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Festival highlights include:

  • Chicago Dancing Festival’s debut at Navy Pier featuring a first ever program of Chicago-based ensembles including a Festival debut by Forward Momentum Chicago
  • First time collaboration with Chicago Dancers United featuring Chicago’s leading dance companies in new work by Randy Duncan
  • An inaugural “Modern Men” program featuring Chicago Premieres by Joshua Beamish, Rashaun Mitchell & Silas Riener and Brian Brooks
  • Return of Chicago Dancing Festival’s original commission Alexander Ekman’s Episode 31 plus works by William Forsythe, Christopher Wheeldon, Crystal Pite, Rennie Harris, Aszure Barton and a Festival company debut by Pennsylvania Ballet



FREE tickets released July 19-21


CHICAGO (July 14, 2016) – The Chicago Dancing Festival, the nation’s largest dance festival, proudly announces repertoire for its 10th annual series with George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco (performed by Pennsylvania Ballet in its Chicago Dancing Festival debut), Alexander Ekman’s Episode 31 (The Joffrey Ballet, originally commissioned in 2013), Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain (The Joffrey Ballet) and a new work by world-renowned choreographer Randy Duncan set to an original score by five-time Emmy Award-winning, Chicago-based composer Andy Mitranas as part of Chicago Dancing Festival’s first-time collaboration with Chicago Dancers United, among program highlights. This year’s event will present five unique programs in five days across Chicago’s top downtown venues – the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, the highly anticipated return to the Auditorium Theatre, and for the first time at Navy Pier in celebration of the Festival’s 10th anniversary – August 23-27, 2016.


Co-produced by renowned choreographer Lar Lubovitch and highly esteemed Chicago dancer Jay Franke, Chicago Dancing Festival will also present an inaugural, evening-length program devoted to “Modern Men” featuring performances by all male dancers including the Chicago Premieres of Concerto by international choreographer and founder of MOVE: the company, Joshua Beamish (2016 Festival Debut), Desire Liar by Bessie Award-winning modern dancers Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener (2016 Festival Debut) and solo excerpts from Some of a Thousand Works by Choreographer in Residence at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Brian Brooks. Modern Men will also feature the popular return of the Chicago Dancing Festival audience favorite, Students of the Asphalt Jungle by Rennie Harris and selections from Aszure Barton’s Awáa.

As part of its 10th year celebration, the Chicago Dancing Festival will also make its Navy Pier debut with a world-themed dance program entitled Planet Chicago featuring, for the first time, an evening devoted entirely to Chicago-based ensembles including the Festival debut of Forward Momentum Chicago plus the popular returns of Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Natya Dance Theatre and Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago. Planet Chicago will kick off at Polk Bros Park before inviting audience members to join a rhythmic processional along the south dock of Navy Pier with stops at the Pier’s outdoor stages. The performance will culminate with a vibrant and interactive performance in the new Polk Bros Fountain and Plaza which invites audience members to dance along.

Supported by the Polk Bros. Foundation, Planet Chicago is also presented as part of Navy Pier’s Arts & Discovery programming initiative dedicated to presenting vibrant, Chicago-based arts, cultural and community programming in honor of the Pier’s centennial year and to continue its commitment to welcoming people of all backgrounds in its second century. Planet Chicago is the first major dance event presented as part of this initiative.

All Chicago Dancing Festival programs are free and seating is general admissionbut tickets for indoor events must be reserved in advance. Tickets for the Festival will become available to the general public July 19- 21.


Chicago Dancing Festival 2016 Schedule


 *Chicago Dancing Festival debut


Tuesday, August 23 – 7:00 p.m.

Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 East Congress

Opening Night Celebration

Immediately following the Opening Night Celebration, audience members are invited to join dancers from Stars of American Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Pennsylvania Ballet and The Joffrey Ballet for a 10th Anniversary Festival Fundraiser at the Chicago Athletic Hotel to celebrate a decade of presenting superior dance programming featuring cocktails, dinner and desserts. Tickets for the post-show event are on-sale now with individual tickets starting at $250. Details can be found at the Chicago Dancing Festival’s website.

Wednesday, August 24 – 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue

Modern Men


Thursday, August 25 –7:30 p.m.

