Past Event

Diversity: Then/Now

Audience Architects, a non-profit dance service organization in Chicago, is producing Moving Dialogs: Diversity & Dance – a six-part panel discussion series utilizing the art form of dance to explore the concept and complexities of diversity. Moderated panel discussions will feature internationally-known artists along with some of Chicago’s most talented local writers, educators, and performers – all followed by audience Q&A. Three events will take place in Spring 2013 and three will be held in Fall 2013.

Moving Dialogs kicks off on March 10th 2013 with Diversity: Then/Now, featuring Robert Battle, Artistic Director of the acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Battle and panelists will reflect on the history and current state of diversity in dance, locally and nationally.

Robert Battle, Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Battle was honored as one of the “Masters of African-American Choreography” by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and received the prestigious Statue Award from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. He is a sought-after keynote speaker and has addressed a number of high-profile organizations including the United Nations Leaders Programme and the UNICEF Senior Leadership Development Programme. A frequent choreographer and artist-in-residence at Ailey since 1999, Battle is only the third person to head the Company since it was founded in 1958.

Onye Ozuzu, Chair of the Department of Dance at Columbia College Chicago. Ozuzu is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator and researcher. She received a B.A. in English literature and an M.F.A. in dance performance and choreography at Florida State University. Ozuzu teaches courses in African-based contemporary dance, World Dance and Culture, Creative Dance for Children, and a seminar: The African in American, Perspectives and Implications: A Dancer’s View.

Lucia Mauro is a local arts writer and dance critic for several media organizations, including WBEZ-Chicago Public Radio. She is an adjunct professor of dance history at Loyola University Chicago and moderates the Auditorium Theatre’s “FireSide Chats” public discussion series.

Sarah Dandelles, Program Manager: Adult Dance, Movement & Education, Old Town School of Folk Music. Dandelles has more than 20 years of experience with public programming and instructing youth, families, adults and seniors in the arts, fitness/recreation, and even television and video production. She has directed the Old Town School of Folk Music’s Dance & Movement program since 2000.

Wilfredo Rivera, Artistic Director, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre. A native of Honduras, Rivera was a founding member of River North Dance Chicago. His theater credits include, The Goodman, Porchlight, Auditorium, and Pegasus Players. He has appeared in productions featuring Oprah Winfrey, Liza Minelli, Ben Vereen and Jon Secada. Wilfredo directs a series of after-school dance classes for high school youngsters in Chicago’s underserved communities.

Julie Nakagawa, Artistic Director and Co-founder, DanceWorks Chicago. From Evanston, Illinois, Julie was a featured dancer with Twyla Tharp Dance. At Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, she established the National Choreographic Competition to provide opportunities for emerging dance makers.

Young and emerging local artists Nic Kay (About Face Theater) and Dorian Rhea (Afterschool Matters Hip Hop Culture Dance Ensemble) will round out the panel, providing insight from the perspective of their generation.

For more information and to register, please go to:

This event is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council.