As Thodos Dance Looks to the Future, Final NEW DANCES Line-Up Announced

As Thodos Dance Looks to the Future, Final NEW DANCES Line-Up Announced

Pictured: NewDances 2016 performance of RESIDUE by Alex Gordon. Photo by Ben Licera.

As Thodos Dance Chicago looks towards the future and the company’s restructuring, the line-up for the final NEW DANCES has been announced.

Now in its 17th year, NEW DANCES will give eight members of the company’s ensemble one last chance to show off their skills as creators and directors of their own, self-conceived new works.

NEW DANCES 2017 features works by ensemble members John Cartwright, Abby Ellison, Alex Gordon, Hattie Haggard, Thomas Jacobson, Jessica Miller Tomlinson, Brennen Renteria and Luis Vazquez. Their mentors during the three-month new work incubation period are Chicago dance community leaders Margi Cole, Kristina Isabelle, Billy Siegenfeld and Zachary Whittenburg.

Also, company founder and Artistic Director Melissa Thodos will serve as guest choreographer for the final year and contribute a new work and set a world premiere.

In February, Thodos announced the 25-year-old company would continue its evolution with a new structure for 2017 and beyond. “Our ‘ride to 25’ has been incredibly fulfilling, personally and professionally, and I feel such a deep sense of accomplishment as we culminate our Silver anniversary season,” said Thodos.

According to the press release, the company will no longer maintain its own ensemble of dancers, allowing Thodos more bandwidth to pursue project-based work including residencies, independent teaching opportunities with emerging artists, and set new works and signature dances from the TDC repertoire on other companies and festivals locally and nationally. The company is also seeking a successor to take on NEW DANCES and continue offering Chicago dance professionals the opportunity to conceive, produce and present new work.

“I feel that now, while we are on a true high note and financially secure, is the right time for a change. Having fulfilled the goals and vision on which Thodos Dance Chicago was founded, I look forward to the start of a new chapter that allows for more personal creative freedom.”

NEW DANCES 2017 runs July 15th and 16th at the Athenaeum Theatre. For more information visit

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Abigail Trabue

Abigail has worked as an actor/director in Chicago for over ten years, and along with husband Jason Epperson founded Lotus Theatricals in 2015, and PerformInk Chicago and Kansas City in 2016 (where she serves as Managing Editor of both publications). When not talking shop, Abigail is raising three padawans with Jason, drinking lots of coffee, converting school buses into RV's, and eating all the foods at Disney World. You can find her on Twitter @AbigailTrabue

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