Dance for Life Raises $233,000 at Annual Gala

Dance for Life Raises $233,000 at Annual Gala

Chicago Dancers United (CDU), which mobilizes Chicago's dance community by raising funds through dance, welcomed nearly 2,300 guests at the 26th annual Dance for Life Chicago performance August 19 at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Pkwy. Approximately 600 guests attended a pre-performance gala reception at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Avenue. From a combination of ticket sales, sponsorships and contributions, Dance for Life Chicago raised more than $233,000 to support Chicago Dancers United's The Dancers' Fund, which provides assistance to members of the dance community coping with critical health and life issues, and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

The evening began in the Hilton's Grand Ballroom with cocktails and a "summer supper." Guests then proceeded to the Auditorium Theatre for Dance for Life Chicago 2017, which this year featured eight companies: Partner Dance Companies Giordano Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and The Joffrey Ballet, joined by Jessica Miller Tomlinson Choreography; Visceral Dance Chicago; and a collaboration between Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and Trinity Irish Dance Company;. The performance concludes with a celebratory grand finale work choreographed by Randy Duncan to music by Andy Mitran. Emcees for the evening were Carisa Barreca and Kevin Sciretta of The Second City .

Co-chairs for Dance for Life Chicago 2017 were Jennifer Edgcomb, vice president at GEM Realty Capital Inc.; Erica Edwards, director of community engagement for The Joffrey Ballet; and Aaron Weiss, supervising attorney with the Cook County Public Guardian's Office.

Dance for Life Chicago 2017 was sponsored, in part, by the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Hilton Chicago, Barbara Levy Kipper, MB Financial, NIB Foundation, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, HMS Media, Paterno Group, Bell Litho Inc., Athletico Physical Therapy, The Geraghty, the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago and J&L Catering. Special thanks to Dance for Life Chicago 2017's Producers and Dance Captains.

Dance for Life Chicago is the annual benefit dance concert presenting and showcasing the city's unique diversity of talent, dance traditions and styles by bringing together talented, world-renowned professional dancers from Chicago for one night on the same stage. The dance community unites artistically to support those affected by critical health and other life issues by generously donating their time, energy and artistry to the cause. During the past 25 years, Dance for Life Chicago has presented 33 Chicago-based, professional dance companies and numerous choreographers. Proceeds from Dance for Life Chicago support The Dancers' Fund, which provides assistance to members of the dance community coping with critical health and life issues, and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Dance for Life Chicago uses the art of dance to make a difference in people's lives. In response to the changing needs of Chicago's dance community, evolutions in the nature of HIV/AIDS, the growth of the annual event and its other programs, Dance for Life Chicago has grown into a nonprofit organization, Chicago Dancers United (CDU). CDU engages Chicago's dance community to support organizations and dance community professionals dealing with critical health and other life issues causing significant financial, emergency or catastrophic hardships, including, but not limited to, HIV/AIDS, through dance.

Proceeds from Dance for Life Chicago benefit the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and CDU's The Dancers' Fund, which began in response to the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the dance community. The fund now offers assistance in, but not limited to, housing, utilities, insurance, medication and travel. As a unified dance community in Chicago, CDU uses dance to support a stronger and healthier community by focusing on its health and well-being through The Dancers' Fund and Dance for Life Chicago.
### Top photo: Dance for Life Chicago 2017 Gala Celebration, Grand Ballroom, Hilton Chicago

Bottom photo L-R: Chicago Dancers United Executive Director Phil Reynolds, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton, Giordano Dance Chicago Artistic Director Nan Giordano, The Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley Wheater and Harriet Ross, Dance for Life co-founder and Chicago Dancers United board trustee.

More images available here.
All images by Julia Nash Photography.



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