Part of the solstice blowout at the Museum of Contemporary Art this year is a segment called “Everybody Dance.” Organized by Dennis Wise and Nana Shineflug, this final event in the Chicago Dance Legacy Project will bring together over 200 Chicago dancers with as many as 200 bystanders in one huge ensemble piece. The advance recruits include modern, hip-hop, ballet, and square dancers as well as Scottish, African, Balkan, and Indian troupes, all encouraged to wear their most colorful costumes. The piece will be organized along the principles used in marching bands and square dances: performers will be assigned to one of six different lines behind colored cones, and Wise will call out instructions–for the blue line to switch places with the red line, for example; each line also has its own “solo.” Laypeople who want to participate should show up at 1 PM Saturday, when everyone will rehearse for 15 minutes or so on the front steps; the group will reconvene at about 2:30 for the performance. In between there will be simultaneous performances in various places, including improvisations in which passersby are invited to participate. Wise likens this grassroots event to the happenings of the 60s, except that those performers made some effort to blend in with everyday life. “We want to stand out,” he says, “and make a statement that Chicago dance is alive and cookin’ and that dance is not just for the professional.” The festival’s other dance event is equally ambitious: Asimina Chremos, Joan Pangilinan-Taylor, Lisa Wymore, and Kim-Lien Desault will perform together on the terrace for the entire 24-hour period. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, 312-280-2660. Friday, June 22, 6 PM, through Saturday, June 23, 6 PM. $8; free to MCA members, children 12 and under, and the first 4,000 visitors who bring at least two nonperishable food items for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

–Laura Molzahn

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