Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre – Responding to this Unprecedented Time

Briana solo - Photo by William Frederking Dancer Briana Arthur, fall 2019 From Place Between Earth & Sky by Shannon Alvis and Clarice Assad; Shannon returns to Cerqua Rivera as one of the choreographers on the new piece Mood Swing

“Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre winds up its 20th anniversary season with  a powerhouse repertory of emotionally-driven works” – See Chicago Dance  

Through an intense focus on personal narratives, the combined talents of its diverse company, and the multiple  artistic languages with which they communicate, Cerqua Rivera engages audiences in magnetic human stories at  once new and deeply familiar. The company’s mission for 20 years has been to apply the talents of a diverse group  of collaborators to concerns that shape its community. The present moment demands Cerqua Rivera’s attention.  

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre is proud to announce its plans to develop work in this time, about this time. These  plans are guided by the company’s primary concern – for the safety of its artists, audiences, and community.  Schedule subject to change as public health advice and the concerns of our artists and audiences evolve.  

This company is perfectly suited to adding context, responding, and bringing joy in this moment.  Audiences know that Cerqua Rivera tackles big issues and never shies away from challenging conversations. They  also know that uniting people in a common humanity is the organization’s goal. This unique company finds  common bonds where others only see divisions.  

Joe singing – Photo by William Frederking Co-founder Joe Cerqua in concert, fall 2019 Joe is composing new music for Identity City and Mood Swing, two of this year’s new pieces. He also composed music for American Catracho and ROOT, two pieces we will reinterpret this year

To respond to this unprecedented time and to make and share art safely, Cerqua Rivera completely restructured its  2020 season and announces a new slate of artistic projects.  

Details and ticket links https://www.cerquarivera.org/schedule  

New Work:  

Cerqua Rivera’s 2020 new work creatively responds to and utilizes social distancing. Work will be created on two  casts, each including half the Dance Ensemble, and a chamber ensemble of the full Jazz Band.  

Catracho arms out – Photo by William Frederking Dancers Briana Arthur and Fernando Rodriguez, fall 2019 From American Catracho by Wilfredo Rivera, one of the pieces we will reinterpret this year

– AMERICAN CATRACHO and ROOT (updated excerpts) – The company is reimagining sections of these  critically acclaimed audience favorites informed by the current times. AMERICAN CATRACHO Directed  and Curated 2016-2019 by Wilfredo Rivera featuring choreography by Christian Denice and Noelle  Kayser; ROOT created 2018-2019 by Monique Haley and Joe Cerqua  

– IDENTITY CITY – Directed and Curated by Wilfredo Rivera, featuring choreography by Shannon Alvis,  Katlin Bourgeois, A. Raheim White and music by Joe Cerqua – This new project examines evolving  concepts and acceptance (or not) of gender identity (year one of a four-year process) – This year’s work  focuses on feelings of isolation and metamorphosis  

– MOOD SWING – Artistic Director Wilfredo Rivera will lead three choreographers (Shannon Alvis, Katlin  Bourgeois, Monique Haley) and composer Joe Cerqua in developing duets between musicians and dancers  that respond to the current pandemic crisis and social justice movement 

410 South Michigan Avenue, Studio 468 · Chicago, IL 60605 · 601.675.CRDT · cerquarivera.org  

2020 REVISED Fall Concert Series Schedule  

– Fall Concert Series – featuring the 2020 new work in full production  on October 25 @ 7:30 pm  

Livestreamed Benefit Performance honoring Sandra McNaughton,  on November 5, 6, 7 @ 7 pm & November 7 @ 2 pm – concert streamed online  

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre is committed to our mission and building on our 20 year history. Join us this year –  however you can.  

Monique talking – Photo by Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth Choreographer Monique Haley, summer 2018 Monique returns to Cerqua Rivera as one of the choreographers on Mood Swing. We will be taking our Inside/Out events online this year, sharing and discussing new work from a safe distance

“There’s an art to being a dance company, and for twenty years, Cerqua Rivera has been reimagining the  parameters of that art. From the beginning, cofounders Joe Cerqua and Wilfredo Rivera imagined a  fundamentally different relationship between music and dance in concert, and over the company’s first two  decades, they’ve steadily expanded their exploration of what that can be. But over the past few years, there’s  been an increasing momentum to how all of that imagining gets put together. Their current company of  dancers is extraordinary, and the Cerqua Rivera musicians have continuously expanded the horizons of what  they can bring to an audience.” – DancerMusic  

Schedule subject to change. Follow Cerqua Rivera on Facebook and Instagram or check its web site  (www.cerquarivera.org/schedule) for the latest news.  

2020 Company Roster  

Dance Ensemble:  

Shelby Moran Amarantos  Jesse Hoisington  

Brennen Renteria  

Fernando Rodriguez  

Simone Stevens  

Carson VonFeldt  

 Performing Apprentices:   Josephine Castillo  Lucy Pierson  

History and Administration  

Jazz Band, Chamber Ensemble:  Joe Cerqua  

Rob Dicke  

Stu Greenspan  

Leandro Lopez Varady  

Felipe Tobar  

Juli Wood  

Wilfredo Rivera Catherine Painter  

Artistic Director Executive Director  

wilfredo@cerquarivera.org catherine@cerquarivera.org  

773-507-3415 601-675-2738  

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre was founded in 1999 by Joe Cerqua, composer and musician; Wilfredo Rivera,  choreographer and dancer; and Matt Lamb, painter. Over the years, programming grew from collaborations among  the founders to include a collective of creative artists across the three disciplines (dance, music, visual art). Its  work is rooted in the founders’ vision of what art can do – gather people to contemplate factors that knit a  community together and differences that add complexity to society.  

Cerqua Rivera approaches each season with a selection of artistic concepts generated by Cofounder and Artistic  Director Wilfredo Rivera in collaboration with talented choreographers recruited to make work on the company.  Each choreographer is paired with a skilled composer to develop the concept and lead creation with the company’s  Dance Ensemble and Jazz Band. 

The company’s founding mission remains its focus: to fuse dance, music, and visual art to explore and celebrate  contemporary society.  

Cerqua Rivera’s annual season extends spring through fall, culminating in a concert series where the year’s new  work debuts in full production, normally performed by the company’s full 8-member Dance Ensemble and 10-piece  Jazz Band. In a regular year, Cerqua Rivera produces a monthly summer series called Inside/Out – new work  preview performances and discussions where audiences get involved in the art and get to know the artists. The  company also performs regularly in community and school settings, partnering with peer organizations and  teaching young people about the many influences that have shaped dance in America.  

All told, Cerqua Rivera engages nearly 10,000 people per year.  

ROOT Carson – Photo by Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth Dancer Carson VonFeldt with CRDT Jazz Band, fall 2018 From ROOT by Monique Haley & Joe Cerqua, one of the pieces we will reinterpret this year

Check Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre and on Facebook – Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre on Instagram and Twitter @cerquarivera    

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre is supported by Arts Work Fund – Arts for Illinois Emergency Relief Fund housed at  The Chicago Community Trust, Weinberg Family Foundation, ETC, The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at  The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation  Fund from the DeKalb Community Foundation, Albany Bank & Trust Company NA, Microsoft, The Cliff Dwellers  Arts Foundation, Chicago Dance Supply.  

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.  

We are grateful to the Small Business Administration and our fellow Americans for relief funds through the  Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Grant program, and Payroll  Protection Program. 

Photos are courtesy of Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre

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