Frank Chaves retiring from River North

Artistic Director of River North Dance ChicagoAfter an impressive 23 years with River North Dance Chicago, Frank Chaves will retire as artistic director following a celebratory performance at the Auditorium Theatre on Saturday, October 3.


During Chaves’ illustrious two-decade tenure with River North, he choreographed 25 works and commissioned 31 pieces by guest artists, “igniting the company’s international reputation,” according to the Chicago Tribune


Despite being diagnosed 10 years ago with the degenerative spinal cord condition syringomyelia, Chaves continued to bring his unparalleled passion and world-renowned artistry to the River North studios and stages around the world. While his mobility progressively decreased, his ambition and talent soared, leading him to forge a remarkable new choreographic process, most impressively evidenced by his recent work In the End, which he choreographed from his wheelchair.


The time has now come for Chaves, a 2014 Chicagoan of the Year, to focus on his health and explore other endeavors, setting the stage for new artistic leadership to carry the company into the next generation of great dance.


Chaves stated, “It has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life to serve as the artistic director for River North Dance Chicago over the past 23 years. It is not often that someone is able to work with a group of people that are passionate, innovative, versatile and fiercely dedicated all at the same time, but I have been fortunate enough to surround myself with those types of people from the very beginning of this incredible journey.”


In order for the new leadership to strengthen the company operations and take initial steps toward a new artistic path, the company’s 2015-16 performance season will conclude after the October 3rd performance at the Auditorium Theatre, re-emerging in the fall of 2016 to begin its next chapter.


Tickets to River North’s October 3rd performance in celebration of Chaves’ career are now on sale at Read more details about the company’s transition and Chaves’ retirement in the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. Also, watch the trailer below to go behind the scenes of Chaves’ In the End.



Photo: Frank Chaves, artistic director of River North Dance Chicago, has choreographed his most recent pieces from his wheelchair. Photo courtesy of River North.