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Thodos Dance Chicago to Celebrate 20 Years, 2/3 & 3

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Thodos Dance Chicago will officially celebrate its 20th anniversary with what's being described as "two phenomenal, inspirational and reflective evenings of breathtaking, innovative dance," Friday and Saturday, Mar. 2 and 3 at 8 p.m. at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 East Randolph Drive, Chicago.  Tickets to Thodos Dance Chicago's 20th Anniversary Winter Concert are $25-$60.  Purchase tickets via phone at (312) 334-7777, or online at harristheaterchicago.org.

The evening will open with The White City: Chicago's Columbian Exposition of 1893, last year's smash hit collaboration  between Tony award-winner Ann Reinking and TDC Artistic Director Melissa Thodos, and dance critic Hedy Weiss.   

Fittingly, the new made-for-TV documentary Beneath the White City Lights: The Making of an American Story Ballet by Emmy Award winning producer Chris Olsen, will debut on WTTW-TV, Channel 11 on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 10:30 pm, just one week before TDC reprises the piece for the company's 20th Anniversary concerts at the Harris.    

This half-hour video takes audiences behind-the-scenes with Thodos, Reinking, Olsen, and all of the collaborators involved with the creation of this dance event.

Based on actual events surrounding the Columbian Exposition of 1893, The White City is an ambitious one act story ballet complete with period costumes, a libretto in the program and video projections by Chris Olsen, all set to Bruce Wolosoff's "Songs Without Words."  The full ensemble performs to tell the story of the legendary 1893 World's Fair through contemporary dance.  Characters range from Mayor Carter Harrison, Sr.; Harrison's assassin, Patrick Prendergast; John Root, one of the key architects of the Chicago World's Fair; and Dr. H.H. Holmes, the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death in his elaborately constructed "Murder Castle."

The second act will be a celebration of the company's contemporary signature works and awe-inspiring audience favorites, including Thodos' Getting There, a current play on her earlier, 1988 internationally acclaimed Reaching There.  Also on the program: Thodos' celebrated early work Chant, a piece for nine dancers to music by Intermix created exactly 20 years ago in 1992, in honor of Thodos Dance Chicago's 20th anniversary;  Exurgence, a TDC New Dances 2011 premiere by ensemble members Jeremy Blair andMollie Mock that embodies Thodos Dance Chicago's commitment to the development of its artists;  and Piece of Peace, an archival work for eight dancers, choreographed in 1996 by Thodos, who notes "with dancers bathed in gold, I chose to have the first part of this lyrical and fluid work reconstructed in honor of our 20th anniversary season as it reflects the joy and love of dance and ensemble that Thodos Dance Chicago embraces and values."

Note:  The performance on Saturday, Mar. 3 will include a reunion of TDC ensemble members from the past 20 years.   

Photo Credit:  Cheryl Mann


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