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Harris Theater for Music and Dance Launches Multi-Year Choreographer in Residence Fellowship

by Helene Davis
March 30, 2016
Harris Theatre for Music and Dance
Millennium Park
205 E. Randolph Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
312.332.7777
The Harris Theater for Music and Dance has appointed choreographer Brian Brooks its first ever Choreographer in Residence. This Residency provides $600,000 over three years that will fund choreographer compensation, commissioning, and production support. The new Residency will provide encouragement and allow choreographers to focus on creating one-to-three new works each season without the constraints of financial pressures, while providing financial support to mount and produce the new works set upon regional, national, and international dance companies.

The first three companies chosen for commissions are Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (2016-17 season), Miami City Ballet (2017-18 season), and Brian Brooks Moving Company (2017-18 season), with more to be announced. Each piece will either premiere at the Harris Theater, or will be presented by the Harris Theater after its premiere in another city.

The Harris Theater has a history of awarding commissions to promising and important choreographers, composers and visual artists, including Mark Morris Dance Group, Jonathan Berger, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Trey McIntyre Project, Jessica Lang Dance and many more.

The Choreographer in Residence at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance is made possible by the Jay Franke and David Herro Choreographer in Residence Fund through the Imagine campaign.

"The fund is an opportunity for the Harris to 'invest' in choreographers and cultivate a relationship with their work for our audiences,” said Jay Franke. “It will allow choreographers a chance to dig deep into their work while the Harris provides the venue and opportunity along with a long term commitment to ideas they wish to explore. I see this fund as a catalyst for a choreographer to hone their craft further while allowing them the freedom to not stress about paying the bills."

“We are proud to establish the Choreographer in Residence program to explore a new channel of creativity in dance,” said Harris Theater Board Chair Alexandra Nichols. “The Harris Theater is developing a rich culture of supporting dance and commissioning vital projects that have added to the international artistic landscape.”

"The Choreographer in Residence program with Brian Brooks is an important step in the development of our mission at the Harris which is to nurture and support creativity at all levels," said Michael Tiknis, President and Managing Director of Harris Theater. "It is also an example of inspired philanthropy and vision on behalf of Jay Franke and David Herro. The benefits of a Choreographer in Residence at a theater without a resident company are unique, allowing for collaborations at national and international levels with the world's most respected companies."
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