmark stage in the "Made in Chicago" 312 Dance Series. The evening features Ate9 Dance Company, performing the work calling glenn with live music from Chicago-based percussionist Glenn Kotche (Wilco); Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, performing Kevin Iega Jeff's Church of Nations, Kevin Iega Jeff and Gary Abbott's Heaven, and Nicole Clarke-Springer's Until Lambs Become Lions; and Visceral Dance Chicago, performing company founder Nick Pupillo's Soft Spoken.

"We are thrilled to feature these three innovative companies as we open our 2018-19 'Made in Chicago' 312 Dance Series," says Rachel Freund, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Auditorium Theatre. "This evening will highlight the creativity of these distinct companies and showcase the breadth of contemporary dance styles that we present on our historic stage."

The Los Angeles-based Ate9 Dance Company makes its Auditorium Theatre debut with calling glenn (2017), created by company founder and artistic director Danielle Agami in collaboration with Chicagoan Glenn Kotche. Agami, a former member and rehearsal director of Israel's Batsheva Dance Company, was inspired by the idea that while humans are creatures of habit, something magical happens when they break the cycle and try something new. Kotche composed original music for the piece based on Agami's direction, and performs live on stage throughout the work.

"I find Chicago a 'lead by example' city when it comes to dance," says Agami. "I was always impressed by the place of dance in the city and I am honored to have a chance to be a part of it with our company's debut at the Auditorium Theatre."

Chicago's Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, known for combining elements of American and African American dance, brings three works from the company's repertory: company co-founder and artistic director Kevin Iega Jeff's Church of Nations (1991), a work that explores the relationship between religion, spirituality, and war; Heaven (2004), an uplifting piece by Jeff and company co-founder/associate artistic director Gary Abbott that represents joy, humanity, clarity, and resolve; and dance education director Nicole Clarke-Springer's Until Lambs Become Lions (2014), a work for four dancers set to Nina Simone's "Isn't It a Pity."

"Deeply Rooted's return to the Auditorium Theatre stage is exciting," says Jeff. "We last performed at the venue in 1999, in an evening with the legendary songstress Roberta Flack. Now, in 2018, we look forward to sharing the evening with our illustrious dance colleagues."

Visceral Dance Chicago performs company founder and artistic director Nick Pupillo's Soft Spoken (2018), a work that explores the stages of relationships, from beginning to middle to end. Soft Spoken is set to a medley featuring Colin Stetson, Frank Sinatra, Arvo Pärt, Joni Mitchell, Max Richter, and Irma Thomas.

"Visceral Dance is excited to be a part of this distinctive series at the Auditorium and is looking forward to presenting with these other diverse artists who create a mirror of Chicago's cultural vibrancy," says Pupillo.

MARSHA AND PHILIP DOWD - Presenting Sponsors

About Ate9 Dance Company

Ate9 fosters new and promising artists who are committed to a journey of research to master the craft of dance. Artistic Director Danielle Agami creates an array of work that explores the juxtaposition of subtlety and extreme physicality to evoke intimacy and awe. Her work is accessible in its honesty and creates interest for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Ate9's repertory is built upon the desire to engage newcomers and fans. Ate9 believes it is essential to allow public access in the studio, in class, and in dialogue to discover the joy and knowledge that dance can bring to everyone. With this goal in mind, Agami and the Ate9 dancers also dedicate time and effort to bring dance to the public education system, creating a meaningful meeting between young audiences and contemporary art. Ate9 continues to blaze a trail in Los Angeles with productions that are innovative, visceral, interactive, and accessible to the diverse communities around Los Angeles and the world.

About Deeply Rooted Dance Theater

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT) is rooted in traditions of American and African American dance, storytelling, and universal themes that spark a visceral experience and ignite an emotional response in diverse audiences worldwide. DRDT collaborates with nationally-renowned choreographers across the spectrum of modern, ballet, and African dance to reflect contemporary voices. In Chicago, the company has performed at numerous venues, including the Auditorium Theatre, the Shubert Theatre, the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.

About Visceral Dance Chicago

Founded in 2013 by Artistic Director Nick Pupillo, Visceral Dance Chicago is a contemporary dance company dedicated to a bold and progressive world of movement. In just five short years, the company has developed a diverse and respected repertoire. With works by distinguished choreographers Sidra Bell, Mónica Cervantes, Robyn Mineko Williams, Brian Enos, Banning Bouldin, Harrison McEldowney, Fernando Melo, Marguerite Donlon, Ohad Naharin, Danielle Agami, Mark Godden, Kevin O'Day, and Pupillo himself, Visceral Dance Chicago continues to challenge audiences' expectations. In January of 2015, Visceral Dance Chicago was named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch," recognizing the company's accomplishments and potential in the national community.

Tickets start at $29 and are available online at, by phone at 312.341.2300, or in person at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office (50 E Ida B Wells Dr, formerly 50 E Congress Pkwy).

Ate9/Visceral/Deeply Rooted is part of the "Made in Chicago" 312 Dance Series (which also includes Trinity Irish Dance Company and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago/Malpaso Dance Company), which offers a 25% discount on tickets.

The Auditorium Theatre also offers $15 student rush tickets to full-time college students and $5 tickets to young people ages 13-19 with Urban Gateways' Teen Arts Pass program. The Auditorium Theatre's ADMIT ONE program, launched in 2016, offers complimentary tickets to Chicago area community groups. Community groups may apply for ADMIT ONE here.

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