Aug 14th 2021

Heat Lightning

@ The Drucker Center Parking Lot

1535 N Dayton St, Chicago, IL 60642

Opening Saturday, August 14th, at 8PM

On view through Wednesday, August 18th

Radical Ballet Company Contretemps to Launch with Heat Lightning in August

Contretemps Contemporary Ballet, Chicago’s first explicitly body-diverse contemporary ballet company, will debut its premiere performance Heat Lightning at the Drucker Center in Lincoln Park August 14, 21, and 28. Weaving together visual metaphors for the cultural anxiety of life in post-truth America, Heat Lightning will be an outdoor dance within an installation in the center’s parking lot. Artistic Director MaryAnn McGovern believes the piece will embody Contretemps’ mission to create opportunities for dancers and dancemakers whose bodies and identities have historically been excluded from ballet.

”I grew up dancing ballet in a body that was not deemed acceptable for dance, and my hope is to transform my trauma into meaningful changes in the ballet world. I know too well the pain and alienation of not fitting the mold, and the mental and physical repercussions that come from dancing outside of the box. I am thrilled to welcome dancers of varied backgrounds and body types into this process, into this world”. -MaryAnn McGovern, Artistic Director

The company’s direction and casting challenge the traditional value systems of the dance world. McGovern’s work confronts socio-political issues head-on, such as 2012’s SPRAWL, which examined the cultural and environmental repercussions of suburbanization in America, and 2016’s Scratch, which called out Governor Rauner’s austerity measures and budget cuts to the arts in Illinois.

The cast of Heat Lightning includes artists with backgrounds in Bollywood, classical modern dance, contemporary dance, and classical ballet, with diverse identities and personal experience in the arts and beyond.

“I needed a place where I could feel confident moving again, and I found that here with Contretemps Contemporary Ballet” – Jasmine San Juan-Llenas, cast member, mother of three.

Heat Lightning is funded in part by the Illinois Arts Council, The Pollination Project, and The Chicago Awesome Foundation. Tickets are offered on a siding scale and available now at


Saturdays August 14, 21, and 28 at 8PM
Sliding scale tickets from $10-$25
The Drucker Center Parking Lot, 1535 N Dayton St, Chicago, IL 60642

Tickets can be purchased at

Official Website

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