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Deeply Rooted Dance Theater's 25th Anniversary Season Continues With Performances and More

Deeply Rooted is returning to live, in-person programs and performances in October under the banner Deeply25, in its hometown, Chicago.

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater's 25th Anniversary Season Continues With Performances and More


Deeply Rooted Dance Theater is celebrating 25 years of uniting modern, classical, American, and African-American traditions in dance and storytelling through its three primary initiatives: performance, dance education, and cultural outreach. Continuing in June and concluding in October 2021, Deeply Rooted is returning to live, in-person programs and performances, under the banner Deeply25, in its hometown, Chicago.

"At Deeply Rooted we are firm believers in the power of the universe and its ability to command energy and bring together growth and healing," commented Artistic Director Nicole Clarke-Springer. "As we realized the magnitude of what we were dealing with during the past year, in terms of the pandemic and social unrest, our Artistic Team reflected and meditated on the company's mission and its unique ability to feed the soul. Out of that process came the theme Beyond Dance, which signifies the power of dance beyond the intrinsic joy of movement, for our virtual Dance Education programming."

Summer Dance Intensive/Emerging Choreographers Showcase-June 21-July 17

Deeply Rooted's Summer Dance Intensive (SDI) takes place in a hybrid format combining in-person and virtual participation June 21-July 17, with the in-person component taking place at Ballet Chicago, 17 N. State Street, 19th floor, and the Sheraton Grand Hotel, 301 E. North Water Street. Participants at the pre-professional and professional levels take classes based in Horton, Graham, ballet, and contemporary movement, as well as learn the company's repertory through workshops and performances. An important part of SDI is The Continuum, guided conversations on self-awareness and personal growth informed by each participant's creativity and artistic process.

Joining Deeply Rooted Artistic Team members Gary Abbott, Nicole Clarke-Springer, Joshua Ishmon, and Kevin Iega Jeff and Dance Education Director Tracey Franklin are guest instructors Karen Brown, former principal ballerina with Dance Theatre of Harlem; Paige Fraser, former cast member of The Lion King National Tour; Dereque Whiturs, former principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; and more.

The Emerging Choreographers Showcase (ECS), an advanced division of SDI, this year welcomes choreographer Avree Walker, rehearsal director, resident choreographer, and program director of the ARTSWORK Conservatory and pre-professional program for Contemporary West Dance Theatre and instructor and choreographer at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts.

SDI culminates in public performances July 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, 301 E. North Water Street.

Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks-July 21, July 22, August 12

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater company members participate in this free annual program through the Chicago Park District, performing July 21 at Tuley Park, 50 E. 90th Place; July 22 at Garfield Park, 100 Central Park Avenue; and August 12 at Palmer Park, 201 E. 111th Street, all at 6:30 p.m. The performances will feature new works by Deeply Rooted's Artistic Team as well as classic repertory pieces.

GOSHEN Preview-August 25 in Millennium Park
Deeply Rooted presents "A Deeply Rooted Evening for Chicago's Healing: GOSHEN (preview)" August 25 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph Street. With concept and music by Grammy Award-winning producer, composer, and gospel artist Donald Lawrence, GOSHEN features Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, gospel singer Le'Andria Johnson performing the number one hit single "Deliver Me," lead singers from The Tri-City Singers, and Zeke Locke & The NuExperience.

Said Clarke-Springer, "Our intent is to help heal the city of our COVID-19-induced fear, frustration, and grief and increase understanding and build community in support of the outcry for justice surrounding racial inequities."

GOSHEN, the Story of the Exodus, is a celebratory collaboration of gospel music, dramatic narrative, and dance-theater rooted in African-American traditions. The work explores historic biblical themes of power, oppression, and deliverance in a joyous contemporary setting, reflecting the soul's journey through human experience, introspection, and hope. Deeply Rooted Co-Founder and Creative/Executive Director Kevin Iega Jeff directs and choreographs; additional choreographers are Co-Founder and Associate Artistic Director Gary Abbott, Artistic Director Nicole-Clarke Springer, Artistic Team member Joshua Ishmon, and guest choreographer Tshediso Kabulu.

The Black Edition Chicago: Scribes and Transcripts-summer 2021

Throughout the summer, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater company members and SDI and Dance Education program participants are filming Black Edition Chicago: Scribes and Transcripts at historic Chicago locations, capturing the soulful pulse of Chicago's African-American communities. The project is co-directed by Associate Artistic Director Gary Abbott and Artistic Director Nicole Clarke-Springer and set to original music by Chicago-born jazz improv trumpeters Corey Wilkes and Sam Trump, with choreography by Abbott, Clarke-Springer, Joshua Ishmon, and Kevin Iega Jeff. The Black Edition reveals the roots of homelessness and resurgence of political protest in African-American communities, while celebrating Chicago's rich culture and ability to unify through Chicago House music. Through the eyes of a girl named Betina, we take a journey that recognizes the heroes, ciphers, saints, and sinners that created the essential mosaic of Black life in the Windy City.

To celebrate Black History Month, Deeply Rooted will screen the film for Chicago Public Schools in February 2022.

25th Anniversary Season Finale-October 23 at the Auditorium Theatre

Deeply Rooted concludes its 25th anniversary season with "Roots & Wings," an evening-length performance at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive. The program includes a world premiere by Artistic Director Nicole Clarke-Springer, past works by Co-Founder and Creative/Executive Director Kevin Iega Jeff and Co-Founder and Associate Artistic Director Gary Abbott, and a company premiere by a legendary and world-renowned choreographer. More information about the program will be available later this year.

Deeply25-Deeply Rooted Dance Theater's 25th Anniversary Season-public performances:

  • Summer Dance Intensive performances
    Friday, July 16 and Saturday, July 17 at 7 p.m.
    Sheraton Grand Hotel, 301 E. North Water Street
  • Night Out in the Parks
    Wednesday, July 21, Tuley Park, 50 E. 90th Place
    Thursday, July 22, Garfield Park, 100 Central Park Avenue
    Thursday, August 12, Palmer Park, 201 E. 111th Street
    All 6:30 p.m.
  • "A Deeply Rooted Evening for Chicago's Healing: GOSHEN (preview)"
    Wednesday, August 25 at 7:30 p.m.
    Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, 120 E. Randolph Street
  • "Roots & Wings"
    Saturday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m.
    Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive

Program and ticket information is available at deeplyrooteddancetheater.org.
All programming is subject to change.


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