June 27, 2018

Get Moving at the Summerdance Celebration - A Full Day of Participatory Dance Competitions, Lessons, Social Dancing and Showcase of Local Dance Companies Millennium Park on August 25

All ages and abilities are invited for Bollywood dance lessons, folk circle dancing, a house DJ dance party under "the bean"...and the season's final Dance Downs in the Parks event and much more

Mary May    mary.may@cityofchicago.org, 312.744.0576

Christine Carrino    christine.carrino@cityofchicago.org, 312.744.0573


The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) invites dancers and dance fans of all ages and abilities to come together at Millennium Park for the 2nd Annual SummerDance Celebration on Saturday, August 25. The festival will feature a full day of dance competitions, social dancing, lessons and performances by local dance companies throughout the park from noon until 9pm. Admission is free. For the complete schedule, visit chicagosummerdance.org.

Dancing representing many different styles and cultures will take place in every corner of Millennium Park. Highlights include a House DJ Dance Party and “The Most Versatile Dancer” contest at Cloud Gate, Bollywood dance lessons and a folk Circle Dance on the Great Lawn and a Dance Village in Wrigley Square highlighting dance companies and advocacy groups from across Chicago. In the evening from 6:30 to 8pm, a Chicago Dance Showcase at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion will feature performances by local dance companies Ayodele Drum Dance, Visceral Dance Chicago, Deeply Rooted, Puzzle League and Giordano Dance Chicago.

Leading up to the SummerDance Celebration are the NEW Dance Downs in the Parks, a performance series hosted by Shkunna Stewart and The Era Footwork Crew. Dance Downs are historic black Chicago talent showcases inspired by modern dance styles like bopping, Chicago footwork, online dance challenges and TV shows like Bring It and America’s Got Talent. The Chicago SummerDance program will feature three Dance Downs at Hamilton Park Cultural Center on Saturday, July 21, Austin Town Hall Park on Saturday, August 18, and the culminating event at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park on August 25, at noon.

In collaboration with the Chicago Park District’s Teens in the Park, the Dance Downs in the Parks are part of the Year of Creative Youth programming that is happening throughout the city. Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events have designated 2018 as the Year of Creative Youth to celebrate the city’s young artists and the mentors who inspire them. Presented by Allstate Insurance Company, the Year of Creative Youth also features young artists and their work at City of Chicago festivals, events and exhibitions throughout the year. For more information, visit cityofchicago.org/yocy.


Dance Village in Wrigley Square


The “Dance Village” will highlight various local dance companies and advocacy groups in an expo style fair with a performance area curated by See Chicago Dance, a dance service organization dedicated to building and engaging dance audiences in Chicago and advocating for Chicago dance.


Dance Downs in the Parks at Cloud Gate Stage


Finalists from the Dance Downs in the Park series will compete at Cloud Gate. Show your tightest moves or enjoy watching the show in this celebration of the historic black talent showcases that have been happening in and out of Chicago Parks for many years. Youth dance and pom-pom groups, including Bringing Out Talent, Third Dimension, Royalty, Silent Threat, Minor Threat, Royal Flush, Insanity and Empire, perform alongside legendary Chicago house DJs, local celebrities and esteemed musician guests.


“The Most Versatile Dancer Contest” at Cloud Gate Stage


May I Have this Dance hosts “The Most Versatile Dancer Contest” competition – an amateur dance contest that asks who knows how to dance in a variety of styles. To stay alive, couples must dance to a 20 to 30 second song clip in whatever style is announced by the emcee, showing at least 3 basic steps, the correct timing and clear knowledge of each dance style. The winter is the last couple not tapped out.


Line Dancing with The Thomas Twins & DJ Boolumaster at Cloud Gate Stage


The Thomas Twins – a dynamic sister duo – will lead participants through a wide variety of elaborate, choreographed line dances to music supplied by DJ Boolumaster.


Bollywood Dance Party with Bollywood Groove on the Great Lawn


Bollywood Groove will lead participants through a wide variety of dances and mudras in this popular style that has emerged from the Indian films and evolved with free-style cross-cultural forms.


Garba 360 featuring Meher Dance and DJ Jeet on the Great Lawn


Come one, come all for a communal circle dance that welcomes dancers of all levels. Raas and Garba are typical Gujarati folk dance events that commonly take place before weddings. No experience required.


SummerDance Carnival! with Planeta Azul & Passistas Samba Dance Group


Passistas Samba Dance Group will lead a Carnival “bloco” street band procession through the park and to the main event at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Traditional “blocos” or street bands mobilize crowds on the streets during Carnival with rousing Brazilian samba music as well as other popular musical styles.


Chicago Dance Showcase at the Pritzker Pavilion


Five local dance companies will present signature works on the main stage. Featured companies include Ayodele Drum Dance, Deeply Rooted, Puzzle League, Giordano Dance Chicago and Visceral Dance Chicago.


House DJ Dance Party with White Label DJs at Cloud Gate Stage


Following the performances at Jay Pritzker Pavilion, White Label DJs Sadie Woods & Madrid will close out the night with a house music DJ set for all to let loose beside “the bean.”


The Chicago SummerDance Celebration in Millennium Park is supported by the Chicago Transit Authority. For complete details on all Chicago SummerDance events, visit chicagosummerdance.org or call the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events at 312.744.3316.

Chicago SummerDance is the largest annual outdoor live music and dancing series in the United States. Dancers of all abilities are invited to the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, Taste of Chicago, Millennium Park and Chicago Park District locations throughout the cityfor the city’s premier dance festival, bringing communities together in a unique, urban space all summer long. The FREE programs in Grant Park take place each Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 to 9:30pm and Sunday afternoons from 4 to 7pm, on most dates between June 28 and August 24. In 2018, SummerDance events in Grant Park will be part of each evening of Taste of Chicago, July 11–15 at Buckingham Fountain Plaza. For the full schedule, visit ChicagoSummerDance.us. Updates and announcements (including weather-related announcements) are shared on Facebook and on Twitter @SummerDanceChi, #ChicagoSummerDance.


Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. For more information, visit cityofchicago.org/dcase.


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