Sharing Joy

The best way we know how to share joy is

One of these events was a “Made in Chicago” dance series hosted by the Harold Washington Public Library Center downtown. We were able to perform Musings...Or Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously at the library during lunchtime, sharing dance and a little laughter with an audience of local residents and a variety of people who work downtown. 

Later the same night, we performed Musings again, this time at a free Vaudville-style performance. The event, held in a Park District building in the Logan Square neighborhood, was sponsored by a local nonprofit group, Voice of the City, dedicated to “connecting quality arts experiences to community”. 

When Ballet 5:8 Company Artists and Artistic Director Julianna Slager arrived at the venue to get ready for the performance, the organizer embraced Julianna and began weeping out of joy and gratitude. Ballet 5:8, the organizer said, is the first professional ballet company to participate in the event, which usually features a range of other types of art forms and dance styles. By being willing to participate in this small performance, Ballet 5:8 was able to share a unique and inspiring opportunity with children and local residents who had never been able to watch and interact with “real live ballerinas” before. What a joy and privilege! 

Also in June, we had the opportunity to send two Company Artists, Brette Benedict and Laura Schlatter, to Project Dance in Detroit. As they tell it, Project Dance is “a movement of dancers seeking to positively impact culture through artistic integrity.” Project Dance hosts conferences in various U.S. cities each year that are attended by hundreds of dancers in training. The conferences include performances by professional companies, classes, workshops, speakers, student performances, and more, all intended to encourage and inspire students. Ballet 5:8 was able to perform as a featured company alongside other dance companies including Ad Deum, and was able to interact with many young dancers attending the conference. 

Ballet 5:8 Company Artists warming up at the Detroit Dance City Festival in July

Ballet 5:8 Company Artists warming up at the Detroit Dance City Festival in July

Later in July, the Company Artists had the opportunity to perform at the Detroit Dance City Festival. According to DDCF, "The Detroit Dance City Festival is three-day community building event celebrates dance in its various forms and disciplines with workshops, performances and networking opportunities held at various locations throughout the city of Detroit. The mission of Detroit Dance City Festival is to educate audiences about the impact of dance, provide opportunities for artists to share their work, and create artistic networks between Michigan, the United States and the world." Musings was included in the Thursday evening Choreographer's Showcase.