Arthur Mitchell in Chicago

The Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center invites the dance community, along with fans and supporters of the arts to join us for a celebration of the one & only Mr. Arthur Mitchell, Founder and Emeritus of The Dance Theatre of Harlem.

This event series will connect the Chicago arts community with Mr. Mitchell like never before. A series of master classes, intimate conversations, meet & greets, performances and film screenings will ignite the dance community, inspiring the next generation of dancers and artists.

The series will take place August 11-13 at Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center, Columbia College and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13TH:

11am-1pm
Master Class with Mr. Mitchell
Advance Intermediate Ballet Technique
Columbia College
Class: $25
Observation: $15

6pm
Reception and Screening of Afternoon of a Faun featuring Mr. Mitchell
Logan Center
915 E. 60th Street
VIP Reception, Screening & Post Discussion: $75
Screening & Post Discussion: $35

Tickets on sale now at http://arthurmitchellinchicago.com/

CMDC Summer Show!

“Dancing Through The Summer” Friday August 8, 2014

Benito Juarez Community Academy, 2150 S. Laflin St

1 Show – EVENING:  6:30PM – Buy Evening Tickets Now

Tickets are $30 per person and all seats are first come, first served. Toddlers/children may sit on your lap as long as they are not obstructing the view of another patron, otherwise, everyone who sits in a seat, must have a ticket. There are only 500 seats in the theater; please buy your tickets early!

Tickets will also be available at the door.  (CASH OR CREDIT CARD ONLY)

ON-STAGE REHEARSAL: August 8th at Juarez Community Academy (THE DAY OF SHOW)

Students should meet at CMDC at 9am.  Students will be bused to Juarez from CMDC.

CMDC June Show 2014 Info

“Every Little Thing” Saturday June 14, 2014

Benito Juarez Community Academy, 2150 S. Laflin St

MATINEE:   4 PM – Creative Movement A, B, C; Basic Tap, Tap 1, 2 &3, Hip-Hop 1, Beg. Ballet 1 & 2, Acrobatics 1, African I, Div. 1 Ballet, Jazz & Modern, Div. 1/2 Ballet, Jazz, Latin and Men’s Competition Teams

Buy Matinee Tickets Now

EVENING:  6:30PM – Div. 1/2 Ballet, Tap 2&3, African 2, Acrobatics 2, Div. 2 through 6  Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Latin and Contemporary; Lyrical, Hiplet, Contemporary and Men’s competition teams

Buy Evening Tickets Now

Tickets are $30 per person and all seats are first come, first served. Toddlers/children may sit on your lap as long as they are not obstructing the view of another patron, otherwise, everyone who sits in a seat, must have a ticket. There are 500 seats in the theatre; please buy your tickets early!

Tickets will also be available at the door.  (CASH OR CREDIT CARD ONLY)

ON-STAGE REHEARSAL: June 14 at Juarez Community Academy (THE DAY OF SHOW)

Please bring your child at the designated times below.

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOUR CHILD ARRIVE ON TIME AS DESIGNATED BELOW.

Costume Check and On Stage Rehearsal Schedule

  • Div. 5/6 students arrive at 10:00 am
  • Div. 3 & 4 students arrive at 11:00 am
  • Div. 1, 1/2 and 2 students Ballet, Teen Ballet, Jazz & Modern, all Latin and Hip Hop arrive at 12:00 noon
  • African 1 & 2, Acrobatics 1 & 2 should arrive at 1:00 pm
  • Beg. Ballet 1 & 2, Creative Movement A, B, C, Tap 1, 2/3, Basic Tap/Hip-Hop Combo report no later than 2:00PM.

If your child is late, they will miss costume check and miss their practice on stage.  Please allow your child to be confident in their performance by bringing them on time for their rehearsal at the theater.

Late Lunch – Snacks

Students can purchase the Late Lunch for $10; sign up and payment taken at CMDC reception desk.  The Late Lunch will be served between the matinee and evening shows.   In addition, students should bring a snack and/or lite lunch for earlier in the day.

