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Chicago Dancing Festival

A female dancer dressed in sweats leans back toward a male dancer, who holds her upright with a hand behind her neck. A third dancer stands behind, their face and torso blocked from view.

Kate Weare Company, Unstruck. Dancers: Nicole Diaz, Julian De Leon, and T. J. Spaur

Photo: Paula Lobo


The enduring appeal of dance has made this summer staple the largest festival of its kind in the United States. Since its founding in 2008, with the vision of choreographer Lar Lubovitch and dancer Jay Franke to provide free performances by leading artists of dance, the Chicago Dancing Festival has presented more than 60 touring companies—many performing world premieres of festival commissions. The MCA hosts two distinct programs of affecting dance works in its intimate theater as part of the citywide festival. For the complete schedule, visit chicagodancingfestival.com.

Wed, Aug 26, 6 and 8 pm

Modern Women

The MCA hosts an entire evening-length program of works created by women choreographers. The performance includes works by the pioneers of American modern dance, a special screening of the one-minute film Butterfly Dance by Loie Fuller, and other historic imagery displaying the women who have helped shape the world of dance.

Valse Brillante

Isadora Duncan, choreographer

Frédéric Chopin, composer

Lori Belilove & The Isadora Duncan Dance Company*

Martha Graham, choreographer

Henry Cowell, composer

Martha Graham Dance Company

Original choreography

Kate Weare, choreographer

Kate Weare Dance Company*

Crystal Pite, choreographer

Owen Belton, composer

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Pam Tanowitz, choreographer

Conlon Nancarrow, composer

Pam Tanowitz Dance

*Chicago Dancing Festival company debut

All programs subject to change

Fri, Aug 28, 5:30 pm

Chicago Dancing Festival Gala

A not-to-be-missed evening of spectacular dance and dinner, starting with pre-show cocktails, featuring one-night-only performances of solos and duets by members of American Ballet Theatre, Brian Brooks Moving Company, Miami City Ballet, and The Joffrey Ballet, followed by lavish dinner and dessert amidst the stunning surroundings of the MCA. The Chicago Dancing Festival pays tribute to Lar Lubovitch and celebrates its ninth season at this annual benefit which is chaired by Coartistic Director Jay Franke.

  • Deep Song
  • A Picture of You Falling
  • Heaven on One’s Head