Redmoon to Host WINTER PAGEANT, 12/13-22

This December, Chicago's acclaimed Spectacle company Redmoon presents the 15th Annual Winter Pageant featuring collaborators The Happiness Club of Chicago, Kalapriya Dance, Indonesian Dance of Illinois, Pineapple Dance Studio, Mexican clown artist Fernando Córdova Hernández, aerialist Helena Reynolds and surf-rock band The San Andreas Fault. The approximately 50-minute-long production is directed by John Musial and Will Bishop with Redmoon Producing Artistic Director Frank Maugeri and choreographed by Pranita Jain. Redmoon's Winter Pageant takes place at the company's Pilsen home at 2120 S. Jefferson Street, December 13-15 and 20-22 (Fridays at 7 pm, Saturdays at 4 pm & 7 pm, Sundays at 1:30 pm & 4 pm). Press night will be opening night, Friday, December 13.

Open Access Builds

On the Saturdays leading up to Winter Pageant, November 16 - December 7, 12-2 pm each day, Redmoon opens its doors (2120 S. Jefferson Street) to the public for Open Access Builds, where community members of all ages build material and costumes and paint sets for Winter Pageant. Participants will be presented the opportunity to join Redmoon's "sewing circle," working with Redmoon's costume designer to sew and build costumes for the 40 performers, and will work with the scenic artists to paint large backdrops for the production. Open Access Builds participants then have a chance to come back to see their work in the production and will receive a "Friends of Redmoon" discount on their tickets.

About the Winter Pageant

The 2013 Winter Pageant presents a new original myth inspired by the poem "The Conference of the Birds" by Farid ud-Din Atta. It is an intersection between western and eastern culture and performance and Redmoon's robust history of puppet and object-based theater. Through masks, machines, song and dance, a cast of 40 interdisciplinary performers tells the story of a flock of birds that live a playful, happy life protected by their sacred Tree of Light until the Light is stolen by an evil Raven. The birds select a brave young Pigeon to retrieve the light, joined by a Dove, an unlikely partner. Together they venture through forests, under seas and through the Underworld on a journey of hope and discovery where they encounter colorful characters and unexpected creatures.

This collaborative project includes: the young hip-hop dancers of The Happiness Club; Indian dancers of Kalapriya led by Jain; the Southeast Asian dancers of Evanston-based Indonesian Dance of Illinois, led by Igusti Ngurah Kertayuda; belly dancers from Pineapple Dance Studio, led by Middle Eastern dance artist Erika Ochoa; and aerial artist Reynolds performing on a massive Redmoon machine. Together, these artists bring sumptuous life to Winter Pageant and its characters with both eastern and western contemporary dance. Córdova Hernández, from Mexico City-based clown company La Piara, joins his renowned clown artistry with the Redmoon ensemble. The San Andreas Fault, led by Rob Warmowski, completes the production with live, original music.

The 2013 Winter Pageant evokes themes of hope, community, family, strength, bravery and light within darkness, all apt for the holiday season. Audiences at this nontraditional family production can expect intricate mechanics, inventive shadow puppetry, delightful mask work and Redmoon's unique style of visual wonder.

Additionally, audiences of this year's Winter Pageant will enjoy post-show complimentary special treats provided by Eli's Cheesecake.

"I'm excited to return to the annual tradition of the Winter Pageant, with a large cast, machines, puppets and a non-traditional story, all in our new Pilsen home," said Maugeri. "I'm especially excited to watch John, Will and Pranita, along with our extraordinary guest artists, wrap their hands and minds around a new mythical story-telling experience that audiences will be able to access and understand through the universality of music, movement and imagery."

"Winter Pageant has always been a show I look forward to every year," noted Musial. "The theme of a community of performers and spectators coming together in the darkest part of the year to make our own light has always warmed me and seems especially important at this time of year. I am honored to work with my longtime friends at Redmoon and to have the opportunity to collaborate with new friends and cultural traditions."

"On behalf of Kalapriya Dance, I am looking forward to melding the intricate and intimate art of South Asian performing arts with the energetic and dynamic aesthetic of Redmoon and working collaboratively with Frank, John and Rob to create the Winter Pageant," added Jain.

Show Times and Tickets

The 15th annual Winter Pageant is presented December 13-22 as follows:

Fridays at 7 pm

Saturdays at 4 pm & 7 pm

Sundays at 1:30 pm & 4 pm

Single tickets are priced at $25 for adults, $15 for kids 3-18 years old, $10 for college/university students with IDs, and free for kids under 3. Tickets are on sale now by calling the Redmoon Box Office at 312-850-8440 x123 or online at Discount group rates for 10 and more are available through the Box Office.

