“This series is about creating a bridge of understanding where diverse voices, bodies and aesthetics co-exist. In crafting this space, there is intentional regard for how this discussion series is ‘presented’ and who is ‘at the table’. To be sensitive to ‘where’ the conversations are happening. Chicago is not monolithic, it’s neighborhoods each carry a ‘history’ block by block. This past year i spent crossing through many of these neighborhoods to go to community meetings aligned with the development of the new cultural plan & listened. I heard conversations that inspired me to develop Moving Dialogs’ inaugural programming. In seeking to build a forum for complex conversations on diversity, we will most likely have difficult discussions and be asked uncomfortable questions. Much like the dialogs i facilitated during many of the community meetings, this is a necessary aspect of having a thoughtful and progressive discourse. As a gathered community, i believe we will move through these moments with grace and compassion – Chicago style! I look forward to seeing some of the Chicagoans from those neighborhood meetings, dance patrons and members of the dance community all ‘at this table’. –Baraka de Soleil, curator, Moving Dialogs:Diversity+Dance
Led by internationally noted and resonant local dance artists, educators and scholars, “Moving Dialogs” will feature a series of interactive experiences and moderated discussions to draw the public into thought provoking conversations on topics exploring the complexities of diversity. Alongside this vital discussion, some of Chicago’s most distinguished writers and critics will be invited to reflect on the Dialog topics and events through “Moving Reflections,” a blog hosted by Audience Architects creating opportunities to expand the conversation virtually and globally.
The series begins with three events in the spring and three in the fall. Spring 2013 “Moving Dialogs:Diversity+Dance” kicks off March 10 with “Diversity: Then/Now” at Old Town School of Folk Music featuring Robert Battle and Columbia College’s current chair of dance Onye Ozuzu. On April 8th, “One World” brings together Jawole Zollar and seven neighborhood troupes at the Chicago Cultural Center. Spring wraps up with “To MOVE”, an engaged discussion led by Liz Lerman and Dance Detour’s Alana Wallace at the Hubbard Street Dance Center on May 6.
“Moving Dialogs” grew out of the former “Salon Series,” which was originally produced by the Chicago Dancemakers Forum in partnership with Chicago Seminar on Dance and Performance as a conversation series primarily geared toward providing creative development and networking opportunities for choreographers. An expanded version of the series now finds its home at Audience Architects, with a broadened focus that engages dance audiences in the conversation. “Moving Dialogs: Diversity + Dance” furthers AA’s mission by expanding its current program offerings to now organize and host events that will attract a wide expanse of performing arts patrons.
The impetus for this years “Moving Dialogs” theme emerged out of conversations that Audience Architects organized and hosted on behalf of the Chicago Dance Community this past summer and fall. Prompted by events that occurred at the 2012 Dance/USA conference, the goal was to offer Chicago dance artists an opportunity to discuss issues of diversity and equity within the field.
“’Moving Dialogs: Diversity+Dance” is a natural extension of the conversations that began within the Chicago dance community this past year,” says Heather Hartley, Audience Architects Executive Director, “and by bringing these important topics forward to dance patrons, we have the unique opportunity to forge new relationships and levels of understanding between amazing dance artists and ticket buyers.”
Moving Dialogs: Diversity + Dance is funded in part by the Chicago Seminar on Dance and Performance, the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly. Special Thanks to The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Producing Partner for the spring series of Moving Dialogs: Diversity + Dance. Venue Partners for the Spring series include: The Old Town School of Folk Music, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.