Please help CMDC Dancers go to Youth American Grand Prix Finals in NYC

We urgently need your help to send 3 very talented CMDC students to the Youth America Grand Prix in NYC on April 4 – 8.  We need to quickly raise $2,500 to help defray the cost of sending these students to New York to represent Chicago and compete against students from around the world.  Youth American Grand Prix http://www.yagp.org is the world’s largest student ballet competition and the subject of the widely acclaimed ballet documentary First Position https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_cOwCKODgs

In the words of their choreographer, William Gill, “It’s becoming rare that we see and take notice of the hard work of young black men. I am so happy and proud to announce, that three of my male students- Lawrence Powell, Jordan Towe, and Jean Paul Milano, made it to the finals of The Youth America Grand Prix! Because of their hard work, and determined spirits they made my choreography come to life! “

The YAGP NYC Finals is more than just a competition; it is an opportunity of a life time.  Students who participate are seen by major dance companies and attend master classes with teachers and dancers from all over the world.  Many students who have participated in YAGP have gone on to professional dance careers through connections made at this event.

All money donated will go directly towards expenses for the YAGP NYC Finals.

If you can, please Donate now!  With only 2 weeks to go, we want to make sure we don’t miss this opportunity to have a positive representation of Chicago youth on a world stage!

No donation is too large or too small, and any support will be greatly appreciated by these outstanding young men.  $2,500 will cover expenses (airfare, transportation, hotel and food) for the three young men and 2 chaperones for 4 days in NYC. If we raise more than $2,500 any additional funds will be allocated to the CMDC Young Men’s Scholarship Program.  This program provides free tuition for young men to study dance under the direction of Homer Hans Bryant.

Other Ways You Can Help

Even if you cannot contribute monetarily, we can still use your help.  Please share our campaign through your social media accounts, or forward via email.  If you would like to contribute in another way, please contact CMDC at 312-461-0030 or email at cheryl@cmdcschool.com

Direct link to PayPal for secure donations:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=GAR2WN7L2C6XG

Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center is a nonprofit corporation registered with the Illinois Attorney General and authorized to accept contributions as a charitable organization.  CMDC has applied to the Internal Revenue Service for 501(c)(3)tax-exempt status. Please note that until the application is approved, CMDC cannot guarantee that your donation will be tax deductible.

Reflections

Hello, Hello, Today it is cold and raining, this is my last evening in St. Petersburg…..This will be my final blog from Russia, as we will be heading back to NY tomorrow…..This has been a most amazing journey, to come to Russia, the home of such great  architectural history, unbelievable musems, universities , and renowned   ballet tradition with the man that got me to believe that I could be a serious and  worthly ballet  artist  in th first place , is truly unbelievable….I have taught class at the very , very famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy, at the Kirov Ballet Academy and at the incredible Boris Efiman School, it does not get any better than that……….I now know that I must take CMDC to the next level, and I know what it is…………..I truly believe, as do many ,that it is the arts and culture of a people that makes a difference in the ever changing  world……….Dance , Poetry , Mime,  Painting ,Music ,etc, are the  commonalty  of  the human  makeup….they keep us humble and helpful,they are the ultimate cultural exchange….Mr. Mitchell has been in every Russian newspaper and on quite a few television channels since we arrived here on April 1st……18 days in this place so filled with history and tradition…….Like most young people in America, the Russians smoke too, too ,too much, but so does the older folks, even the dancers, how sad, they did not get the memo about their bodies being their instrument,  “you only get one”………Russia is a very expensive place to live, the haves and the haves not are quite obvious , I was outside of the Max store just the other day, you know , just looking , and I suddenly realized that some of the most beautiful women in St. Petersburg were   shopping in that Max  store ……The Russian people ,like most people are very warm and friendly, curious to know where your from, and will speak to in their language as if you can understand every word………This is quite a far distant of Chicago and the USA, would I ever come ?, never say never……………..It,s been real….From St. Petersburg, Russia… with Love, Mr.Homer,s……….   “Final Odyssey”………………………………. Goodnite America ……….Thank You , Authur Mitchell

