Giordano Dance Chicago celebrates 60th Anniversary Season
In 1963, dance pioneer and innovator Gus Giordano set out to elevate the art form of American jazz dance with the creation of his eponymously named company. Now, 60 years later, Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC) – America’s original jazz dance company – continues Gus’ foundational legacy as one of the longest running dance companies in the world.
“As I enter my 38th year at the helm I marvel at all the extraordinary growth and illuminate all the amazing possibilities at hand. My father, Gus Giordano, is smiling,” says GDC Artistic Director Nan Giordano.
Executive Director Michael McStraw adds, “Reaching this extraordinary six-decade milestone is a testament to the thousands and thousands of dancers, choreographers, staff, collaborators, presenters, Board members and supporters who have believed, without reservation, in Giordano Dance Chicago’s mission and programs. For this collective trust, we have nothing but gratitude.”
In light of their 60th Anniversary, GDC has several news-worthy announcements:
Cesar G. Salinas has been named as GDC’s Associate Artistic Director. Salinas will choreograph his first world premiere for GDC at the Harris Theater | Millennium Park Oct. 21 & 22, 2022. “Cesar and I are always creating adventures with laughter on and off the stage. I could ask for no one better to have by my side,” says Nan Giordano.
Rosario Guillen, Onjélee Phomthirath and Erina Ueda have been promoted from Giordano II into the main company. New Giordano II dancers are Joseph Cyranski and Emma Kempson.
Through the statewide advocacy of Arts Alliance Illinois and its Arts and Culture Capital Coalition (of which GDC is an active member), the State of Illinois has allocated GDC $3 million in support of the future creation of a center for Jazz Dance.
GDC has commissioned a world premiere by Kia Smith, Executive Artistic Director of South Chicago Dance Theatre (SCDT) featuring artists from GDC and SCDT. The work will premiere at the Harris Theater | Millennium Park March 31 & April 1, 2023. It is the first collaboration of its kind in GDC’s 60-year history and is in honor of Homer Hans Bryant for his lifetime of contributions to the dance world locally and globally.
Save the Date! GDC will host their 60th Anniversary Gala April 1, 2023 in association with GDC’s performance at the Harris Theater that evening. Festivities will include a pre-show reception and after party at the Pritzker Pavilion.
Finally, this is the second year of GDC’s “Dance Circle.” This series is intended to unite and energize Chicago’s vibrant dance artists. The 60th season begins with Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and The Joel Hall Dancers with more to be added. Past participants include Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Inaside Chicago Dance and South Chicago Dance Theatre.
For more information about GDC and their 60th Anniversary Season, visit giordanodance.org.