Five dancers in earth tone colored wrap skirts make their way into the open space of MCA’s The Commons to begin choreographer Brittany Harlin’s work Delinea Renda. The space, with its walls of glass windows and green and yellow plant light fixtures covering the ceiling, creates the perfect modern jungle space to compliment Harlin’s work.
The dancers weave in and around each other performing their own movement sequences; some incorporating elements of street dance, isolating small movements of their hands, shoulders, and rib cages. As the dancers move around the space, they sometimes join in together in another’s movement creating moments of unison, weight sharing, and partnering creating a group energy.
Then, the dance becomes sensual and reflective. The dancers walk or roll slowly across the floor with an internal focus, curling into themselves. Elements of African dance and modern dance movements reveal themselves in these moments as the dancers move low to the ground and incorporate more floor work.
As the piece progresses, we see more movements inspired by street dance. Funk, house, and hip-hop, begin to come out and the piece becomes more celebratory and upbeat. Personalities shine and smile. We have arrived at an upbeat urban dance party within the work.
Chicago Dancemakers Forum SHareOUT
This is Delinea Renda —the weekend close of one of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum SHareOUT performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art, performed by Chicago Urban Dance Collective. Choreographer Brittany Harlin has created this work, exploring a combination of African dance, modern dance, and street dance.
In this reviewer’s view, the live music by the Urban Dance Collective Music Ensemble enhances the performance, making it more immersive, while contributing to the street dance inspired concept of Harlin’s work. The dancers hit each beat with precision especially in small isolated movements of individual body parts.
Jordan Ordonez, Keeley Moore, Selena Lasley, Sherry Lin, and Erin Harner
Gordon Walters, Konstantine Stebliy, Brandon McGhee, and Luke Angle
The Chicago Dancemakers Forum SHareOUT is a two weekend long event featuring local performers and the groundbreaking work they have created over the past year with the support of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum. The first weekend August 24 & 25 featured Harlin’s work along with work by Fujima Yoshinojo, Joshua Ishmon, and Victoria Bradford.
Chicago Dancemakers Forum SHareOUT continues it’s second weekend of performances at the MCA Friday August 31 at 7pm and Saturday September 1 at 2pm with a performance featuring renowned tap artist Jumaane Taylor and hip-hop artist Daniel “Bravemonk” Haywood.
Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art website to purchase tickets for the second weekend of SHareOUT performances.
About the Author:
Hayley Ross graduated from Ohio University in 2016 with degrees in Dance and Journalism. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Hayley began dancing at the age of four. She has studied Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Jazz, Contemporary, and African dance and regularly can be found taking dance and Pilates at Chicago's Lou Conte Dance Studio. Hayley has completed internships at CityScene Media Group, OhioDance, the Chautauqua Institution, and American Dance Festival. She currently works in the Marketing department at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago as the Communication Coordinator. Learn more about Hayley at hayleyross.weebly.com