The End Of Days

Hello ,Hello,It,s 1:50 in the morning and we just arrived back at our hotel…………. Early this morning ,we had the pleasure of teaching our Master class to the Boris Eifman Company  at their studios…..Mr. Mitchell and  Mr.Eifman are very good friends , so Lorraine ,Sandi and myself felt right at home.Many of them had performed  at the  “Open Dance Festival” just last evening……There were 56 dancers in the floor ballet class and so ,I decided to leave 56 terabands as a gift to the dancers…Mr. Eifman told us to take as much time as we needed, so we took about 2 hours………First , my slightly uncomfortable Floor Ballet for about 40mins. followed by technique class…………YES,,,,,,,, of course there were television cameras and news photographes .As Lorraine or I taught the class,  Mr.M would sing out corrections ,good praise when the dancer was diong the steps right , but, if  wrong , stopping the class to single out that person ,everyone was at their best,or at least trying harder…….After the class,we got a change to speak to the dancers, two of whom were from the U.S,     They were so happy to get away from their daily 1 hour class and to learn from other teachers….Everyone always want us to come back the next day, but this was our very last Master class here in Russia  , truly ,the end of days……..Tonite was the 11th International Ballet Dance Open Gala………..Mr. Mtichell was one of the judges, so we had some great seats ,middle center…….Like last night (,except these performers were going for a prestigious award) , we saw many great duets,and some solos… Adagio from Manon—–Esmeralda—–Don Quixote—-Tarantella—-Les Enfants du Ulbricht—-Tango—Les Bourgeois—-Grand Pas de Duex from Satanella—Tchaikovsky Pas de Duex…. the list goes on……………The judges had to decided on Best Duet, Mr.Virtuosity, Ms. Virtuosity, Mr. Expressiveness, Ms. Expressiveness,……. the People,s Choice Award was decided by ,the people, Us., what a great evening. The Bad Boys of Dance were the halftime entertainment, and naturally ,they rocked the house,great job ,Rasta and crew……………….We then went to the Award Ceremony at the Marble Hall of the Museum of Russian Ethnography, where the Awards were given out as the winners were called……..Lots of food,   Lots of booze, these folks drink vodka like it is water……….So after a couple hours of smiling ,taking pictures with Russian women and girls that think I,m good for posing, it was time to come back to the hotel ………….The schedule for tomorrow “cultural activities”………..that could be anything………From Russia with love….Goodnite………..Mr. Homer,s …..Odyssey

A “Bad Boys” Evening

Hello,Hello from St.Petersburg, today was a rare day for us  ,we actually had a day to rest………….There were no classes, no interviews, and on cameras……. Ok, actually there were cameras,lots and lots of cameras…..We were the guest at___the 11th  ” International  Dance Open  Bellet Festival ”  Rasta Thomas,s “Bad Boys of Dance” preformed at the St. Petersburg Conservatory Opera and Ballet Theatre. “Bad Boys”,  was  founded by Rasta Thomas,formerly a classical dancer who combined  ballet and acrobatics in his work and produced a newish interpretation of the legendary American dance style.  Rasta was also a formed DTH student and also company member,___so ,he was more than happy to see his DTH Family… we were back stage for 45mins. ,more cameras……..It is amazing how many of us ,myself included ,still get nervous around Mr. Mitchell,and these guys were sligthly uncomfortable.. with flips and turns ,leaps and  aerial splits………They  manage to  put on a great, great performance , two of the other dancers in the cast had also studied with the Master some years back……………..This business is very big, and  because we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, RESPECT, is always the  top priorty ,the world of dance is really very small…………You young people listen up.,,,You get what you set………………….”Whenever I look for dancers,the first thing I look for is someone who makes magic when they hit the stage.”Mitchell said. “Iam always trying to go with an open mind and whoever makes the magic,that is the person I am looking for.I do not get out the tape and measure them! There are millions of dancers–someone short,someone tall,whatever—but if they make magic, nothing else matters”……………..The Festival will run from April 13th to the 17th…Dance is everywhere in St.Petersburg……….this is a very exciting time for the Russians , and it is also the Russian Orthodox Easter Sunday…………………From Russia ,with love………Mr.Homer,s………Odyssey

