Stars of Dance Chicago return to Fermilab stage
Published online April 23, 2016
Randall G. Mielke
The Stars of Dance Chicago show is like a smorgasbord of dance: there is a little something for everyone.
“I think the appeal of the show is that it’s very accessible to non-dance audiences, with a wide selection of dance forms,” said John Schmitz, the artistic director and founder of Dance Chicago. “These are emotionally-charged, shorter works.”
The Stars of Dance Chicago 2016 will be presented at 8 p.m. Saturday as part of the Fermilab Arts & Lecture Series at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia.
The Dance Chicago program presents the work of Chicago area choreographers and companies.
“I started as artistic director in 1994,” Schmitz said. “Our first season was 1995. Dance Chicago is a program of the Emergence Dance Theatre, which was founded in 1984.
“Dance Chicago was started as an all-Chicago festival at the Athenaeum Theatre to offer audiences a fall presentation of the richness and diversity of the entire dance community,” he continued. “This festival has endured for 22 seasons, showcasing the works of more than 5,000 companies, 10,000 choreographers and 100,000 individual artists.”
The Stars of Dance Chicago is an international touring group that consists of Chicago area dancers and choreographers.
“These dancers must have high emotional and transformational qualities, and be optimistic and hopeful,” Schmitz said. “They must be masters of technique and great performers.”
In the Stars of Dance Chicago show, more than 60 dancers from 10 dance companies perform contemporary, tap, traditional Irish, hip-hop, ballroom and classical ballet dances, among others. Included on the program are such performers and dance troupes as: Tre Dumas, Tristan Bruns, Chicago Dance Crash, Ballet 5:8, the Christine Rich Dance Theatre, the Gus Giordano Dance Company, the Forum Dance Theatre, the Trinity Irish Dancers, Tommye Giacchino and Movement Revolution Dance Crew.
The Stars of Dance Chicago have performed at Fermilab four times, in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
“These performers love the venue,” Schmitz said.
Although Schmitz has directed and choreographed for The Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre, The Joel Hall Dancers, The Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble and the Emergence Dance Theatre, among others, he does not choreograph the Stars of Dance Chicago show.
“I select the works and the artists and put the running order of the show together,” Schmitz said.
But he still gets great satisfaction from the experience.
“I enjoy sharing joy, laughter and hope with a lot of exceptional people,” he said.
Stars of Dance Chicago 2016
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, April 23, 2016
Where: Ramsey Auditorium at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Kirk Road and Pine Street, Batavia
Tickets: $28 adult; $14 for ages 18 and younger
Information: 630-840-2787 or fnal.gov
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