Using Dance to Beat AIDS

Randy Duncan's piece

Dance for Life Chicago raised money for awareness and funding for HIV/AIDS in August, with performances by Chicago companies, including Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Giordano Dance Chicago and River North Dance Chicago. Three Chicago-based dancers--Randy Duncan, Harrison McEldowney and Jeremy Plummer--premiered pieces created specifically for Dance for Life, per its tradition.

Each year, Dance for Life Chicago generates upwards of $200,000 for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and The Dancers' Fund, created by Dance for Life in 1994. "The Dancers' Fund was originally an assistance fund for those living with HIV and AIDS in the dance community," says Anthony Guerrero, managing director. "But in 2001 we opened it up to anyone from the Chicago dance community with a life-threatening or serious illness or injury--dancers, administrators in the dance field, choreographers. Because we're a granting fund, we're able to help with their rent or pay their insurance or electric bill."

Harrison McEldowney and Jeremy Plummer's piece

Dance for Life Chicago also has an event called Next Generation, a benefit produced by and featuring student dancers. Since 1995, it has raised more than $172,000. "We want people to know that we're more than just one amazing evening," says Guerrero.










Photos: by Ed Negron, courtesy of Dance for Life Chicago

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