Harris Theater for Music and Dance at Millennium Park, 205 East Randolph Street

Dancing at the Harris


Friday, August 26 – 5:30 p.m.

Navy Pier, 600 East Grand Avenue

Planet Chicago


Polk Bros Park – 5:30 p.m.

A traditional South African Gumboot dance featuring over 80 young dancers from Chicago    Public Schools, Chicago Park District, and schools and studios throughout Chicago.

East Performance Platform – 6:00 p.m.

A performance of contemporary and ancient African, African-American and Caribbean dance, music, and folklore.

Center Performance Platform – 6:30 p.m.

A tap and percussive dance piece performed by Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s resident performance ensemble

A contemporary performance of the classical Indian dance-theatre art of Bharata Natyam

Polk Bros Park Fountain – 7:00 p.m.

A cumulating performance of the Gumboot dance which invites all audience members to join the dancers for a participatory event in the newly created Polk Bros Park Fountain.


Saturday, August 27 – 7:30 p.m.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph Street

Dancing Under the Stars



All events are free and seating is general admissionbut tickets for indoor events must be reserved in advance through each venue’s box office.


Tickets for the August 23 program at the Auditorium Theatre will be released on Thursday, July 21 at 10am in person at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office, 50 E Congress Pkwy, and at noon online at Limit two (2) tickets per order. Seating is general admission. Tickets reserved online will be printable at home.


Tickets for the August 24 programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art will be released on Wednesday, July 20 at noon in person at the MCA Stage Box Office, 220 E. Chicago Avenue, or by calling (312) 397-4010. Limit two (2) tickets per order. Seating is general admission. Tickets reserved by phone will be mailed.


Tickets to the August 25 program at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance will be released on Tuesday, July 19 at 10am in person at the Harris Theater Box Office, 205 E. Randolph Street, and at noon by calling (312) 334-7777 or online at Limit two (2) tickets per order.   Seating is general admission. Tickets reserved by phone or online will be mailed.


No tickets are required for Dancing Under the Stars closing night performance at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on August 27. However, please note that fixed seating at the Pavilion is available on a first-come-first-served basis in addition to lawn seating. The Dancing Under the Stars program will also be projected on a video screen visible to lawn patrons.


No tickets are required for the Planet Chicago program at Navy Pier on Friday, August 26.


Due to high demand, patrons may experience delays when securing Chicago Dancing Festival tickets by phone or online. For best availability, please secure Festival tickets in-person at the box office.


Any empty seats or tickets unclaimed at 15 minutes prior to curtain time will be released to those in a Stand-by line. Stand-by lines begin one hour before each performance, in person only.


See full ticketing details at


About The Chicago Dancing Festival

Established in 2006 by internationally renowned choreographer and Chicago native Lar Lubovitch and highly esteemed Chicago dancer Jay Franke, Chicago Dancing Company NFP produces the Chicago Dancing Festival each summer. Ten years later, through the combined curatorial expertise of Lubovitch and Franke, the Festival has become synonymous with excellence. The Festival’s mission is to present a wide variety of excellent dance, enrich the lives of the people of Chicago and provide increased accessibility to the art form, thereby helping create a new audience.  Its vision is to raise the national and international profile of dance in the city, furthering Chicago as a dance destination. Over the last decade, the Festival has presented more than 100 exceptional dance companies from Chicago and around the world, commissioned eight World Premieres by local and national artists, and performed before more than 90,000 people while maintaining free admission for all.


Lar Lubovitch (Founder, Artistic Director) is one of America’s most versatile and highly acclaimed choreographers and founded the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company 46 years ago.  In the years since, he has choreographed more than 100 dances for his New York-based company, which has performed in nearly all 50 American states as well as in more than 30 foreign countries. Born in Chicago, Lubovitch was educated at the University of Iowa and the Juilliard School in New York.


Jay Franke (Founder, Artistic Director) began his formal training at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas. In 1993, he was selected as a Finalist for the Presidential Scholar in the Arts and accepted into the Juilliard School.  Upon receiving his BFA in Dance from the Juilliard School, Franke went to work with the Twyla Tharp Dance Company, “THARP!”. Franke has since danced with The 58 Group, Lyric Opera Ballet Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and was a leading dancer in the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company from 2005 to 2010.


For more information regarding Chicago Dancing Festival tickets and performance schedules, please visit

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