DCASE News Release
City Services

July 5, 2011

15th Annual Chicago SummerDance

Largest annual outdoor dance series in the United States runs July 7 – September 18, 2011

Benjamin Kelner    312.744.8948, benjamin.kelner@cityofchicago.org

Madeline Long    312.742.7388, madeline.long@explorechicago.org

SummerDance debuts a newly renovated dance floor and serves as a venue for  World Music Festival: Chicago 2011

For 15 partner-dipping, hip-shaking, foot-stomping, soul-steppin’ and swingin’ years, Chicago SummerDance has brought dancing and live music to Chicago’s residents and visitors. In its most spectacular year yet, Chicago SummerDance offers the most musically diverse lineup in its history and showcases dance styles from all corners of the globe, including our most popular domestic dance forms. The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture presents the 15th annual Chicago SummerDance series. Each Thursday through Sunday from July 7 to September 18, the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park blossoms into a vibrant urban dance space. Last year over 100,000 people enjoyed the Chicago SummerDance series, making it the most established and popular dance series of its kind in the United States.

Each night of the 11-week series offers an introductory one-hour dance lesson by professional instructors followed by two hours of live music and dancing on the 4,900 square-foot, open-air dance floor designed by artist Dan Peterman out of 100% recycled materials. The dance floor, titled Chicago Ground Cover is undergoing an expansion and restoration and will be completely renovated when Chicago SummerDance opens on July 7.

Highlights include a nostalgic evening celebrating Soul Train’s 40th Anniversary on July 23; Locos Por Juana on September 9; and events in conjunction with the Chicago Colombian Music Festival on July 9 and 22, the Latin Street Salsa Congreso on August 17 and 21 and the International American Tango Festival on August 25.

Furthermore, the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park will serve as a venue for both Chicago SummerDance and World Music Festival: Chicago, September 16 – 18. The events will follow the Chicago SummerDance format with international dance lessons and concert performances. World Music Festival: Chicago 2011 will take place September 16 – 22.

Chicago SummerDance is located in the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, at 601 S. Michigan Avenue.Events occur every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. and on each Sunday afternoon from 4 to 7 p.m., weather permitting.  There will be no events Friday, August 5 – Sunday, August 7. Updates and announcements will be available on Facebook at Chicago SummerDance and on Twitter at SummerDance2011. Weather announcements will be available on the SummerDance Hotline at 312.742.4007. The full program of events is available at www.ChicagoSummerDance.org.

In association with the Chicago Park District, live music and dancing will be brought to the City’s many neighborhoods on various Wednesdays between July 13 and September 7. Chicago parks, including the Humboldt Park Boathouse on July 13, August 10 and September 7; Jackson Park 63rd St Beach on July 20 and August 17; Athletic Field Park on July 27 and August 24; and Ping Tom Memorial Park on August 3 and August 31, will host the free Chicago SummerDance in the Parks series. Dance lessons run from 6 to 7 p.m. followed by live music and dancing from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is free.

For two special nights, Wednesday, July 13 and Wednesday, August 24, Chicago SummerDance moves the fun to the Navy Pier Beer Garden at 600 E. Grand Avenue for Chicago SummerDance at Navy Pier. Professionals teach dance moves from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. and the live music runs from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. The evenings are highlighted by Navy Pier’s Wednesday night fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 312.595.PIER (7437) or visit www.ChicagosBestBeerGarden.com.

Chicago SummerDance is made possible by the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and United, the Official Airline of Chicago SummerDance.

Chicago SummerDance Dance Floor

The open-air dance floor for Chicago SummerDance was designed by Chicago artist Dan Peterman out of recycled plastic. Titled Chicago Ground Cover, the floor was first installed in 1997 at the original Chicago SummerDance site in Grant Park along Michigan Avenue at Washington Street (now Millennium Park). Originally 2,500 square feet, it was first expanded to 3,500 square feet in 1999, and was then expanded to 4,600 square feet. This year, it will be newly renovated and further expanded to 4,900 square-feet to accommodate the increasing number of SummerDance visitors.

Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, artist Dan Peterman’s work explores issues around recycling and ecology. His specialty includes making art out of recycled plastic, producing mottled grey or green bricks and timbers that he uses to fabricate tables, benches, parquet floors and storage boxes. Peterman received his MFA from the University of Chicago in 1986 and continues to live and work in the Hyde Park/Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago. He currently teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago and helps run the Experimental Station, an “incubator of innovative cultural, educational and environmental projects and small-scale enterprises.”

 

Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park

The Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park was developed and landscaped especially for Chicago SummerDance and received a Gold Award from the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association. The Chicago Park District worked with Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of General Services and the Mayor's Office of Special Events to create a garden that fulfilled program needs as well as a destination garden. Using a combination of annuals and perennials to create the spectacular splash of color throughout the summer, the garden’s layout incorporates a geometric design that pulls the visitor into the center of the garden. Classic wooden umbrellas, tables, and chairs circle the center of the garden, allowing visitors to sit and enjoy their surroundings. A variety of food and drinks are available for purchase at the SummerDance Grill. Outside alcohol is strictly prohibited at all Summer Dance events.

Sculptor Albin Polasek's The Spirit of Music statue presides over the award-winning garden and pays tribute to Theodore Thomas (1835-1905), who in 1891 founded the Chicago Orchestra (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), and served as its director until his death. Polasek intended this personification of music to have "the majesty and sweep" of a symphony and to be "dignified yet simple, assertive but not bold...a feminine figure…but not too feminine." The goddess figure has just struck a chord on her lyre. The hemispherical base is embellished with reliefs illustrating the power of music.

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to promoting an ongoing celebration of the arts; supporting the people who create and sustain them; and marketing the city’s abundant cultural resources to a worldwide audience. DCASE, in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, programs and promotes thousands of high-quality free festivals, exhibitions, performances and holiday celebrations presented each year at Millennium Park, Grant Park, the Chicago Cultural Center and other venues throughout the city.

Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture
The Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture (COTC) is dedicated to promoting Chicago as a premier cultural destination to domestic and international leisure travelers, providing innovative visitor programs and services, and presenting free world-class public programs. COTC supports local artists through grants and other resources and creates vital opportunities for artists of all levels. For more information please visit www.ChooseChicago.com.

 

Chicago SummerDance Schedule in Grant Park’s Spirit of Music Garden

Thursdays
Lessons: 6-7 p.m.
Live music: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Fridays
Lessons: 6-7 p.m.
Live music: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Saturdays
Lessons: 6-7 p.m.
Live music: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Sundays
Lessons: 4-5 p.m.
Live music: 5-7 p.m.

July 7

July 8

July 9

July 10

Bollywood Groove (Bollywood and Bhangra dance lesson)
Funkadesi (Bollywood, Bhangra, Reggae, and Funk music) 

Louie Stallone (Cajun and Zydeco lesson)
Lost Bayou Ramblers (Traditional Cajun Swamp music)

Tierra Colombiana Folkloric Dance Company (Cumbia and El Mapale lesson)
Grupo Rebolú (Colombian Dance music)
Part the Chicago Colombian Music Festival

Tommye Giacchino and Gregory Day (Swing lesson)
New Millennium Swing Collective (Big Band Swing music)

July 14

July 15

July 16

July 17

Ethnic Dance Chicago (Polish and Carpathian Basin Dance lesson)
Megitza Quartet (Gypsy (Roma) and Carpathian Folk music)

Golden Horse Ranch Band (Square Dancing, Contra Dancing, Waltz and Polka lesson)
Golden Horse Ranch Band (Country and Square Dance music)

Miguel Mendez (Mambo and Cha-Cha lesson)
Angel Melendez & The 911 Mambo Orchestra (Mambo Big Band music)

BallroomChicago.com (Rumba lesson)
Teddy Lee Orchestra (Ballroom music)

July 21

July 22

July 23

July 24

Ethnic Dance Chicago (Balkan and International Dance lesson)
Orkestar Sloboda (A blend of Balkan and International Dance music) 

