All stories by Irene Hsiao on BroadwayStars

Monday, May 3, 2021

Hubbard Street and 10,000 Dreams challenge stereotypes while centering AAPI choreographers by Irene Hsiao

Hubbard Street's Unboxed spills Nutcracker tea; Final Bow for Yellowface builds a dance incubator. Act two: a flute trill hurries over a plodding bassoon, chased…

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival offers a base of support for dance and life by Irene Hsiao

This year's CIDF offers three days of workshops and film screenings celebrating everyday movement. "I don't think there's much difference between dance and every…

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Monday, April 19, 2021

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre launches a new partnership and a new season—in person and online by Irene Hsiao

CRDT's Wilfredo Rivera finds the past year has "magnified, amplified, and vindicated the work and the focus I've had for the past six seasons." Cerqua Rivera Dan…

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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Rika Lin's 'ingenuity of necessity' bridges centuries of tradition by Irene Hsiao

Influences from kabuki and karate inform choreographer Rika Lin's boundary-crossing body of dance work. Black hair. A jilted woman.…

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Still Inspired (?) bridges visual art and dance by Irene Hsiao

Four choreographers use images by Chicago artist Sergio Gomez to create a series of dance films in Still Inspired (?). A figure in black caresses a length of pap…

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Monday, February 22, 2021

The Joffrey unveils a new Boléro by Irene Hsiao

Yoshihisa Arai choreographs a world premiere for Maurice Ravel's hugely popular composition. Winter in a pandemic. The roads obstructed with snow.…

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Thursday, February 11, 2021

Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell takes charge at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago by Irene Hsiao

She's the first company alum to head the 43-year-old ensemble. On February 4, after a yearlong search, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago announced the appointment of …

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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Old Ways New Tools explores performance "beyond the rectangle" by Irene Hsiao

SAIC's grad students control (and explode) the frame in an online performance festival. The performance department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago …

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Monday, January 25, 2021

Chicago Dance History Project's Interview Marathon talks up a storm by Irene Hsiao

Local and international luminaries provide a "microcosm" of CDHP's archival mission. Chicago Dance History Project commemorates five years of collecting oral his…

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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Examining the white spaces in Chicago dance by Irene Hsiao

A community townhall reaffirms the need for communication and representation. On January 7, one day after Georgia’s runoff election resulted in its first Black…

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Friday, December 18, 2020

Dance in 2020 explored boundaries away from the stage by Irene Hsiao

In a year of loss, artists found momentum and took care. The view is divided by screens and mirrors in Jane Jerardi's delicate hold. Fragmentation by the frame c…

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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Ruth Page Center reimagines The Nutcracker for an online audience by Irene Hsiao

A new recorded site-specific production meets the challenges of this COVID year. Every winter it comes: the tunes, the tinsel, the toys—and the tale of Clara, …

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Hubbard Street creates under a changing artistic sky by Irene Hsiao

The company's new dance film project captures the "sea change" of precarious times. Jacqueline Burnett, statuesque, iconic. She stands, as if chiseled into the a…

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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Fragmented lives up to its title—for better or worse by Irene Hsiao

The trials of being hapa in America get the callout treatment in this new digital play. “You and I both know that if you leave here and talk shit about this pl…

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Monday, November 16, 2020

Tamara Cubas honors women who cross borders alone by Irene Hsiao

The Uruguayan-born choreographer and visual artist connects with undocumented women in Pilsen and Little Village for a new work. In a year of minimal mobility, …

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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Visceral Dance Chicago moves ahead with plans for a new space by Irene Hsiao

Community, inclusion, and diversity form the connective tissue for Nick Pupillo's vision. “My dream was to have a company. My dream was to create a space that …

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Monday, November 9, 2020

Token Theatre makes its debut with Zac Efron by Irene Hsiao

The 'tragic Asian' love story disappears in this new gay rom-com. Zac Efron: two-time winner of the MTV Movie Award for “best shirtless performance,” four-ti…

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Deeply Rooted turns 25 by Irene Hsiao

The company celebrates "possibilities for renewal" in an anniversary concert. Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT), founded in 1995, has been transitioning for ove…

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

CounterBalance brings accessibility to dance by Irene Hsiao

Going online opens more opportunities in this year's festival. “I’ve been a dancer all my life,” says CounterBalance founder Ginger Lane. Trained primarily…

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Moving through KAOS by Irene Hsiao

Rigoberto Saura's new piece for Hedwig Dances documents our current disorientation. “I woke up—I took my costume, I took a bath. That day we were ready.…

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

We're Gonna Die offers a poignant portrait of mortality by Irene Hsiao

Theatre Y turns Young Jean Lee's play into an elliptical but moving film project. There’s a video of Young Jean Lee performing her 2011 play We’re Gonna Die …

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

96 Hours is popping in lockdown at Links by Irene Hsiao

A livestreamed multidisciplinary festival crosses a wishlist with a treasure hunt. Along with every other performance venue in town, Links Hall went dark in Marc…

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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Torchy Brown lights way for Litany by Irene Hsiao

Jenn Freeman (aka Po'Chop) probes femininity, gender, rage, and history in a five-part dance film. Small-town girl finds adventure, fame, and love in the big cit…

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Pop-up performances and protests break the pandemic chains by Irene Hsiao

In an industry decimated by distancing, dancers discover steps forward. When theaters closed their doors for COVID-19 in March, it looked like curtains for perf…

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Manual Cinema celebrates a decade of innovative work by Irene Hsiao

The company offers an online 'retrospectacular' of four previous shows. “The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a…

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Friday, July 3, 2020

This is us by Irene Hsiao

Chicago’s 21c Museum Hotel reopens with “This We Believe.” A stone's throw from the kitsch and luxe of the Magnificent Mile, in a north-facing window on O…

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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Moving to the music at home with SummerDance by Irene Hsiao

Social distancing can't stop the beat for this beloved Chicago festival. Summer in the city usually means sultry nights of outdoor picnics, plays and concerts ga…

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Monday, May 18, 2020

Hubbard Street evolves with a 'new paradigm' by Irene Hsiao

Space, perspective, and introversion feature thematically in new online dance pieces. On March 12, the dancers of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago were onstage prepa…

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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Chicago Dance History Project archives the current moment by Irene Hsiao

Dancing Under Quarantine honors resilience and creativity. Founded five years ago and recipient of a 2019 Ruth Page Award, the Chicago Dance History Project has …

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Thursday, April 23, 2020

When the lively arts go virtual by Irene Hsiao

Two Reader critics talk about digital dance and theater—and other COVID-19 challenges. On April 8, several organizations came together for a "Chicago Performin…

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Dancing alone together by Irene Hsiao

Dancers figure out how to create in isolation. Dances are made in time and space, a minute or an hour in a dancer’s life never to be seen again. Dances do not …

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All that Chat

Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre