Dance in Review

For those who may have missed this one time show on December 10th, The return of Tidings of Tap, was filled with joy and the love of dance for the 2017 Holiday Season for families, friends and tap lovers of all ages.  Celebrating their 15th Anniversary, Chicago Tap Theatre presents this tapping extravaganza celebrating Chanukah/Christmas and the winter season, performing with a live band directed by Kurt Schweitz. To help celebrate their 15th Anniversary, Chicago Tap Theatre (CTT) is being challenged by The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, to raise and match funds, to support CTT’s mission in producing high quality and innovative tap dance performances and expanding the art form of tap.

The North Shore Center for Performing Arts in Skokie, was the perfect intimate location for this anniversary holiday extravaganza, giving all audience members a perfect view of the dancers, and more importantly their feet. Highlighted throughout the show, the sound of the tappers helped to create and compliment the holiday music featured.  Tidings of Tap includes a syncopated “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” medley during the Carols number, flicks of flame for Candlelight, anger and frustration for our shoppers during Black Friday and even featuring musical stylings from Artistic Director, Mark Yonally and the live band in, Rest Ye, Man. Besides Yonally, the very talented dancing troupe includes Kirsten Ittich, Jennifer Yonally, Aimee Chause, Isacc Stauffer, Sara Anderson, Sarah Owens, Anabel Watson, Bailey Caves, Chris Matthews, Emily Broeker and Dasha Merkulov.

Tidings of Tap, is a fantastic holiday show, that will keep you smiling from beginning to the Shim Sham end, where all tappers from the audience of all ages are encouraged to join the performers on stage for their final dance of the night.  An inspirational show for the season, for new dancers and to reignite the passion of dancers who continue to shuffle in their seats, Tidings of Tap really does bring in the happiest tidings of the season.

For more information on Chicago Tap Theatre including upcoming events, visit


Published in Dance in Review

Melissa Thodos was just six years old when she found her passion. 


On a walk with her mother and siblings in Evanston, she passed a building under construction. "What are they building? What will that be?" she wondered. 


Her mother told her they were building a dance school, and Thodos immediately felt the desire for movement.


"This is it," Thodos realized. "This is what I want to do."


In 1992, after eight years as a professional dancer, Thodos fulfilled her vision with the founding of Thodos Dance Chicago. The company was created to be a hub where dancers could grow as performers and creative artists, giving them space to create and promote contemporary dance. 


Since then, Thodos Dance Chicago has danced and conducted residency work across 27 states and four continents, sharing the company's vision of dance that is beautiful, refreshing, innovative, and unique with communities throughout the world. 


Here are just a few highlights:




Melissa Thodos debuts her solo Reaching There at the College of DuPage Arts Center. (pictured above).



Thodos Dance Chicago (then Melissa Thodos & Dancers) makes its debut at the very first Dance for Life (benefiting AIDS research) and the Ruth Page Dance Series.



The company has its first full evening concert at the Pritzker Theater at the Harold Washington Library.



The company has its first international performance in Edinburgh Scotland at the Fringe Festival




The company presents its first annual New Dances concert at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, encouraging emerging choreographers to create new works. Since the program's inception, over 25 works from New Dances have been incorporated into the company repertory.



Thodos Dance Chicago performs at international dance festivals in Istanbul and Ankara Turkey.




Thodos Dance Chicago establishes residency at The Drucker Center/Menomonee Club for Boys & Girls. After daily rehearsal, company members lead youth dance classes, teaching children from over 30 schools in the Chicago area.




Ann Reinking sets her work Caution, Side Effects on the company beginning a collaborative relationship that lasts to this day.



The Ravinia Festival commissions several Chicago dance companies to create works with water (H20) as the universal theme for all invited artists. Melissa creates a world premiere dance titled Cascade set to the music of Ravel's Jeux d'eau.



Thodos Dance Chicago collaborates with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, setting a premiere choreographed by Melissa Thodos to Igor Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale at Orchestra Hall.




Thodos Dance Chicago and Fulcrum Point New Music Project, under the leadership of Stephen Burns, begin a collaboration that has spanned over a decade, with original choreography set to Pulitzer Prize winning Shulamit Ran's Eastwind and performed live by flutist Mary Stolper as their first endeavor.



The company collaborates with the Loyola University Museum of Art and Andy Warhol's Silver Clouds to create two site specific original works as part of this special exhibit. The City of Chicago also commissions Thodos Dance Chicago to create and perform a premiere site specific work titled Endymion as part of the dedication and opening of Chicago's Millennium Park.




The company receives a National Endowment for the Arts Dance Masterpiece Award to restage early Bob Fosse work, only ever seen on film, to perform live for the first time. The company also performs in Busan International Dance Festival in South Korea and makes its debut at the renowned Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.




Thodos Dance Chicago's first dance/theater piece: The White City, Chicago's Columbian Exposition of 1893 is created in collaboration with Tony Award-winning Ann Reinking and Melissa Thodos. The work is named "Best Dance in Chicago" by the Chicago Sun Times for the year.



Thodos Dance Chicago hosts west coast choreographer KT Nelsen of San Francisco's ODC, bringing the creative spirit of the west to the Midwest.




Thodos Dance Chicago premieres its second dance/theater piece in collaboration with Ann Reinking, A Light in the Dark, the story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, with an original score by composer Bruce Wolosoff.  This work has been performed in over a dozen states across the U.S.  Thodos Dance Chicago is also commissioned by the Auditorium Theatre to create a new work titled Sentient set to the music of Fritz Kreisler performed live.




Thodos Dance Chicago celebrates the Auditorium Theatre's 125th anniversary with a full-length evening performance.  The program includes Changes of Phase created in collaboration with Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang Architects.  This highly innovative work brings concepts of architecture, dance and physics together onstage and explores the concept of "jamming," the process in which a material becomes rigid with increased density and how this process reverses.





Thodos Dance Chicago premieres its third dance/theater piece Sono's Journey, a dance story conceived and choreographed by Melissa Thodos.  This work embraces the unprecedented path of Sono Osato, from her roots as a young girl with her family in Chicago, to her defining audition at the Auditorium Theatre with the Ballet Russse at the age of 14, to her position today as one of the most inspirational barrier-breaking artists ever in American dance.



Thodos Dance Chicago collaborates with Yoko Ono, whose first sculpture in the Americas is installed in Chicago's Jackson Park. The company participates in the unveiling of the outdoor sculpture, titled Skylanding, with a world premiere dance set to Yoko Ono's original score Rising I played live by the Mayumi Project Band.



Thodos Dance Chicago celebrates its Silver Anniversary with the program
FULL CIRCLE Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Auditorium Theatre.


For more information about the history of Thodos Dance Chicago,



Published in Buzz Extra



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