Cream of the crop
If you took our advice last week and made it to the DanceWorks Chicago showcase at the Harold Washington Library on Wednesday 9, you’re probably still under the spell of the prodigious talents on display. Among them was 25-year-old Marc Macaranas, a California native who until recently was performing with some of the city’s top choreographer-run modern-dance companies.
Macaranas’s performance in Lucky Plush Production’s Cinderbox 18 at the MCA Theater in November stood out for the use of his flexible spine, not to mention his mordant wit and fearless sense of humor. He’s also been seen with Chicago mainstay Mordine & Company.
Last November, Macaranas auditioned for DanceWorks Chicago, a professional training initiative run by former Hubbard Street 2 (junior company) associates Andreas Böttcher, Pam Crutchfield, Debbie Kristofek and Julie Nakagawa. “I auditioned on a whim,” Macaranas says. “I didn’t really have any expectations.”
He made the cut. Macaranas is now part of an elite group of six dancers, all in their 20s, who report to work at the Ruth Page Center for daily ballet-technique class and rehearsals in which repertory (choreography by visiting artists) is practiced and refined. While DWC has all the features of a professional dance company, including full-time pay and health insurance, Macaranas notes that the goal is to get to the next step in their careers—whether that means becoming a choreographer or dancing for another company.
“Julie [Nakagawa] asks us a lot of questions in class and rehearsal,” Macaranas says. “This is a very special environment. We’re investigating ourselves as young artists in order to find our own place in the dance world.”
Learn more about Macaranas’s colleagues at danceworkschicago.org.