*Moving Dialogs

The Seldoms + WCDance

Find current information about Moving Dialogs on SeeChicagoDance.com.

Previous Events:

Moving Dialogs 2016: “Women in the Director’s Chair”

Moving Dialogs is an ongoing discussion series, presented by Audience Architects in partnership with numerous organizations, that broaden and deepen understanding of our multi-cultured, multi-ethnic, multi-ability city, utilizing dance as the base of cultural knowledge. 2015 marks the third year of this conversation series that seeks to build connections and deeper understanding between choreographers and the public as we explore contemporary cultural issues through the lens of dance. The program has featured numerous local and national artists, including Robert Battle, Artistic Director, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Liz Lerman, Allana Davis, Artistic Director of Dance DeTour, The Nexus Project, Joe Goode, and many more. Each event concludes with light refreshments and time for informal conversation, and each evening is accompanied by essays and written articles crafted by leading dance writers and scholars, which are posted on the “Moving Reflections” blog on SeeChicagoDance.com. All Moving Dialogs events are free and open to the public.

Despite the fact that there are myriad female dance artists in the world, there is a lack of representation of females in positions of leadership and change agency in the United States. Recent articles in the New York Times and Dance Magazine have underscored this ongoing gender imbalance. Moving Dialogs 2016 will address and investigate this phenomenon with a forward thinking discussion series that focuses on three women who are reshaping the way we perceive female dance artists, choreographers, and directors. Provocative topics explore movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies to common perceptions regarding the age demographic of dancers to a Cuban American’s unlikely rise to the top of the Ballet world. Join us for inspiring conversations exploring the diversity of female artistry and how more equitable representation of the female voice in dance leads to tremendous discovery.


Moving Dialogs: Women in the Director’s Chair
Wednesday, November 2
Conversation: 6-7:30pm
Chicago Cultural Center
Nejla Yatkin: Choreographer, Dancer, and Artistic Director of NY2Dance
JoAnna Mendl Shaw: Choreographer, Dance Educator, and Artistic Director of The Equus Projects
Keesha Beckford: Choreographer, Dancer, Educator, and Youth Program Manager at Hubbard Street
Yanira Castro: Artist, Choreographer, and Founder of the interdisciplinary collaborative a Canary Torsi

Sandra Kaufmann: Choreographer, Dancer, Educator, and Founding Director of the dance program at Loyola University Chicago

Moving Dialogs: Women in the Director’s Chair
Tuesday, April 26

Panelists: Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem, Dame Libby Komaiko, Founder & Artistic Director of Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater , Irma Suarez Ruiz, Artistic Director of Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, and Stephanie Martinez, Award-winning Chicago dance artist.

Moderator: William Whitener, choreographer and former Artistic Director of Kansas City Ballet

Moving Dialogs: Women in the Director’s Chair
Tuesday, Jan 26, 2016 6-7:30pm
Links Hall, Studio A

Panelists will discuss expanding definitions of virtuosity and the differences between early and late styles within a long-running choreographic career.

Panelists: Deborah Hay, Bob Eisen, Cynthia Oliver, and Michelle Kranicke

Moderator: Elise Archias


For 2015, Audience Architects focuses on Chicago area dance artists who have been recipients of the MacArthur International Connections Fund. Chicago choreographers were paired with artists around the globe, to visit one another’s countries and collaborate on shared community programs, and the creation of a new work.

“MacArthur created this exchange program to recognize and enhance Chicago’s role as a global city,” said Julia Stasch, interim president of the MacArthur Foundation. “The International Connections Fund enables Chicago’s vital arts and culture sector to help build that reputation while strengthening its contribution to audiences in Chicago and internationally.”

Learn more about the program at : http://www.macfound.org/programs/international-connections-fund/

Via conversations with dance grantees from the MacArthur International Connections program from 2012 and 2013, our public discussions explore the diverse, cultural learning that took place within each exchange. The panel for each event will include the Chicago choreographer, the international choreographer in person or via Skype (when possible), a moderator, and a guest/scholar from another field or related area of learning. Conversations will investigate how cultural exchange creates a deeper understanding of the artistic process and how working in other countries influence our thinking around being an American artist.

Moving Dialogs: “Cultural Connections,” Same Planet Different World + Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor Dance Company (Israel)
Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015
Chicago Cultural Center, Dance Studio
78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

Chicago Artists:
Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre (SPDW), Artistic Director, Joanna Rosenthal
International Artists:
Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor
Bonnie Brooks
Reflections Writer:
Zachary Whittenburg

Moving Dialogs: “Cultural Connections,” Deeply Rooted Dance Theater + Flatfoot Dance Company (South Africa)
Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015
Chicago Cultural Center, Dance Studio
78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

Chicago Artist:
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Artistic Director, Kevin Iega Jeff
International Artist:
Flatfoot Dance Company, Artistic Director, Lliane Loots

Moving Dialogs: “Cultural Connections,” The Seldoms + WCDance (Taiwan)
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2015
Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall
78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

Chicago Artist: Carrie Hanson, Artistic Director of The Seldoms
International Artist: Chih Hsien Lin, WCdance
Scholar: Qiuyu Wang, Northwestern University 
Moderator:Yolanda Cesta Cursach, Associate Director of Performance Programs,
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Carrie Hanson and guest panelists will share provocative insights regarding The Seldoms’ 2012 MacArthur Foundation funded exchange with Taiwanese dance company WCdance. Through shared practice, creative development, and immersion in one another’s countries, unique attributes of “Western” and “Eastern” emerged and influenced the work. Each choreographer drew upon deeply held and learned cultural and artistic values – the American value of individuality and the Taiwanese tradition of uniformity – resulting in a deeper understanding of how these value systems influence the artistic process and generated product. 

Moving Dialogs: “Cultural Connections,” STOMPING GROUNDS
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Chicago Cultural Center, 1st Fl Garland Room
78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

Chicago Artists:
Lane Alexander, Founder and Artistic Director Chicago Human Rhythm Project
Irma Suarez Ruiz, Associate Artistic Director Ensemble Espanol
Jorge Perez, Executive Director and Associate Artistic Director Ensemble Espanol
Mark Howard, Founder and Artistic Director Trinity Irish Dancers
Ellen Waller, Associate Artistic Director Trinity Irish Dancers
David Carrillo, Assistant Director Mexican Dance Ensemble
Amaniyea Payne, Artistic Director Muntu Dance Theatre

Babu Atiba
, Assistant Artistic Director Muntu Dance Theatre
Yolanda Cesta Cursach, Associate Director of Performance Programs,
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

“Percussive Dance in the 21st Century – Are ancient traditions still relevant? Is percussive dance “art”? Are the percussive arts still evolving? Are we dancers or musicians or both?

Join the conversation with some of Chicago’s most celebrated practitioners of American Tap, Spanish Flamenco, Mexican folkloric dance, and Irish step dancing from Chicago’s leading percussive dance repertory ensembles. Panelists will discuss the roots of these forms as well as their continued relevance, exploring the challenges to being understood and equally acknowledged alongside contemporary and classical dance forms.



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Moving Dialogs: “Cultural Connections” is produced by Audience Architects,
Curated by Raphaelle Ziemba and funded in part by the Chicago Seminar on Dance and Performance.
Special Thanks to Producing Partner, The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE.)