Graceful! Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival at Ruth Page Center for the Arts (October 8-9, 2021)

The Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival usually takes place over two weekends at the end of September at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. This year, the festival is a bit downsized due to Covid and is just one weekend. Eight dance groups perform this year. Here is a selection of the best performances:

Christopher Knowlton

Extend Play

Choreography, technology, prop design, costumes, and performance by: Christopher Knowlton

Music: Jack Rose

In this piece, Christopher Knowlton places a record on a turntable. A video screen behind him shows the record spinning along with two computer animated dancers on top of the record. As he dances, motion capture technology translates his movements to the dancers. It’s a very cool idea, but on this night, it doesn’t work very well. The digital dancers often disappear or fly all over the place. However, with some work, this could be a great piece.

Aerial Dance Chicago

Arc Of The Heart

Choreographer:  Chloe Jensen

Music: Susie Suh And Robot Koch

Lighting Design: Jacob Snodgrass

Performers: Libby Westra, Genevieve Brady, Katie Harmon, Jennifer Sarsfield, Teagan Reed

Original Curveboard concept By Chloe Jensen

Photos by Kristie Kahns

In this dance, the performers use wooden boards shaped into a quarter of a circle. This is much different than the silks hanging from the ceiling that this company usually uses. However , like  the ariel series, the curveboards require immense discipline and percision. The result is a compilation of beautifully synchronized movement filled with synergy among the dancers. 

Giordano II


Choreographer:  Joshua Blake Carter

Music: Gui Boratto

Performers: Brittany Brown, Rosario Guillen, Sasha Lazarus, Onjélee Phomthirath And Erina Ueda

The dancing in this piece is majestic and graceful. Joshua Blake Carter’s choreography expertly matches the music by Gui Boratto.  This group consistently brings a top grade quality performance to this festival and this year’s professional display is no exception.

See the full program here:

Cost of a ticket: $25

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It –

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney


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