Each year it gives me great pleasure to let you know about the annual CHICAGO DANCERS UNITED event, DANCE FOR LIFE…it is a not to be missed event…get your tickets now…you won’t be disappointed!


Chicago Dancers United, which supports the health and wellness of Chicago’s professional dance community, announces the program for its 32nd annual fundraiser, Dance for Life, which takes place Saturday, August 19 at 6 p.m. at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive, Chicago, followed by an After Party at Venue SIX10, 610 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

The complete lineup of artists includes BOOM CRACK! Dance Company, Chicago Tap Allstars, Giordano Dance Chicago and South Chicago Dance Theatre, Hiplet Ballerinas, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, freelance performers Joseph Massarelliand Riho Sakamoto, Moonwater Dance Project, Muntu Dance Theatre, and, for the finale, choreographer Randy Duncan.

Dance for Life 2023 Co-Chairs are Ted Grady, Ross Slotten MD, Victor Alexander, and Maray Gutierrez.

Dance for Life raises money for The Dancers’ Fund, which provides Chicago dance industry professionals with financial support for preventative health care and critical medical needs. The event showcases the city’s unique variety of dance traditions and styles by bringing together professional dance companies and dancers from throughout Chicago, who unite to support their peers by generously donating their time, energy, and artistry. Throughout its history, Dance for Life has presented more than 50 Chicago-based professional dance companies representing a variety of genres, sizes, and histories and numerous choreographers, artists, and designers. An additional beneficiary of Dance for Life is AIDS Foundation Chicago.

The Program (in alphabetical order)BOOM CRACK! Dance Company combines hip hop styles with curated choreography in Decibel, an excerpt from an evening-length production choreographed by Trae Turner with music by Paul Mond. The work explores frequency and emotions attached to sound, with an eclectic score of lo-fi sample-based production, harsh electronic instrumentals, and energetic music.Chicago Tap Allstars, which features tap dancers from throughout the Chicago area, performs Birdland, a joyous dance choreographed by Bril Barrett and Mark Yonally with improvography from the dancers, to the music of Weather Report. Chicago Tap Allstars aims to amplify the excellence of Chicago tap dance by creating an equitable, healing, and inclusive community. Giordano Dance Chicago and South Chicago Dance Theatre join forces for Luminescence., created by Kia Smith for Giordano’s 60th anniversary season earlier this year. With music by Coldplay and U2, the work was created with the spirit of community at heart and is a celebration of humanity. Hiplet Ballerinas, the professional company of the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center, performs React, choreographed by Trevon Lawrence and Anthony Sampson to the music of The Pussycat Dolls. From classical ballet to hip hop, this piece fuses tradition with the energy of dance. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago offers the full company in excerpts from BUSK by Aszure Barton, set to music by Daniel Belanger, Ljova, Camille Saint-Saëns, and David Wikander, which WTTW called “wildly eccentric and stunningly original.” The Joffrey Ballet performs excerpts of Gerald Arpino’s Birthday Variations, which was commissioned by Becky D’Angelo as a birthday present to her husband Dino, who owned Chicago’s Civic Opera House and loved the music of Giuseppe Verdi. Set to Verdi’s infectious opera-ballet music, the work is a sparkling showcase of classical dancing.Freelance dancers Joseph Massarelli and Riho Sakamoto perform On the Nature of Daylight, a pas de deux choreographed and staged by David Dawson to music by Max Richter. This work explores the idea of love as the ordinary and the extra-ordinary—the many possibilities of finding pure love, a task that binds us as human beings, and a search that happens continually around the world on a daily basis. The piece fully encompasses the idea that love lost remains unforgettable.Moonwater Dance Project’s work Clarity, choreographed by Hanna Brictson to music by Murcof and Vanessa Wagner and Travis Lake, explores the challenge of finding transparency within oneself, taking the performers and viewers on a dynamic journey to discover purity and strength.Muntu Dance Theatre performs Djeliya, featuring Lamba, the dance of the djeli, or griots, who are highly respected among the Mandingue people for keeping the history and culture intact by playing special instruments and singing. Choreographed by Regina Perry-Carr to music by Idris Daniel and Sekou Conde, Djeliya includes a drum procession.For this year’s finale, Randy Duncan revives and expands his world-premiere finale from Dance for Life 2021, As One, with music by Ira Antelis and costumes by Richard Dayhoff. Created in honor of longtime Dance for Life supporter Harriet Ross, As One drew inspiration from the marches and protests during the pandemic and the hate, but also the love and healing necessary, to survive in this climate.

Chicago Dancers United presents Dance for Life 2023

Saturday, August 19 at 6 p.m.
at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr.,
followed by an afterparty at Venue SIX10, 610 S. Michigan Ave.

Tickets—$500 for the performance and After Party,
$45–125 for the performance only—
are available at 312.341.2300, at,
and in person at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office.
Group tickets (10 or more) are available by calling 312.341.2300.
All programming is subject to change.
The mission of Chicago Dancers United is to foster the health and wellness of Chicago’s professional dance community by providing financial support through The Dancers’ Fundfor preventive health care and critical medical needs. Anyone working in or retired from a professional capacity within Chicago’s dance community—dancers, technical staff, administrators, choreographers, instructors, accompanists, and more—is eligible.

For information, visit

Photos top to bottom:
Arielle Israel, photo by Todd Rosenberg
BOOM CRACK! Dance Company, photo by Michael Mabbo
Chicago Tap Allstars, photo by David Harmantas
Giordano Dance Chicago and South Chicago Dance Theatre in Luminescence., photo by Anderson Photography
Hiplet Ballerinas, photo by Roshawn Lyles
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in BUSK, photo by Danica Paulos; courtesy of Jacob’s Pillow
The Joffrey Ballet’s Amanda Assucena and Alberto Velazquez in Birthday Variations, photo by
Cheryl Mann
Riho Sakamato and Joseph Massarelli, photo by Altin Kaftira
Moonwater Dance Project, photo by Ren Picco Freeman
Muntu Dance Theatre, photo by Marc Monaghan

Copyright © 2023 Chicago Dancers United, All rights reserved.

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