Now in its seventh year, this festival has ballooned into the city’s most wide-ranging showcase for local talent, from Hubbard Street and the Joffrey Ballet to Glass House Dance (I’ve never heard of ’em). Presenting more than 200 companies and choreographers on eight programs over about four weeks, festival founders Fred Solari and John Leonard Schmitz pretty much cover the gamut of Chicago dance. One of the most exciting programs, started last year, is “Dance R/Evolution” (see listing), made up of revivals of works by Chicago choreographers, from Ruth St. Denis’s 1906 The Spirit of Incense and Doris Humphrey’s 1928 Grieg Concerto to Sherry Zunker’s 1992 Reality of a Dreamer, one of the hottest dances ever to grace a Chicago stage. Also intriguing is a new program called “New Dances,” which offers 35 premieres over four evenings, each with a different lineup of performers. “Dance Slam,” modeled on poetry slams (and only $5), puts 20 companies onstage for five minutes each: audience members vote for their favorites each evening, determining who will be invited back next year. “Dance for Kids, Too!” is made up entirely of matinee performances intended for families, and as usual the “Opening Weekend” (see listing) and “Finale” programs include some of the city’s better established groups: Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, the Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, and the Trinity Irish Dance Company, to name a few. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500 (773-935-6860 for information and subscription sales). Opens Saturday, November 3, 8 PM. Through December 2: Tuesdays, 7:30 PM (no show November 6); Thursdays, 7:30 PM (no show November 22); Fridays, 8 PM; Saturdays, 2 and 8 PM (no matinees November 3 or 10); Sundays, 3 PM (and 7 PM December 2). $5-$25; subscription and group discounts available.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Marc Hauser.