This summer, Synapse Arts is presenting a series of original dance pieces with live music in front of significant Chicago murals on the North, South, and West sides of the city. Performances will be on the “third Saturdays” of July 17, August 21, and September 18, 2021. Called “Mural Dances”, this series of performances will be free to the public and will serve as a safe way to get together amid COVID-19 and celebrate neighborhood pride. Each mural will be honored with it's own choreography and music performed by professional artists with a local cast. Food trucks will be invited to set up shop at the performances, further enhancing the flavor of each event and making the performances an occasion for a family-friendly day out with the arts.
The choreographer(s) and musicians for each piece represent the neighborhood where their performance takes place. At Jessie “Ma” Houston Park in Kenwood, directors Tim Tsang and Kara Roseborough will work together to reflect their Asian American and Black American experiences at the two-story mural depicting civil rights actions. In Pilsen at Barrett Park, choreographer Amanda Ramirez will respond to a mural of luminaries such as Frida Kahlo and have English/Spanish bilingual aspects. At Loyola Park in Rogers Park, longtime resident Rachel Damon will direct a piece that celebrates the rich diversity of queerfolx, ethnicities, and heritages of the area as the performance travels 600 feet of murals about peace and unity.
The Mural Dances series is well suited to the grants that focus on public art in memory of Mark Rogovin. Three of the choreographers are young, emerging artists whose voices have been lifted by Synapse Arts, and this series is the first opportunity they have been given to create a program where they are the featured artist. This type of mentorship is at the heart of what Synapse does, trusting underrepresented artists to make excellent work while supporting them in creative and logistical decision making.
Funded by Chicago, IL (May 2021)