Tierra Colombiana Folkloric Dance Company (Cumbia and Puya lesson)
Paito Silgado (Colombian Folk music)
Part the Chicago Colombian Music Festival

Dawud Shareef & Lura Satterfield (The Bop and  Soul Train Line lesson)
The Platinum Band (Soul Train Dance Party music)
Soul Train 40th Anniversary Celebration

Fred Astaire Dance Studio – Downtown Chicago (Triple, Double and Single Time Lesson)
Alan Gresik Swing Shift Orchestra (Vintage Ballroom music)

July 28

July 29

July 30

July 31

Amaniyea Payne (African Expressions dance lesson)
L'Orchestre Super Vitesse (West African Big Band music)

Margot Toppen & Riley Wimes, Jr. (Jitterbug lesson)
The Boilermaker Jazz Band (Authentic Swing and Jazz music)

Edilson Lima and Shirley Vieira (Forro lesson)
Matuto (Brazilian Forro music)

Kasper Dance Studio  (Waltz lesson)
Nancy Hays & The Robert Benson Orchestra (Ballroom music)

August 4

August 5

August 6

August 7

Tommye Giacchino and Gregory Day (Salsa lesson)
Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble (Salsa, Merengue and Latin Jazz music)

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Chicago SummerDance Schedule in Grant Park’s Spirit of Music Garden (cont)

Thursdays
Lessons: 6-7 p.m.
Live music: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Fridays
Lessons: 6-7 p.m.
Live music: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Saturdays
Lessons: 6-7 p.m.
Live music: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Sundays
Lessons: 4-5 p.m.
Live music: 5-7 p.m.

August 11

August 12

August 13

August 14

Tango 21 (Argentine Tango lesson)
Raul Jaurena & Maria de Buenos Aires Tango Orchestra (Argentine Tango music)

Kimosha P. Murphy  (Senegalese Dance lesson)
Samba Django (Senegalese Fulani Dance music) 

Fendika (Traditional Eskista Shoulder Dance and other Ethiopian Dance Styles lesson)
Debo Band with special guests Fendika (Ethio-Funk and dance music) 

Margot Toppen & Riley Wimes, Jr. (East Coast Swing lesson)
John Burnett Orchestra (Big Band music)

August 18

August 19

August 20

August 21

Erika Ochoa (Middle Eastern Bellydance lesson)
Lamajamal with Jim Stoynoff (Turkish & Middle Eastern Bellydance music)

Monica Vachlon (Cajun Two-Step and Waltz lesson)
BonneChance (Cajun music) 

Latin Rhythms (Salsa lesson)
Charanga Tropical (Cuban Salsa with Strings music) 

Lisa "La Boriqua" (Merengue, Bachata and Salsa lesson)
Willy Torres (Salsa Dura music)
Part of the Latin Street Salsa Congreso

August 25

August 26

August 27

August 28

American Tango Institute (Argentine Tango lesson)
Tangata (Golden Age Tango music)
Part of the International Chicago Tango Fest

DJ Casper (Steppin' lesson)
DJ Casper (Steppin' music)

Jeffrey Cannon (Honky-Tonk Two-Step lesson)
The Hoyle Brothers (Honky-Tonk Country music)

Kasper Dance Studio (Jive lesson)
Sam Burckhardt Nonet (Swing music)

September 1

September 2

September 3

September 4

Lorena Iñiguez (Veracruz Folk Dancing and Mexican Polkas lesson)
Sones de México (Mexican Son music)

Latin Rhythms (Salsa and Cha-Cha lesson)
De La Buena Latin Jazz & Afro-Caribbean dance music)

Big City Swing (East Coast Swing and Lindy Hop lesson)
The Flat Cats (Jump Blues and Swing music)

Arthur Murray Dance Center (Fox-Trot and Swing lesson)
The Weiss Brothers (Ballroom music)

September 8

September 9

September 10

September 11

Balkanski Igri (Oros, Kolos, Čočeks and Horos lesson)
Grupa Legenda (Balkan Traditional Dance Party music)

