Outdoor Screenings of Netta Yerushalmy, Abby Z and the New Utility Performances to be Presented by Columbia’s Dance Performing Series

The Dance Performing Series at Columbia College Chicago’s Dance Center will present four outdoor screenings of Netta Yerushalmy and Abby Z and the New Utility performances.

The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago in partnership with the Chicago Park District presents Abby Z and the New Utility’s Abandoned Playground and Netta Yerushalmy’s Paramodernities, bringing these pieces from the stage to the park. Audiences will enjoy filmed versions of contemporary dance works from visionary choreographers while relaxing outdoors.

To close out the spring semester and welcome in the summer, Columbia’s Dance Center will present a celebratory night at Daniel Webster Park including a screening of Abby Z and the New Utility’s landmark work, Abandoned Playground. In this filmed version, nine dancers rip through the space performing hyper-physical dance that pushes them to the brink of their capabilities and endurance.

A series of Netta Yerushalmy’s Paramodernities will also be presented at three separate screenings at Chicago Park District locations this June. Paramodernities offers an utterly unique hybrid of academic conference, dance performance, and town hall gathering. The series weaves theory and performance into a brain-tickling journey. With equal parts reverence and violence, choreographer Netta Yerushalmy and a cast of 20 dancers and scholars—ranging in age from 21 to 69—perform responses to iconic works from artists ranging from Bob Fosse to Alvin Ailey. Paramodernities was named one of the “20 Top Works of the Last 20 Years” by Dance Magazine.

Each performance screening will take place at one of four different Chicago Park District locations:

Friday, May 14, 8:30 p.m. at Daniel Webster Park, 1357 S. Indiana Ave., Chicago, IL 60605

(Estimated run time is 8:30 p.m.–10 p.m.)

  • Abandoned Playground, Abby Z and the New Utility’s landmark work

Thursday, June 10, 8:30 p.m. at Austin Town Hall Park, 5610 W. Lake St, Chicago, IL 60644

(Estimated run time is 8:30 p.m.– 10 p.m.)

  • Paramodernities #1The Work of Dance in the Age of Sacred Lives
    • A response to Vaslav Nijinsky’s Le sacre du printemps (1913)
  • Paramodernities #2: Female Trauma, Interdiction, and Agency in “The House of Pelvic Truth”
    • A response to Martha Graham’s Night Journey (1947)

Thursday, June 17, 8:30 p.m. at Indian BoundaryPark, 2500 W. Lunt Ave., Chicago, IL 60645

(Estimated run time is 8:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.)

  • Paramodernities #4: Inter-Body Event
    • With material from Merce Cunningham’s RainForest, Sounddance, Points in Space, Beach Birds, and Ocean (1968–91)
  • Paramodernities #5: All that Spectacle: Dance on Stage and Screens
    • A response to Bob Fosse’s Sweet Charity (1969 film)

June 24, 8:30 p.m. at South Shore Cultural Center Park, 7059 S. South Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60649

(Estimated run time is 8:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.)

  • Paramodernities #3: Revelations: The Afterlives of Slavery
    • A response to Alvin Ailey’s Revelations (1960)
  • Paramodernities #6: The Choreography of Rehabilitation: Disability and Race in Balanchine’s Agon 
    • A response to George Balanchine's Agon (1957)

All events are free with no reservation required. Guests are invited to bring a blanket to relax on and are asked to follow the City’s COVID-19 guidelines.

In addition to the outdoor performance screenings, a pre-show discussion with choreographer Netta Yerushalmy and special guests will take place on June 10, 17, and 24 through Zoom at 12 p.m. Pre-show discussions are free, but registration is required.  More information and registration will be available on the Dance Center website on June 1.

The Dance Center Summer Screenings are presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks series, supported by the Mayor’s Office and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Now in its 9th year, the 2021 Night Out in the Parks program presents cultural events year-round in neighborhood parks throughout the city. The Chicago Park District in partnership with over 100 local artists and organizations, present engaging events and performances that enhance quality of life across Chicago and amplify the artistic and cultural vibrancy in every neighborhood. Through multiple disciplines, which include theater, music, movies, dance, site-specific work, nature programs, and community festivals, the series aims to support Chicago-based artists, facilitate community-based partnerships and programs, cultivate civic engagement, and ensure equity in access to the arts for all Chicagoans. To further extend the reach of these cultural, arts and nature experiences, the Chicago Park District has mounted a virtual platform to spotlight the diversity of Chicago’s artistic offerings and provide equitable access to some of these performances for all Chicagoans and visitors alike.

In accordance with the Chicago Department of Public Health and Illinois Department of Public Health Covid-19 health guidelines to gradually and safely reopen the city, the Chicago Park District will implement the following safety guidelines and expectations for all patrons, partners, and staff participating in Night Out in the Parks. Events will be limited in capacity based on current health guidelines. All visitors and staff are required to wear a mask at all times and to social distance upon entering the designated viewing area. To help ensure social distancing, a maximum of 100 individuals will be allowed within a designated viewing on a first-come, first-served basis. Upon entering, patrons are asked to follow directional signage when moving through the space to ensure one-way foot traffic. Entrances and exits will be clearly posted and visitor movement will be one-way throughout the event space. The District also urges patrons to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, avoid touching their face with unwashed hands and covering their noses and mouths when sneezing or coughing. Also, anyone who is feeling unwell should stay home, per Chicago Department Public Health order. The Park District will closely monitor local and state guidelines regarding Covid-19 and inform the public of modifications to the above-mentioned operations at https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/events/night-out-in-the-parks.


The Dance Center

The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago is the city’s leading presenter of contemporary dance, showcasing artists of regional, national and international significance. The Dance Center has been named “Chicago’s Best Dance Theatre” by Chicago magazine, “Best Dance Venue” by the Chicago Reader and Chicago’s top dance venue by Newcity, and Time Out Chicago cited it as “…consistently offering one of Chicago’s strongest lineups of contemporary and experimental touring dance companies.” Programs at the Dance Center are supported, in part, by the Alphawood Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley Jr. Family Foundation, the Irving Harris Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Illinois Arts Council and the Crane Group. Special thanks to Friends of the Dance Center for their generous contributions to the Dance Center’s work. 


Daisy Franco
Communications Manager