CHICAGO – As part of its 2018-2019 “Live in the Momentum” Season, Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC), debuts “Flickers,” a new, full-company work by renowned, inspirational choreographer Marinda Davis at the Harris Theater at Millennium Park, 205 E. Randolph Dr., Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. This work was made possible, in part, through generous support by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation. A selection of works from GDC’s critically acclaimed repertoire will complete the program.
“The piece is special to me for an infinite number of reasons but mainly because it’s a full circle moment,” says Davis. “I assisted Gus for many years and had the honor of accompanying him at several dance events. He used to listen to all my wildest dreams when I was younger, many that are happening for the first time just now, and he’d say, ‘All things in the right time my dear.’ And that is what this piece is about: The faith that our dreams will be honored and handed to us when we are most ready. I always preached it, but now I can honestly say I’ve lived that proof that your darkest moments are generally shifting and preparing us for our brightest. It’s darkest before the dawn and I believe darkness exists only so that lightness can actually count. This piece is about searching for the light in your darkest hours, believing it’s right around the corner, hanging on to the flickers, and trusting that no matter anyone’s opinion or doubt, your dream and story will unfold when you are most qualified to tell it and the universe is most ready to hear it, but it has to find you authentic and working.”
On May 25, 2018, Davis’ powerful story was the subject of the docuseries “My Last Days” on the CW. Davis battles a combination of eight genetic and autoimmune diseases daily. Although these battles include fighting rare and life-threatening diseases, the diagnoses changed Davis’ focus from dancing to choreography, which is where she has found a high level of success.
Davis founded her company, marInspired; the storytellers, in 2009. In 2012, marInspired premiered its first full-length show, “Breakable,” which had a sold-out run at New York’s Salvatore Capezio Theater. In 2010, Dance.com recognized Davis as a Top 10 Young American Choreographer 25 & Under and, in 2012, she received her first Capezio ACE Award nomination. Davis was nominated for her second Capezio ACE Award in 2015 and received second runner up honors and funding for “UNbreakable,” her company’s second full length show. “UNbreakable” previewed at Dancerpalooza. The full show premiered at the El Portal in 2016 and appeared at New York’s Symphony Space in 2017. Also in 2017, Davis choreographed a piece for ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” finale starring Julianne Hough. This past summer, her choreography and company were heavily featured on NBC’s “World of Dance.” Davis’ story has also been profiled in Dance Teacher, Dance Magazine and LA Dance Chronicle and Broadway World Dance. Davis currently resides in Los Angeles.
The March engagement celebrates the final performances of Company members Maeghan McHale and Devin Buchanan as they take to the Harris Theater stage for their last appearances with GDC. Combined, these incredible performers have wowed GDC audiences for more than 20 years. Artistic Director Nan Giordano said, “Maeghan and Devin have been instrumental in helping me to raise the artistic profile and expectations of the Company. They each have left a lasting imprint on this organization, for which we are all deeply grateful.”
In addition to the world premiere of Davis’ “Flickers,” the program for GDC’s March Harris Theater engagement will include these popular works from GDC’s repertoire:
- Brock Clawson’s “Sneaky Pete” (2016), a deliciously intriguing work with a nod to film noir;
- “Prey” (2003), by former Hubbard Street Dance Chicago member and “Movin’ Out” alum Ron DeJesus. Seven dancers perform award-winning choreography to the heart-pounding rhythms of the Kodo Drummers of Japan;
- Autumn Eckman’s “commonthread” (2009), performed to an eclectic original music composition by musician Dan Myers;
- Ray Leeper’s “SOUL” (2018), a full company work created against a musical backdrop of songs made popular by Gladys Knight and the Pips, Al Green and Tina Turner; and
- Autumn Eckman’s “Alloy” (2011), a sensual male-female duet, performed by Buchanan and McHale.
Giordano Dance Chicago presents its spring program at the Harris Theater at Millennium Park, 205 E. Randolph Dr., Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15-$75. For tickets call 312.334.7777 or visit harristheaterchicago.org.
Prior to the March Harris Theater engagement, GDC hosts its 2nd annual Legacy Ball to benefit GDC’s professional performances and educational outreach programs in Chicago Public Schools, Saturday, March 9, 7-11 p.m. at the Ravenswood Event Center, 4021 N. Ravenswood Ave. Honorary Co-Chairs and Honorees for the event are Liz and Matt Connelly, heralded for their outstanding support of Giordano Dance Chicago and steadfast contributions toward the betterment of the Chicago community. This exuberant, celebratory dance party features themed food stations, open bars, and a live auction with unique prize packages. Tickets are $250 (general admission) and $500 (VIP Lounge). For more information, visit giordanodance.org or call 312.922.1332.
Giordano Dance Chicago, America’s original jazz dance company, now in its 56th year, is one of the longest running professional dance companies in Chicago and one of few dance companies in the U.S. to have achieved this milestone. Currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Nan Giordano and Executive Director Michael McStraw, GDC is a world-class dance company and a driving force in Chicago’s thriving performing arts community. The company’s new works continually expand the boundaries of jazz and contemporary dance. Each year, the company’s innovative outreach program, “Jazz Dance/Science & Health,” reaches more than 450 CPS students in four underserved CPS schools, and the Nan Giordano Certification Program ® offers certification world-wide to professional dance educators in the proprietary and foundational Giordano Technique, created by Gus Giordano. GDC’s administrative office is located in its new home at 1754 N. Clark Street, (formerly Herman Baptist Church). For more information about GDC and its programs, call 312.922.1332 or visit giordanodance.org.
Giordano Dance Chicago is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation and is not affiliated with the Gus Giordano Dance School in Andersonville or the Gus Giordano Jazz Legacy Foundation.