About the Winter Pageant Artists

The Happiness Club is a diverse group of Chicago kids who are committed to helping their peers by encouraging positive values and social change through original hip-hop and pop music, dance and rap. The Happiness Club sings out against drugs, violence, gangs and bullying and says "Yes" to education, tolerance, high self-esteem and better nutrition for kids. The mission is simple: capture kids' attention through music and dance and inspire them with the lyrics. The Happiness Club has been featured on the First Lady's new CD "Songs for a Healthier America" and has performed at the White House, Kidzapalooza, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Michigan Avenue Lights Festival and countless schools and festivals throughout Chicago. The Happiness Club is a not-for-profit organization.

The Indonesian Dance of Illinois (IDI) is a not for profit organization that is dedicated and focused on promoting the Indonesian cultural arts to the community. The organization is based in Evanston and gives free dance and music lessons to the community. The group offers dance and music workshops to universities and schools. In the past, the Indonesian Dance of Illinois has offered dance and music workshops to schools such as the Skokie School in Wilmette, Illinois, and to universities such as Northern Illinios University, University of Illinois in Chicago, Loyola University; and even colleges out of state such as Walter State Community College in Tennessee. The Indonesian Dance of Illinois has also performed in different venues and events, most notably in the past the group has performed for the Indonesian Embassy in Washington D.C., and has performed for arts and cultural events in the Old Town Folk of Music, the Evanston Arts Festival, the Bucktown Arts Festival, and the International Festival annually held in Midtown, Ohio. The Indonesian Dance of Illinois is proud to perform in venues and shows throughout the Chicago-land and the Midwest.

The Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts was founded in Chicago in 1994 by critically acclaimed dancer and teacher Pranita Jain. Kalapriya Dance is a professional performance group that presents various styles of Indian dance that includes classical, folk and contemporary. Kalapriya's mission is to support, celebrate and present to a wide range of audiences the dance and music of India through performances, workshops, educational outreach and formal dance instruction. Since Indian artistic practices are constantly evolving as they are influenced by exposure to cross-cultural exchanges, Kalapriya programs retain the unique Indian essence that defines the Indian Diaspora.

Helena Reynolds is an aerial artist with a background in contemporary dance and ballet. She is passionate about combining the beauty and grace of dance with the power and spectacle of the aerial arts. She received her B.F.A. from the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts and has travelled the world performing both circus and dance. She's had the pleasure of working with arts collaboratives such as the Generating Company, Circus Flora, Aloft Circus Arts and Midnight Circus. Reynolds' specialties include aerial hoop, hula hoops, silks and various duo acts.

Founded in 1999, The San Andreas Fault quickly established itself as Chicago's only epic-surf instrumental band. The Fault appeared live with original genre stars Dick Dale and Link Wray, recorded the 2003 LP Encantada and contributed soundtracks to television and games before going on hiatus in 2004. Reconstituted in 2013, The Fault recorded a new 7" single entitled Blowne Leafe and has been commissioned by Redmoon to write and perform original music for the 2013 Winter Pageant. Longtime Chicago bandleader, multi-instrumentalist and composer Rob Warmowski, founded the band.

Erika Ochoa is a contemporary artist of Middle Eastern dance, specializing in Egyptian-style dance. She has been dancing professionally in the Chicagoland area since 1995. Ochoa's instruction and performance are sought throughout the Midwest and can be seen in many festivals around the city. In addition to owning and managing Pineapple Dance Studio in Forest Park, she teaches weekly at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Ochoa is co-founder and director of Baladina Dance Company, the first Egyptian modern fusion company in Illinois. She has produced a number of shows in the past two years, including the "Bellyqueen" performance at Dominican University and St. Patrick Performing Arts Centre, Eden? at the Raven Theatre, Sharia Mohamed Ali and Pendulum at the Portage Theatre and others.

Mexico native Fernando Córdova Hernández is an actor who studied clowning with world-renowned clown masters Phillipe Gaulier, Daniele Finzi Pasca, Eric de Bont and Alex Navarro. He also studied improvisation with Omar Argentino and was part of the Mexican League of Improvisation. He uses clown and buffoon techniques in his work to portray strong narratives. With La Piara, Cordova wrote, directed and starred in "The Strange Case of Tai Chi and Chai Tea" and "Guerra: A Clown Play." With this last show, Córdova Hernández performed in The Revolutions International Theatre Festival, Colombia Clown Festival, The New York Clown Theatre Festival, The Tank Theater in New York, Links Hall in Chicago and the Shakespeare Theatre in Mexico City. In addition to his creative career, Córdova Hernández founded Inhala, an organization dedicated to improving organizational environments in the for-profit and non-profit sectors.