Open Dance

Hello , hello,Our day started bright and early this morning. It was 60 degrees and quite sunny here in St. Petersburg….. Each year , world ballet stars, heads of major world ballet companies (this would explain why so many directors were at the Kirov Ballet Examinations)  and students of ballet come to St.Petersburg to participate in the Dance Open Festival. For the past several years the Festival has launched a unique ballet forum program which includes film presentations ,research and practice conferences,photo exhibitions and more …………..So today, we had a Master Class for students at the Yakobson Ballet Theater,once again many, many students were there…many studios, different teachers ,teaching ballet……..I have come to realized that too many teachers lack energy and passion when they teach..,not so with Mr. Mtichell ,Lorraine or myself,  it,s  one  thing to teach a ballet ,and it,s another thing to teach a ballet class with excitement, energy and passion , this too must be  passed  on……..No wonder as the word gets around,……. (and today  the TV cameras and the news papers really showd up, at least 20 photographers ,and 5 TV cameras ) …..our classes are more and more crowded….Some crazy Russian reporter even asked Mr.M.,why can,t he start a ballet school in Russia,…………(” I don,t think so”.)…………So, after 2 hours of that ,we were whisked off to a press conference for the Open Dance Festival, Mr. Mitchell will be on for  the International Jury for the competition , along with  Boris Eifman,Artistic Director of St. Petersburg State Academic Theater, - Wayne Eagling, Artistic Director,English National Ballet-,Sergei Filin(BOLSHOI)   the Directors of the Royal Ballet,Polish Ballet, Berlin State Opera Ballet,and the list goes on and on ………..Now , Natalia Makarova is the Jury Chairperson(KIROV)……………So, the judges have to choose form the following—Best Duet, Mr.Virtuosity, Ms.Virtuosity,  Mr.Expressiveness, Ms. Expressiveness and best in the Open Dance…They will have their work cut out for them  on Sunday………..Tomorrow however a another day and as our schedule has been changed several times,only heaven knows whats to come , so until tomorrow….So long, from Russia……with love..Mr.Homer,s …Odyssey

