Things to do Upcoming Events


May 31, 2017


Opening night concert ends with Paint the Town Red fundraiser

Yikes this week has flown by and the weekend is almost here!

What to do? Where to go?!

As summer nears there are soooo many things that get added to our calendar here is yet another event that is a must do!  Check out the details below and then scroll down a bit further and check out my interview with founder and artistic director Vershawn Sanders-Ward.


Leading Afro-contemporary dance company Red Clay Dance’s spring concert, featuring two world premieres and the return of repertoire from guest choreographers.

The concert includes two world premieres choreographed by founder and artistic director Vershawn Sanders-Ward: The Art of Resilience, the first of a planned trilogy of ensemble works, and Blackbird, a work inspired by the song of legendary performer Nina Simone.

Concert repertoire also includes Sanders-Ward’s Diamond in the RUF, which was loosely inspired by the diamond mining scandal that shook Sierra Leone in the 1990s. In addition to these three works, Red Clay will once again performBody of Evidence by acclaimed choreographer Bridget L. Moore, andDevelopMino, by emerging Gary, IN choreographer Amansu Eason.

Red Clay supporters attending the spring concert on June 3 will also have the opportunity to contribute to the company’s future with the annual Paint the Town Red fundraiser.


Red Clay Dance Company, all-female Afro-contemporary dance company.



Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637



Saturday, June 3, 2017, 7:30pm (Paint the Town Red fundraiser immediately following concert)
Sunday, June 4, 2017, 3:00pm


Red Clay Dance presents the spring concert Friday, June 3 at 7:30pm and Saturday, June 4 at 3:30 p.m. at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th Street.

Pre-sale tickets
$55 – VIP Concert Seating/Paint the Town Red
$20 – General Admission, Adult
$15 – General Admission, Student/Senior/Child
$12 – Groups

$25 – General Admission, Adult
$20 – General Admission, Student/Senior/Child
Concert information and tickets available at


Interview with Vershawn Sanders-Ward

Did you come up with the title?  “The art of resilience” If so, what was the inspiration behind that title, and what can audience members expect to see?

Yes I did develop the title for the concert.  It comes from our new work- The Art of Resilience which is set to be a trilogy of works, this is the first. The inspirations are the people that I see day to day fighting to stay in this city, fighting for their place. It comes from the many histories of families that migrated to this place for a better life. I wanted to acknowledge and celebrate the grit, the resilience it takes to continue to make Chicago home. I hope this work shifts the narrative, not to say that there is not violence in Chicago, but there is SOO much more that shapes this city and makes me want to call it home. As a child growing up here, you don’t have much choice, but as an adult you choose where you live. Why do you choose to live in Chicago? What makes this city home for you? That is what I want to audience to experience in this work. They can expect to see 7 intelligent, powerful and dynamic female dancing bodies tear up the stage and engage the audience like they have never experience before.

What led you to dance? Did you know when you were a little girl that you wanted to pursue dance?

I started dancing very young, exploring the feeling of motion and the freedom that I felt when my body was in motion. I began classical training around 9 or 10 and took a break for about a year in high school to play sports, softball, track, oh and I played in the band for 1 year too. But my high school dance teacher, Sue Morrison, caught me after school one day and asked why I wasnt dancing anymore. After having a break from dance, I realized how much I missed it and returned to training my junior year. I went on to study dance in undergrad and graduate school. I knew I wanted to dance, but I wasnt exposed to it as a career path. It wasnt until I started at Columbia that I learned I could make a career out it. I wish I had been introduced to the field earlier, I wish I had access.

Tell me about your upcoming 2 year…what are your expectations and what are you excited about? Well the company and I will be embarking on a yearlong collaboration with Uganda choreographer Jonas Byarhunga and his all male company Keiga Dance. We will travel to Uganda and Senegal for community engagement exchanges and Keiga will travel to Chicago as well. During this time we will be working on a new evening length work that will premiere in Chicago in fall 2018. The work will tour the US and internationally from 2018-2020. Jonas and I met in 2007 and created a short duet in 2010 that premiered at his dance festival in Uganda. We have been trying to bring our companies together since that time, so I am SUPER EXCITED it is finally happening!

When you’re not dancing, what do you like to do in Chicago? Favorite restaurants?  Hangouts?

When I am not dancing, I love being on the lake walking or riding my bike, when the weather permits. During those brutal winters I enjoy going to the movies, dance concerts, and restaurants…right now I am in love with Breakfast spots. Some of my favs are Battery and Berries, Peaches, Wildberry and Sweet Maple Cafe. I can eat breakfast food any time of the day!


About Red Clay Dance Company

Founded in July 2008 and based in Chicago, Illinois, Red Clay Dance is a professional touring company that creates and performs a diverse repertoire of contemporary dance infused with the vibrant dance and culture of the African Diaspora. Founded by Vershawn Sanders, Red Clay Dance lives to awaken “glocal” change through creating, performing and teaching African Diaspora inspired work–change that transforms social, cultural, and economic imbalances.

To learn more about Red Clay Dance Company, visit


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