News: Chicago Human Rhythm Project's 20th Anniversary

Chicago Human Rhythm Project was co-founded by Lane Alexander and Kelly Michaels in 1990, as a summer festival to benefit HIV/AIDS patients at the Gus Giordano Dance Center in Evanston, IL. CHRP has since grown into one of the nation’s biggest promoters of tap (at last count in 2007, 40,000 people attended its programs). It gives lecture demonstrations for K–12 students, annually awards $15,000 in scholarships and presents outreach residency programs in Chicago-area youth centers and schools.

 

Twenty years after its founding, the organization celebrates its longevity with the Rhythm World summer festival, which runs July 26–August 8 at various downtown Chicago locations. Once a small fundraiser, the event is now the oldest annual tap festival in the world, with master classes, workshops and performances. This year’s honorees are legendary tappers Dianne Walker and Sam Weber, the only two individuals present at all 20 CHRP Festivals; Gene Medler, the founder of the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble; and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

 

“Our 20th anniversary is not just a milestone for CHRP, but for the entire field, especially because we’re still fighting for recognition in institutions, in universities and in people’s minds,” says Cameron Heinze, CHRP community development manager. “Tap is a much older artform than styles like contemporary dance, but it has far less institutional support.”

 

Keeping up with the times and moving into the future, CHRP added to this year’s event a new social media component, Virtual Rhythms. This “tapography” competition for emerging choreographers and videographers invited participants to post video entries online. The general public voted on the winners, who will share the stage with great tappers from across the country during Rhythm World’s JUBA performances on August 4, 5 and 7 at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Info: chicagotap.org

The Museum Workout. Photo by Paula Lobo, courtesy of the Met

As you tally up the reasons to be grateful this Thanksgiving, take a moment to reflect on a few of the world premieres that broke new ground this year. Some changed our perspective on dance, and others were just plain fierce, but they all got our attention and inspired our work as dance teachers.

Keep reading... Show less
Thinkstock

With Thanksgiving approaching, we're all ruminating on the things we are most thankful for in the world. Of course, as dance teachers, our students are always at the top of our list. They make us laugh, they make us cry and sometimes they make us want to pull our hair out, but at the end of the day, they are the reason for everything we do in the studio each day. To get you thinking about how much you love your dancers, here are five videos of kids dancing that are sure to make your heart happy! We want to see the dancers you're thankful for this season, too, so share your favorite videos on social media, tag us and include #gratitudedance in the caption. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Health
Thinkstock

No matter how hard I work to change it, I'm often told that I have a shallow plié. Is there any hope for improving the depth of my plié through special stretches to make it juicier? I'm doing a lot of exercises, but I don't seem to getting any results. Looking forward to reading your advice. Thanks!

Keep reading... Show less
Videos

When New York City–based dancer Dan Lai began choreographing Figure 8, he had a specific vision in mind. Inspired by a song by FKA Twigs, he wanted the movement to represent the music's "dark and twisted vibe." "My thought process was to make shapes and phrases that were abstract and unique that complimented the intricate beats of the music," he says.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Buzz
Thinkstock

Science has proven again, again that dancing is just, well, good for you. And not even in moderation. Like drinking water or laughing, there's no such thing as too much dancing. So, let's rejoice for this new dance perk to add to the list.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Health
To make dancers stronger and less injury-prone, Burns Wilson suggest adding floor barre or conditioning classes. Photo courtesy of Burns Wilson

With a career spanning 30-plus years in the dance field, Anneliese Burns Wilson has cultivated a unique perspective on health and injury prevention for dancers. From teaching ballet to teaching anatomy, she then founded ABC for Dance, which publishes dance-teaching materials. Now through research for her next book, which will focus on training the female adolescent dancer, she's delving even deeper into topics many dance teachers have overlooked.

Keep reading... Show less
Erdmann (left) on set for Hairspray Live. Courtesy of Erdmann

When Wicked ensemble member Kelli Erdman was training at Westlake Dance Center in Seattle, her teacher Kirsten Cooper taught her that focused transitions would be pivotal to her success as a dancer. Now as a professional, Erdmann applies this advice to her daily performances, asserting that she will never let the details of her dancing get blurry.

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Videos

Sponsored

mailbox

Get DanceTeacher in your inbox

Win It!

Sponsored