John Musial is a Chicago-based film and theater maker. He writes, directs and designs. As a writer/director with Chicago's acclaimed Lookingglass Theatre, he created The Grail '97, Nelson Algren: For Keeps and a Single Day, Our Future Metropolis and most recently The Great Fire. His design work for the company includes scenery for Still Alice, Our Town and Great Men of Science. As a filmmaker, Musial has contributed film and video for 1984, 28 and Algren. In 2001, he redirected and edited Algren as an hour-long television program for WTTW Channel 11's PBS program series "Network Chicago Presents" and was nominated for a regional Emmy. Previous collaborations with Redmoon include the Wicker Park Parade (1994), All Hallow's Eve Spectacle (1999 and 2000), Winter Pageant (2002) and The Elephant and the Whale (2013) among other work. Musial holds a Master's degree in Architecture from UIC and is working toward his professional license at Mark Miller Architects & Builders.

Will Bishop is a Chicago-based theater-maker. He has worked with Redmoon as the Artistic Associate since Spring 2012, directing, co-directing and producing numerous events, experiences and performances. Some of his work includes: producing The Elephant and the Whale, a Redmoon/CCT puppet show co-production, and co-directing and producing Redmoon's outdoor Sonic Boom series, which brought a massive mobile DJ device to 10 public parks across the city. He was also a co-director and producer for 2013's Boneshaker and Skelebration. Among his many accomplishments, he directed a ten-minute long Momentary Opera in a Hermes boutique in Hangzhou, China. Outside of Redmoon, he is a co-founder and Artistic Director of First Floor Theater, selected as the Best New Theater Company of 2013 by the Chicago Reader. At First Floor Theater he has produced, written, devised and directed various pieces from puppet shows to classic texts. Bishop is a proud graduate of the University of Chicago's Theater and Performance Studies program.

Frank Maugeri (Redmoon Producing Artistic Director) is a large-scale public art Spectacle-maker. His primary work focuses on transforming streets, parks and landmarks into events that culminate in shared experiences of enormous celebration. For the last 18 years, Redmoon has been his artistic home. Over the course of his career he has served as a director, co-director, producer and designer of many Spectacle productions and events including the creation of The Cabinet, Redmoon's longest-running show, the direction of The Astronaut's Birthday, a large-scale animation graphic novel projected on the MCA's façade, seven of the famed All Hallows Eve ritual celebrations in Logan Square, over a dozen annual family-friendly Winter Pageant performances and civic-focused events such as Redmoon's Halloween Spectacle performance at the White House. Recipient of the prestigious NEA/TCG Career Development Award for Directors, he has served as speaker, instructor and guest artist to TEDX, Gallery 37 and Project LEAP, among others.

About Redmoon

Redmoon's mission is to transform the experience of our city through free large-scale theatrical events that promote community, creativity and an empowered democracy. Redmoon burst into Chicago's cultural consciousness with its award-winning production of Moby Dick in 1995. Commended for its unique aesthetic, the production boasted a unique blend of puppetry, pageantry, gadgetry and robust physical performance that became Redmoon's signature. While the indoor productions continued to receive critical acclaim and popular support, Jim Lasko chose to focus the theater's energy outdoors, where Redmoon sought to deploy spectacle to bridge difference and transform the ways that people see and understand public spaces. Over the past 23 years, Redmoon has become a highly valued Chicago institution with its high-profile collaborations, vibrant outdoor performances and authentic community partnerships. Site-specific performances opened in Millennium Park, animated the façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art and commemorated the groundbreaking for the Modern Wing for the Art Institute. At the same time, Redmoon brought its work to the parks and streets of Chicago's neighborhoods. In 2009, Lasko joined forces with long-time collaborator Frank Maugeri to co-lead Redmoon as it garnered international attention for its unique productions, site-specific performances and participatory events. Most recently, this included Redmoon's Summer Park Series - the Mayor's Night Out in the Parks event. Under the design and directorial leadership of Maugeri and Artistic Associate Will Bishop, the series brought community celebrations to a lineup of 10 public parks on the South and West Sides of the city with collaborators Young Chicago Authors and The Bucket Boys to 8,000 community members. Since 1991, Redmoon has performed for more than 250,000 people in 30 different neighborhoods in 116 public spaces.

New Year's Eve at Redmoon

To ring in the New Year, Redmoon presents the brand new Revolution. This one-night-only event (at Redmoon's Pilsen home, 2120 S. Jefferson Street) is an evening of ritual and elegance that includes Redmoon's daring and unexpected interpretation of all the classic elements of a typical New Year's Eve celebration. An indoor circus tent, local dessert artisans, the 8-piece brass R&B band The O'My's, a theme of candlelight and bubbles and a spectacular "fire" midnight countdown make Redmoon's Revolution the hottest new Chicago New Year's Eve tradition at $100. Tickets include light food and drinks throughout the evening, are available now by calling the Redmoon Box Office at 312-850-8440 x123 or online at Revolution is for patrons 21 years and older.

Redmoon's 2013 - 2014 INDOORS series is made possible in part from the generous funding from The Alphawood Foundation, the John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, The Irving Harris Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, Sahara Enterprises, Inc., and The Thanksgiving Fund. This program is also partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

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