A Day At The Vaganova Ballet Academy

Hello ,hello,……….. When it comes to dance and watching dance, today was truly one of our best days here in Russia……We were invited back to the Vaganova Ballet Academy to watch one of the ballet exam classes…………Now, you need to know this,these students have been in the school for 8 years,and we got to watch their 2 hours of dance examination,… barre ,center ,across the floor and pointe. The Vaganova school graduates about 70 students per year………….There are approxamately 600 students in the school……..Group 1, ages 9 to 12 —–Group 2, ages 13 to 16 , and Group 3,ages 17 to 19………….Children form Russia are taken in, live at the school, they have academics as well as their dance program…….Students come here from all across the globe, anyone can study here…..It will cost you $15,000 per year …… . ……In  the exam class, there were  only 9 young ladies  , other students were tested eariler.The boys are tested ballet separately,and only take exams with the ballerinas for partnering .All 70 students must test for character dance and all the classical variations,and be able to choreograph as well…………..So, there they were with not only us looking at them ,but a room full of directors and managers from companies from around the globe, scouting for dancers that they could hire……This was a performance,and these ladies were sweating like crazy…………Go on youtube and find a Vaganova level 7 or level 8 class ballet class ,you will see some of the movement that these girls have been doing for years , and years , and years…..Sadly,when the nerves get to ,they get to you..,and some of these girls were  “sligthly uncomfortable”…………..We did see a few future bright stars………The legs were very high, the backs were extremely flexible, and the feet were beyond pointed,all the makings of a good ballerina…….. Their pointe work was excellent, with solid turns and strong ,big jumps, and beautiful across the floor movements..  When it was finally… They bowed to everyone and received hugs and flowers  from watching parents and teachers………The examiners seem rather pleased and the students appeared to be quite happy,most of all, relieved that their ordeal was over………..I was told that there are 30 studios at the Academy.DON,T FORGET, THIS BUILDING TAKES UP A CITY BLOCK…….What was very moving for us today was, as we walked through the hallways of the school,each time we came upon the younger students ,the young girls would curtsy and the young men would stop and bow their heads, everyone saying  “Hello ” or ” Good afternoon”, even “Sorry”, if they unexpectedly appeard from around a corner… Respect….Tradition, such a beautiful thing…….Later ,we taught a master class to the students from St. Petersburg State Conservatory, which is part of the Academy, but these students are studying how to become choreographers ,light designers,technicians  dance historians etc…This was great for us, and again, they knew of Mr. Mitchell and his history with George Balanchine,they wanted to know everything, and when Mr.M. starts talking, there is no stopping him…….good thing we had another place to go…     NOW,         The best treat of the day…..Allow me to backtrack, as we were sitting at breakfast yesterday morning ,we heard some gospel singing,thats right, I SAID GOSPEL………..Well, there was  The Brotherhood Singers from Kentucky,these guys did the soundtrack for the movie “Easy Rider 2″,( find them on youtube )well they had a performance tonite ,talk about amazing. These 5 gentlemen sing acappella,the first half of their show was all gospel, the second half was all Motown….. The Russian people love them and they love  American  jazz ,blues and gospel…..It is the arts and culture that will eventually bring this world together,  it,s great to be someone who is helping just a bit…….From St. Petersburg,Russia,…………With Love……….Mr.Homer,s ………….Odyssey

Our Day At The Mariinsky—”Kirov “,–TThe Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet

Hello ,Hello, Compare to yesterday,today was quite fastinating,we arrived at the Kirov a little after noon,just in time to see the last 30mins. of the ballet class…..With special permission from the consulate,this was a real treat for us because they hardly ever let anyone look in on what happens their……………Everyone of the dancers had amazing feet, a few had beyond amazing ,the ballerinas (about 22 ,in the class) were tall ,pretty, and thin, not too thin,I really did not see any sickly looking girls…………The men ,(about 13) were just as tall, handsome and very powerful as they moved through space and time………..When the buzz finally got around the room that Arthur Mitchell was the man sitting by the pianist,these folks started performing,everyone was jumping higher and turning more,it was truly a wonderful sight to behold……….Even these young Russians know of the Balanchine / Mitchell connection .After class ,we saw rehearsal of one of their ballets,and then another group of ballerinas ,about another 25 or so,( a shorter cast came to do the same ballet.) Wow,and we were told that there was a third cast….I was so ,so ,excited that I forgot to ask all the questions,like how many company members,how many studios,how many theatres,etc,etc…………Now ,don,t forget we are still in Russia and the Kirov will not be out done by the Bolshoi,not even if Bolshoi means “Big” in Russian…………..The Mariinsky Theater is actually three huge buildings, and as I stated before these buildings are the whole block long……….As we departed , Lorraine commented on how absolutely fortunate we were to be here ,now ,in this time and place with Mr. Mitchell ……….Yes Harlem,……..Russia,s Prodigal Son is truly being welcome home,,They wanted to know how he felt about the class,what he thought about their dancing,his feelings about being at the famous Vaganova School……Yes, Balanchine,s favorite son was home again………..Russian ballet is about 300 years old,Arthur Mitchell birth DTH in about 15 years and made it a housewhole word for the next 25years……What now Mr.M.?,,…people are waiting for your next move,what will you bring to them ?( the Russians ), what will you bring to us?…. (America )…………….Tomorrow, we are back at the Vaganova Academy,until them…………From St.Petersburg,Russia ……….with love ,Mr.Homer,s…Odyessy