Chicago Dancemakers Forum and The Nature Conservancy Partner For Series of Performances

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Chicago Dancemakers Forum partners with The Nature Conservancy to present a series of original dance performances centered on stewardship and ecological exploration called Natural Encounters. Past Chicago Dancemakers Forum awardees Nejla Yatkin, Ayako Kato, Nico Rubio, and Erin Kilmurray will present immersive dance works at Indian Ridge Marsh, Hegewisch Marsh, and Big Marsh on the city's southeast side on Sept. 7 at 10:00 a.m., Sept. 21 at 4:00 p.m. and Oct. 5 at 4:00 p.m. These events are presented as part of the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks program. All three events are free and open to the public.

The first event of the series, Dances for this Land, 2019 Lab Artist Nejla Yatkin and 2007 Lab Artist Ayako Kato will respond in movement to the natural spaces of Indian Ridge Marsh and its inspiring story of land remediation. The event will include stewardship and educational activities coordinated by experts from Audubon Great Lakes and The Nature Conservancy to highlight the resident natural features of Indian Ridge Marsh. This event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Indian Ridge Marsh, 11740 S. Torrence Ave., Chicago, IL 60617.

Birds, Bugs and Tap will be performed on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 4:00pm at Hegewisch Marsh, 13298 S. Torrence Ave., Chicago, IL 60633. Chicago tap artists under the direction of Chicago Dancemakers Forum 2018 Lab Artist Nico Rubio will perform original work inspired by and responding to the rhythms and timbres of bird calls and insect sounds. The event will include stewardship and educational activities coordinated by experts from The Nature Conservancy to highlight the resident natural features of Hegewisch Marsh.

Rounding out the events is the high-energy choreography of 2018 Greenhouse Artist Erin Kilmurray in an event called CYCLE, on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Big Marsh, 11555 S. Stony Island Ave., Chicago IL 60617. Kilmurray will engage with the environment and history of Big Marsh along its bike paths through this exciting performance with live music. The event will include stewardship and educational activities coordinated by experts from The Nature Conservancy to highlight the resident natural features of Big Marsh. The event is in partnership with Experimental Station/ Blackstone Bicycle Works and Friends of Big Marsh, who will be hosting a barbeque that will be open to audience members.

Chicago Dancemakers Forum founder and director Ginger Farley shares, "This is an exciting New Group of partners for Chicago Dancemakers and for dance. We are so pleased to come together to reveal the ingenuity and energy of dancemakers in Chicago's beautiful natural spaces. These mini-commissions also stretch the dancemakers artistically while building new connections through collaboration."

Natural Encounters is presented as part of the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks series, supported by the Mayor's Office and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Arts programming in neighborhoods across the city advances the goals of the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Cultural Plan. Now in its 7th year, the 2019 Night Out in the Parks series will host over 2,000 cultural events and programs at more than 250 neighborhood parks throughout the city; making community parks a safe haven and hubs of activity. Projects vary from traditional performances and concerts, to peace rallies, community workshops, nature-based programs, dance performances, festivals, site specific projects, and more. The Chicago Park District has partnered with more than 140 arts and community organizations to expand and produce this citywide initiative.

For more information on the events please contact Shawn Lent, Chicago Dancemakers Forum's Programs and Communications Director at shawn@chicagodancemakers.org.



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