Tierra Colombiana Folkloric Dance Group (Cumbia lesson)
Locos Por Juana (Pan-Latin Cornucopia music)

MayIHaveThisDance.com (Swing lesson)
Outcast Jazz Band (Big Band Swing music)

Fred Astaire Dance Studio – Downtown Chicago (Mambo lesson)
Steve Cooper Orchestra (Ballroom music)

September 15

September 16

September 17

September 18

Amaniyea Payne (African Expressions lesson)
Occidental Brothers Dance Band International (African Soukous and Highlife music)
World Music Festival: Chicago 2011 Preview

Latin Rhythms (Bachata lesson)
Joaquin Diaz (Bachata music)
 Part of World Music Festival: Chicago 2011

Balkanski Igri and Ethnic Dance Chicago (Balkan Dances lesson)
Bulgarika with Nikolay Kolev (Bulgarian Folk music)
Part of World Music Festival: Chicago 2011

MayIHaveThisDance.com (Salsa lesson)
Sergent Garcia (Salsa and Reggae music)
Part of World Music Festival: Chicago 2011

Chicago SummerDance in the Parks Schedule

 

Lessons: 6-7 p.m.
Live music: 7-9 p.m.

Lessons: 6-7 p.m.
Live music: 7-9 p.m.

Lessons: 6-7 p.m.
Live music: 7-9 p.m.

Wednesdays

July 13

August 10

September 7

HumboldtPark Boat House
1359 N. Sacramento Ave.
312.742.7549 (Field House)

Lisa "La Boriqua" (Merengue, Bachata and Salsa lesson)
Naborí(Traditional Salsa music)

Miguel Mendez (Salsa, Mambo and  Cha-Cha lesson)
Samuel Del Real y su Orquesta (Tropical Salsa and Latin Jazz music)

AfriCaribe - Tito Rodriguez (Puerto Rican Bomba lesson)
Bombazo: AfriCaribe,  Nuestro Tambo BomPleneras (Afro-Puerto Rican Jam Session music)               

Wednesdays

July 20

August 17

 

Jackson Park 63rd Street Beach
6300 S. Lake Shore Drive
773.256.0903 (Field House)

Majestic Gents (Chicago Steppin' lesson)
The NuBlu Band (Steppin’ and R&B music)

Lisa "La Boriqua" (Merengue, Bachata and Salsa lesson)
Joe Rendon’s Salsa con Soul (Salsa, Mamba and Cha-Cha music)
Part of the Latin Street Salsa Congreso

 

Wednesdays

July 27

August 24

 

Athletic FieldPark
3546 W. Addison Street
773.478.2889 (Field House)

MayIHaveThisDance.com (Jitterbug lesson)
The Boilermaker Jazz Band (Authentic Swing and Jazz music)

Miguel Mendez (Mambo and Merengue lesson)
Orquesta La Crema (Hard-Core and Afro-Puerto Rican Salsa music)

 

Wednesdays

August 3

August 31

 

PingTomMemorial Park
300 W. 19th Street
312.746.5962

Big City Swing (East Coast Swing lesson)
Lesley Byers and the Jazz Cats (Swingin' Jazz music)

Big City Swing (Lindy Hop and Jitterbug lesson)
Thomas Gunther Swing Band (Classic Swing music)

 

 

Chicago SummerDance at the Pier Schedule

 

Lessons: 5:30-6:15 p.m.
Live music: 6:15-8:30 p.m.
Fireworks: 9:30 p.m.

Lessons: 5:30-6:15 p.m.
Live music: 6:15-8:30 p.m.
Fireworks: 9:30 p.m.

Wednesdays

July 13

August 24

NavyPierBeerGarden
600 E. Grand Avenue
312.595.PIER (7437)
www.ChicagosBestBeerGarden.com

Kimosha P. Murphy (African Diaspora Dance lesson)
Ghannata International (African Soukous and Highlife music)

Dawud Shareef & Lura Satterfield (Steppin' lesson)
The Etcetera Band (Steppin' music)