Chicago Human Rhythm Project Kicks Off Anniversary Season With Stomping Grounds Grand Finale

Chicago Human Rhythm Project Kicks Off Anniversary Season With Stomping Grounds Grand Finale

The Chicago Human Rhythm Project's (CHRP) city-wide STOMPING GROUNDS festival will culminate on June 7th, 2018, with a Grand Finale at Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion, also kicking off a year-long celebration of CHRP's 30th Anniversary. STOMPING GROUNDS, already in its fourth year, embodies the core mission of CHRP to present performance, education and community development programs that foster artistic excellence and social reconciliation through authentic percussive dance and diverse rhythmic expression.

The STOMPING GROUNDS finale will also celebrate the "Year of Creative Youth" as designated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). Six to eight youth groups representing a diverse cultural mix will surround the Pavilion lawn and alternatively perform for and teach simple steps to the gathering audience starting at 6:00pm.

The main stage concert begins at 7:00pm on Thursday, June 7th, when seven of Chicago's most accomplished percussive dance companies from diverse cultural traditions including CHRP's Stone Soup Rhythms (American tap),Chicago Dance Crash (Urban Fusion), Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater, Mexican Folk Dance Company of Chicago, Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago (African) Natya Dance Theatre(Indian) and Trinity Irish Dance Company will perform a mix of audience favorites and new works.

The concert will conclude with a rousing performance by Muntu Dance Theater. In a last moment of rhythmic ecstasy not to be missed, the Muntu drummers will "call" all the evening's performers to assemble on stage for a blistering rhythmic exchange while the youth ensembles surrounding the lawn will lead the audience in a participatory moment of community solidarity - all expressed through rhythmic dance.

Free and open to the public, this concert will attract thousands of Chicagoans and visitors to the center of the city to share an evening on common ground with a call for peace expressed through the universal language of rhythm. Joining the audience this year will be Consuls General and Cultural Attachés representing several of the countries/cultures that will be performing including India, Ireland, Guinea, Mexico, Spain and others. The Consuls General represent not only their countries, but also the cultural unity that all humans share through rhythmic heritage.

The STOMPING GROUNDS finale follows two months of performance events and arts education programs throughout the city in community cultural centers and Chicago Public Schools including the Chicago Cultural Center, Beverly Arts Center, Irish American Heritage Center, National Museum of Mexican Art, DuSable Museum of African American History and Garfield Park Conservatory which experienced record attendance.

Pavilion seating opens at 5:00pm on Thursday, June 7. The event is free and open to the public; all seating is first-come, first-serve, andreservation are not required for this event.

The year-long celebration of CHRP's 30th Anniversary will continue with its 28th Annual festival of American tap - Rhythm World 2018 - July 16 - 22 with performances at the Jazz Showcase, Curtiss Hall, Polk Bros Performance Lawns and the Studebaker Theater as well as intensive education programs for youth, teens, pre-professionals, teachers, professionals, adults and elders. Hundreds of participants from around the world with gather for this week-long celebration of America's contribution to the millennia old practice of foot-drumming - tap dance.

Following smaller events throughout the fall and winter, the 30th Anniversary Season will resume in earnest on March 20th, 2019 at the Harris Theater featuring the Chicago premiere of Israel's Mayumana alongside CHRP's resident ensemble, Stone Soup Rhythms led by Artist in Residence, Dani Borak. Mayumana, which intentionally based its operations in a Tel Aviv neighborhood evenly inhabited by Arabs and Jews, shares CHRP's mission of social reconciliation and will perform its acclaimed show, Currents. Borak will premiere new works recently created for Stone Soup Rhythms.

The 5th Annual STOMPING GROUNDS festival 2019 will expand again by bringing Chicago's finest foot drummers to more communities and more schools throughout Chicago. A complete lineup of companies and events will be announced later this year.

Completing the 30th Anniversary will be the 29th Annual summer festival of tap. Complete details will be released this fall, but two of the major components will be a US premiere of 9 Point Ink, a show created by Borak and Swiss composer, Kilian Deissler, as well as their education residency,

Synergy through which musicians are taught to dance and dancers are taught to play a variety of musical instruments.

Chicago Human Rhythm Project

The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), has helped to foster the revival of American tap dance in Chicago. Through its leadership for three decades, CHRP has helped to support new tap organizations throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. CHRP presents the oldest and largest annual festival of American tap and percussive dance in the world-Rhythm World-and has expanded through community outreach, ongoing education programs in public elementary and high schools, commissions of new work, innovative conferences for the field and a commitment to social reconciliation and local investment. CHRP led the development of Chicago's shared dance/arts space, the American Rhythm Center, which offers daily dance classes for children, teens, adults and seniors and functions as a social enterprise and business development incubator for independent artists and small companies.

For nearly 30 years, CHRP has educated and performed globally for millions of people; received an Emmy Award nomination, as well as national airings, for JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance, which was co-produced with ITVS and WTTW/Channel 11; earned an NEA American Masterpieces grant administered by the Illinois Arts Council Agency; curated the first full-length tap concert in any of the Kennedy Center's three largest theaters for a sold-out audience of 1,100 in the Eisenhower Theater; provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in tap dance scholarships to more than 400 deserving, talented teens; and, most recently, led a collaborative effort to establish a shared dance/arts space in the center of the Chicago Cultural Mile: the American Rhythm Center (ARC). CHRP's vision is to establish the first global center for American tap and percussive arts, which will create a complete ecosystem of education, performance, creation and community in a state-of-the-art facility uniting generations of diverse artists and the general public. For information, visit


STOMPING GROUNDS is made possible with major support from Engaging Dance Audiences, a program of Dance USA funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Chicago Free-For-All Fund at The Chicago Community Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for the City of Chicago, Philip and Marsha Dowd, Elaine Cohen Rubin and the Creative Schools Fund. Chicago Human Rhythm Project is supported by the MacArthur Fund for the Arts and Culture at Prince, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Deluxe Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for the City of Chicago, BMO Harris, DeKalb Community Foundation, Charles Gardner and Patti Eylar, Jane Ellen Murray Foundation, The Oppenheimer Family Foundation, Joyce Chelberg, Lyon Family Foundation, The Weinberg Family Foundation and Jeannette & Jerome Cohen Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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