Thodos Dance Chicago
Thodos Dance Chicago returns to the North Shore Center for one night only! This acclaimed contemporary company with a distinct American choreographic voice and vibrant, award-winning style presents an exhilarating evening of dance in collaboration with Studio Gang Architects as well as new and favorite pieces from their repertoire. Join us for an inspiring evening that’s not to be missed!
Leading artists from Chicago’s culture scene, Melissa Thodos and Jeanne Gang, are combining their singular talents to create a cross-disciplinary, world-premiere dance that explores the fascinating worlds of—and intersections among—dance, architecture and physics. This exciting new work, as yet untitled, will debut as part of Thodos Dance Chicago’s Winter Concert 2014. You can see more about this collaboration below.
The program also includes:
- Back by popular demand, TDC’s acclaimed story ballet A Light in the Dark: The story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, an inspirational dance theater piece about the life of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, choreographed by Artistic Director, Melissa Thodos and Tony award-winning Ann Reinking with an original score by Bruce Wolosoff. The Chicago Sun Times raved, “Thodos Dance’s ‘Helen Keller’ is a feast for the senses…this is a work of tremendous empathy that literally animates a true story.”
- Tsuru, a world premiere work by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Lucas Crandall, an internationally established choreographer tapped by Thodos Dance Chicago to create this new work.
- Panem Nostrum Quoditianum (Latin for “our daily bread”) by Ahmad Simmons of River North Dance Chicago, a spiritual, lyrical piece which explores the roots of Ahmad’s learning; the dancers experience trust, community and freedom as they challenge their bodies to move beyond the mind. The Chicago Tribune called it “robust in technique and thought-provoking in theme, a sincere, straightforward exploration of spiritual matters in dance, a recitation of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ boldly part of its accompaniment.”
More about the Thodos Dance Chicago/Studio Gang Architects collaboration
Melissa Thodos, founder and artistic director of Thodos Dance Chicago, is the only female choreographer in Chicago to have helmed her own mid-sized, contemporary dance company for more than two decades with the unique mission of providing her ensemble dancers a platform to pursue dance as a performer, choreographer and educator.
Jeanne Gang is founder and principal of Studio Gang Architects, recognized as one of architecture’s most innovative, well-regarded, and closely watched firms—and one uniquely interested in projects aimed at connecting, enhancing, and restoring urban and natural landscapes.
Studio Gang Architects is designing an interactive structure that combines art and science, tapping into cutting-edge research being performed by physicist Sidney Nagel and the Nagel Group at the University of Chicago. This new process, informally called “jamming,” is being used to create vacuum-supported membrane structures with load-bearing properties. Responding to movement and other stimuli, the structure, stage set and dancers will transform into a live study of motion, material, shape, composition and light.
According to Gang, “Studio Gang Architects has long admired the work of Thodos Dance Chicago and its mission to inspire expression. As architects we are interested in how TDC uses the body’s physicality and the mechanism of performance to catalyze community and creative discovery. We are thrilled to collaborate with Thodos Dance Chicago on this unique project exploring parallels between the worlds of audience and performer, art and science, movement and stasis.”
“Jeanne and her Studio Gang colleagues are true visionaries, and we’ve so enjoyed bringing our different but not altogether dissimilar creative worlds together with this project,” Thodos added. “This collaboration reinforces many facets of Thodos Dance Chicago’s mission of inspiring expression through performance, education and creation. This work will reflect the transformative power of dance and design as we blend our visions, fueled by cutting-edge science and the body, light and atmosphere, form and function, and create a brand new environment for our audiences to experience.”