Last night I had the opportunity to perform in the Chicago Dancing Festival. Established in 2006 by Lar Lubovitch (one of my favorite choreographers) and Jay Franke, this event is free to the public and brings companies from all over the country and abroad to dance in some of Chicago’s treasured performance venues. Joffrey brought back Twyla Tharp’s 9 Sinatra Songs for the occasion. This piece is one of my favorites to dance and one that we have performed many times over the last few years. In a duet to Frank Sinatra’s "Something Stupid" my partner Graham and I portray the experience of young awkward love. He’s earnest, nervous and totally overwhelmed by the task of dancing with me, while I am too excited to notice his mistakes. It’s always fun to perform, but it's especially delightful after a long summer away from the stage.
The evening's performance was held at the Pritzker Pavilion in downtown Chicago after a day soaked by rain. From the stage of the amphitheater we could see the edge of the city as well as the vast soggy lawn. Perhaps it’s due in part to Chicagoan’s high tolerance for bad weather and in part to their appreciation for the arts, but a large and enthusiastic audience showed up for us armed with umbrellas.
I am grateful to live in a place full of talent and energy. It makes me happy to contribute to the culture and traditions of this city. And next time I feel like bailing because of rain, I’ll think again!
Photos courtesy of the Joffrey Ballet