Percussive dance set to take over Chicago

Stomping Grounds in ChicagoThe Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), the nation’s premier presenter of American tap dance and lead collaborator in the American Rhythm Center, spotlights Chicago’s exceptional and diverse percussive dance community with the second annual citywide STOMPING GROUNDS series this spring, which will culminate with the Auditorium Theatre’s grand finale Chicago Rhythm Fest. Showcasing African, Irish, Mexican, Spanish, Japanese and American cultural traditions, this multi-performance event is a celebration of the rhythmic arts that connects diverse communities through rhythm. 


Opening in April is STOMPING GROUNDS, a series of free events in six distinct communities showcasing five of Chicago’s most accomplished percussive dance companies: CHRP’s resident ensemble BAM!, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre, Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago, Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago and Trinity Irish Dance Company, along with special guest Tsukasa Taiko. Each event features a host company, a guest company and featured artists, along with a Q&A with the artists, food trucks and costume exhibitions. See the full schedule below.


– April 4, 6 p.m., Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street: Kickoff event featuring the five dance companies engaging in conversation about the rhythmic arts; each company performs a duet.


Stomping Grounds in Chicago– April 16, 7:30 p.m., Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Avenue: Trinity Irish Dance Company, host company; Muntu Dance Theatre, guest company; Mexican Folkloric Dance Company, featured artists.


– April 27, 5 p.m., Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Avenue: Special guest Tsukasa Taiko in a solo performance of Japanese percussion.


– May 2, 7:30 p.m., Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis Avenue: Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre, host company; BAM!, guest company; Trinity Irish Dance Company, featured artists.


– May 15, 3 p.m., National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th Street: Mexican Folkloric Dance Company, host company; Trinity Irish Dance Company, guest company; Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre, featured artists.


– May 21, 7:30 p.m., DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place: Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago, host company; Mexican Folkloric Dance Company, guest company; BAM!, featured artists.


Stomping Grounds in ChicagoSTOMPING GROUNDS events are free and open to the public; reservations are available at


As the culminating event, the Auditorium Theatre presents the five percussive dance companies—BAM!, Ensemble Español, Mexican Folkloric Dance, Muntu Dance and Trinity Irish Dance—in Chicago Rhythm Fest on June 4 at 7:30 p.m. as a part of the Auditorium Theatre’s “Made in Chicago” Dance Series. Tickets for this start at $28 and are on sale at


Photo (top): Performer with Muntu Dance Theater. Photo (left): Dancer with Ensemble Espanol. Photo (right): Artist with Trinity Irish Dance. Photos by Cheryl Mann.