SummerDance begins in Chicago

July 19, 2012 3:18:50 AM PDT
The free outdoor dance festival returns with diverse music and dance offerings.

The largest annual outdoor dancing series in the United States, Chicago SummerDance returns for its 16th year of jumping, jiving and bringing joy to Chicago's residents and visitors. SummerDance will take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoons from 4 to 7 p.m., weather permitting, from July 19 through September 16.

Highlights include performances by acclaimed Cuban composer and vocalist Angel d'Cuba (July 28); Bollywood, Bhangra, Reggae and Funk band Funkadesi (August 9); African Soukous and Highlife band The Occidental Brothers Dance Band International (Sept. 7); and Chicago Samba (Sept. 8). The full schedule is enclosed.

New this year, Chicago SummerDance kicks off at the 32nd annual Taste of Chicago, July 11 - 15, with DJs spinning a different genre of music each night in Grant Park, midpoint between Jackson St. and Congress Pkwy. Then, Chicago SummerDance moves to the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, 601 S. Michigan Avenue, July 19 - September 15 for introductory one-hour dance lessons taught by professional instructors followed by two hours of live music and dancing.

The final evening of Chicago SummerDance on September 16 is scheduled to take place in Millennium Park on the AT&T Plaza in front of Cloud Gate. Further details on the grand finale September 16 event will be announced at a later date.

Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Chicago SummerDance brings people of all ages and skill levels together on the 4,900-square-foot, open-air dance floor made of 100% recycled materials each summer. The series offers free, introductory one-hour dance lessons by professional instructors followed by music and dancing. The diverse musical lineup showcases dance styles from all corners of the globe.

Updates and announcements will be available on Facebook at facebook.com/Chicago-SummerDance and on Twitter @SummerDance2012. Weather announcements will be available on the SummerDance Hotline at 312.742.4007. For more information, visit ChicagoSummerDance.org .

Last year more than 100,000 people enjoyed the Chicago SummerDance series, making it the most established and popular dance series of its kind in the United States.

Chicago SummerDance Dance Floor

The open-air dance floor for Chicago SummerDance was designed by Chicago artist Dan Peterman out of recycled plastic. Titled Chicago Ground Cover, the floor was first installed in 1997 at the original Chicago SummerDance site in Grant Park along Michigan Avenue at Washington Street (now Millennium Park). Originally 2,500 square feet, it was first expanded to 3,500 square feet in 1999, and was then expanded to 4,600 square feet. In 2011, it was renovated and further expanded to 4,900 square-feet to accommodate the increasing number of SummerDance visitors.

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to promoting and supporting Chicago's arts and culture sector. This includes, but is not limited to: fostering the development of Chicago's nonprofit arts sector, independent working artists, and for-profit arts businesses; presenting high-quality, free or low-fee cultural programs accessible to residents and visitors; and marketing the City's cultural assets to local, regional, and global audiences. DCASE produces nearly 2,000 public programs, events and support services annually, generating millions in economic benefits for the City of Chicago.

Chicago SummerDance
Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park
601 S. Michigan Avenue
Today - Sept. 16


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