City of Chicago Caps Off the 25th Year of its Popular SummerDance Series With a SummerDance Celebration Sept. 17 in Millennium Park
Daylong event, part of the Year of Chicago Dance, features free performances and activities showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s dance community
Especially for Youth: Teen Village, hosted by SocialWorks on the Park’s South Promenade featuring dancing, food, games and OpenMike
CHICAGO—Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced the full performance and activity line-up for this year’s SummerDance Celebration, Saturday, Sept. 17 from noon to 8 p.m. throughout Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph Street.
SummerDance Celebration is a daylong festival of live dance performances representing the variety of dance styles and cultures found throughout Chicago. In addition to performances, dancers of all ages and skill levels are invited to take part in introductory dance lessons by professional instructors followed by live music and dancing. This year’s SummerDance Celebration will occur on National Dance Day.
“Our SummerDance Celebration, part of the Year of Chicago Dance, is the culmination of a months-long program to show Chicagoans how music and movement can bring us together,” said Nancy Villafranca, DCASE Deputy Commissioner of Programming. “After two years of all-virtual or reimagined offerings, we’re looking forward to capping off the 25th year of our popular SummerDance series by welcoming everyone to Millennium Park to showcase the amazing talent and diversity of Chicago’s dance community.”
This year’s SummerDance Celebration will feature a Teen Village, hosted by SocialWorks, whose mission aims to empower youth through the arts, education and civic engagement. Open to all youth ages 14-21, Teen Village will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Park’s South Promenade and will feature music and dancing, food, games, footwork instruction by Open the Circle, a performance by Goon Squad, and SocialWorks’ 60th OpenMike.
“Dance and movement is universal across all communities and age groups,” added Villafranca. “We’ve partnered with SocialWorks to build Teen Village as a safe space where teens from across the city can come and engage with music and dance, be themselves and most importantly, feel welcome in Millennium Park.”
SummerDance Celebration highlights include:
- 12-12:30 p.m. – Round Dance / Great Lawn
The Black Hawk Performance Company will celebrate the songs and dances of the many tribal people who have danced life into Chicago for thousands of years. Dance demonstrations begin the program and are followed by an invitation for the audience to participate in a round dance with the artists.
- 12:45-5:15 p.m. – Pop Up Performances / Central Promenade
Pop-up dance performances occur throughout the afternoon, featuring dancers who seemingly emerge from the crowds to surprise and delight viewers. Participating dance companies include Chicago Rueda, Dance Force Elite, Meher Dance Company, Tango 21 Dance Theater and Nejla Yatkin.
- 1-5 p.m. – SummerDance Village / North Promenade
More than 30 SummerDance community partners will be featured in a “village” setting to celebrate their contributions to cultural experiences in Chicago. In addition, SummerDance Village is where professional instructors will offer free dance lessons in varied styles:
1 p.m.: Bollywood with Bollywood Groove & Culture Groove
2 p.m.: Swing with May I Have This Dance
3 p.m.: Peruvian Folk Dance with Center of Peruvian Arts
4 p.m.: Samba with Dill Costa
- 5:15 p.m. – West African Drum and Dance / Great Lawn
Led by Ayodele Drum and Dance, a sisterhood of 20 women that learn, perform and share African drum and dance, this program includes an exhibition of styles followed by an invitation to dance together.
- 6-8 p.m. – Jay Pritzker Pavilion performances
Scheduled to perform:
Maritza Garcia and Sergio Ceron
Maritza Garcia (Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians) will perform a Jingle Dress Dance. She will be accompanied by singer Sergio Ceron (Otomi-Pame peoples of Central Mexico) who will also play the hand drum.
M.A.D.D. Rhythms featuring Creation Global
This tap dance collective whose “SOLE” purpose is to spread the love and joy of tap worldwide is composed of versatile tap dancers, ages 15 to 44, from all over Chicago. M.A.D.D. Rhythms is “Making A Difference Dancing Rhythms,” and collaborates with footwork crew Creation Global for Celebration.
Lajkonik Polish Folk Song & Dance Ensemble
Founded in 1991, Lajkonik celebrates Polish culture and tradition in the United States. Their performances at Celebration will focus on the lively songs and dances of Spisz, one of the many highlander regions of Southern Poland.
Lucky Plush Productions
An ensemble dance-theater company committed to provoking an immediacy of presence shared by performers in real time with audiences, Lucky Plush’s work is recognized for its layered choreography, nuanced dialogue, surprising humor, and socially relevant content.
MOMENTA Dance Company
MOMENTA Dance Company was founded in 1983 and is a physically-integrated dance company based in Oak Park. MOMENTA is the only professional performance company in the state of Illinois that includes dancers with and without disabilities.
Shubukai (Asian Improv aRts Midwest)
Formerly known as Fujima Ryu of Chicago, this dance troupe has maintained its presence in Chicago and the Japanese American community for more than 45 years performing Japanese classical dance and providing training in Fujima-style nihon buyo, Bon odori, and festival dances.
Move Me Soul
Founded in 2008 by Ayesha Jaco at Austin High School, Move Me Soul continues to be a community-based company that empowers young people through pre-professional dance training, character development, college and career readiness and health and wellness.
PARA.MAR Dance Theatre
Founded in 2020 by award-winning choreographer, Stephanie Martinez, PARA.MAR celebrates identity and creates community by providing programming rooted in artistic excellence and radical accessibility. Meaning together, with, and for, “PARA” represents the vision, purpose, and commitment to empowering diverse voices in contemporary ballet.
Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council Ballet Folklorico
The BYNC Ballet Folklorico engages families from the Back of the Yards community in the traditional art of Mexican Ballet Folklorico, using the dance forms to educate audiences about Mexican history and culture. Their companies perform locally, regionally and nationally.
For safety and security information, designated event entrances and more, visit the Plan Your Visit page at MillenniumPark.org.
Year of Chicago Dance
In deep partnership with the local dance community, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) have designated 2022 as the Year of Chicago Dance. This citywide, year-long focus on dance is the first of its kind in the U.S. The collaborative initiative will activate Chicago’s dance industry to address critical issues facing dancers and the field of dance including funding, space, and capacity building — and to consider the sustainability of this work. The Year of Chicago Dance will, of course, also include dance performances, social dancing, and special events for the public in dozens of venues throughout the city. The 2022 Year of Chicago Dance follows the successes of 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020/21 initiatives, which highlighted Chicago’s public art, our creative youth, and the city’s vibrant theatre and music scenes. Partners include dance service organizations Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, Chicago Dancemakers Forum, and See Chicago Dance — as well as Art on theMART, Night Out in the Parks at the Chicago Park District and many other presenters and funders. For updates throughout the year, visit Chicago.gov/Dance and and YearofChicagoDance.com and join the conversation on social media using #YearofChicagoDance.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) supports artists and cultural organizations, invests in the creative economy, and expands access and participation in the arts throughout Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. As a collaborative cultural presenter, arts funder, and advocate for creative workers, our programs and events serve Chicagoans and visitors of all ages and backgrounds, downtown and in diverse communities across our city — to strengthen and celebrate Chicago. DCASE produces some of the city’s most iconic festivals, markets, events, and exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, and in communities across the city — serving a local and global audience of 25 million people. The Department offers cultural grants and resources, manages public art, supports TV and film production and other creative industries, and permits special events throughout Chicago. For details, visit Chicago.gov/DCASE and stay connected via our newsletters and social media.
DCASE programming is supported by the Chicago Transit Authority and Millennium Garages.