Support vulnerable artists and provide hope to young dancers. Donations up to $1,500 will be matched by a generous anonymous individual.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has touched everyone, and at Synapse Arts it has most impacted our artists and teachers. Artists and teachers are the lifeblood of our community, but as contractors and gig workers, are often the first to lose work.
Find out more about how we’re supporting our artists, students, and teachers on the donation campaign page here:
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Events at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm CST hosted online via Zoom
All events are FREE
Join Synapse Arts for FREE dance-centric events! In the past this day has been chock full of in-person activities. This year we are reimagining Free Dance Day for virtual space, with three main events intended for all ages, abilities, identities, and incomes.
Learn about the Synapse Arts - New Works program in a Q&A session with former New Works artists, take an intermediate/advanced workshop with Kristina Fluty, and have young artists try a ballet class. All events are free and open to the public. Zoom codes available by registration or request. See event info below for details.
full descriptions below
All times CST (Chicago)
12pm-1pm New Works Information Session with past New Works Artists
Ideal for anyone who is interested in how the Synapse Arts - New Works program works, how new performance pieces are made, or intends to apply to the program in the fall of 2020.
Direct Message (DM) Synapse Arts on Facebook to receive the Zoom code
**The session will be live captioned and recorded for later use at your own pace.
2pm-3pm Phrasebuilding Workshop with Kristina Fluty
Join Kristina Fluty of Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak and The Theatre School at DePaul University for a quick creative process class. We will build and investigate a long-form phrase of movement. All are welcome though this workshop may be best suited for intermediate/advanced movers.
RSVP required at this link: https://synapsearts.networkforgood.com/events/18542-phrasebuilding-workshop-with-kristina-fluty
Zoom code will be sent by automatic email once you register
4pm-5pm Ballet for Young Dancers with Ms. Katie
Join Synapse Arts’ own Ms. Katie for a fun all-levels ballet class. This class is aimed at students who have participated in Arts Partner Ballet classes at Loyola Park and Berger Park, but all young dancers ages 4-10 are welcome.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom code
Accessibility and inclusivity notes
Synapse Arts events actively welcome individuals with diverse identities, including all genders, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, income levels, ages, parent/caregiver status, backgrounds, and household structures.
All sessions are relaxed and sensory-friendly. Some sessions will be captioned and recorded for later use at the user’s own pace.
Selected activities from the original Free Dance Day schedule have been cancelled by the Park District or postponed indefinitely. These cancelled activities include:
All events are free. We hope that you will help us support the hard working artists who are bringing you this event by donating to our Synapse Arts Pandemic Support Campaign. With your help we can reach our goal of $5,000 and pay all of our artists for every single one of our spring events - even those that were cancelled due to COVID-19. Donate at https://synapsearts.networkforgood.com/projects/97355-dance-will-keep-us-together-synapse-arts-pandemic-support or at www.synapsearts.com.
New Works program Information Session
Free, ages 18+, via Zoom, Direct Message (DM) Synapse Arts on Facebook for the code
Learn about Synapse Arts - New Works, a choreographic mentorship and commissioning program run by Synapse Arts in an informal setting. Join former New Works artists Christopher Knowlton, Maria Blanco (of LOUD BODIES), Amanda Ramirez, Nora Sharp, and Megan Rhyme for a Q&A session in preparation for the fall 2020 call for applications.
Are you curious about the application process? Want to know what support and resources are offered to New Works artists? Have questions about the challenges and triumphs of being in New Works? Converse with former New Works artists and Synapse staff members to answer these questions and more!
**The session will be live captioned and recorded for later use at your own pace.
Phrasebuilding workshop with Kristina Fluty
Intended for intermediate and advanced movers, ages 18+
Free with required pre-registration: https://synapsearts.networkforgood.com/events/18542-phrasebuilding-workshop-with-kristina-fluty
Join Kristina Fluty of Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak and The Theatre School at DePaul University for a quick creative process class. We will build and investigate a long-form phrase of movement inspired by the fundamentals of Laban/Bartenieff, the Molly Shanahan commitment to spiral, and a Feldenkrais-like idiosyncratic engagement with self and the space. We will start gently with guided and improvisational movement to warm ourselves into larger dancing.
This workshop is free of charge and pre-registration is required. This allows us to send you a Zoom code and support a quality experience for all. Please sign up to save your spot!
Ballet for young dancers with Ms. Katie
For ages 4-10, all levels of experience
Free, contact email@example.com for Zoom code
Join Synapse Arts’ own Ms. Katie for a fun ballet class! All young dancers ages 4-10 are welcome, especially students who have participated in Arts Partner Ballet classes at Loyola Park and Berger Park. This fun class will use music and movement to introduce students to classical ballet. The class will include material from Synapse Arts’ beginning and intermediate level ballet classes, such as the five positions, floor and barre work and basic dance combinations. Students are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing that allows movement, such as leotards or leggings, and to use a space in the house where they are free to move safely. Ballet shoes are optional.
In light of recent events, the staff, board, and artists of Synapse Arts have opted to reimagine our spring fundraiser (aka the Synapse Soiree) as a day of online events. We’re calling it Dance Break - take a little dance break with us, at the top of every hour throughout the day.
Find the gallery of recorded Dance Break sessions here: https://vimeo.com/showcase/7071960
Free registration opens April 17 here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dance-break-tickets-102823720516
photo: dancers Rachel Damon and Jesse Coffelt by William Frederking
events beginning at 10am and ending at 8:30pm
See full schedule below
We’re presenting these events to connect with our fans and supporters, to offer ways to take a break through dance, to spread the word about our donation campaign, and to pay artists for their talents.
All events are free with the option to donate so we can keep paying our artists, teachers, and staff through this challenging time. “Dance Break” reimagines and expands on our cancelled spring fundraiser, the Synapse Soiree, in virtual formats.
100% of each donation is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law, and thanks to the recent stimulus package, you can deduct up to $300 of charitable donations for 2020 even if you don’t itemize your taxes.
See the donation campaign here: https://synapsearts.networkforgood.com/projects/97355-dance-will-keep-us-together
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
10am - 30 minutes
Pilates opener class with Gretchen Soechting-McGuire
Using a foam roller and basic Pilates principles, this session is designed to bring mindfulness, ease and opening (with a little balance and abdominal/ breath support thrown in). Though equipment and experience are not necessary, this session will be centered around use of a foam roller.
*No foam roller? No problem! Participants can substitute by using a bolster (towel or blanket), yoga mat, Franklin balls, or nothing at all!
11am - 30 minutes
Megan Rhyme and Katie Matteson-Campana lead a short workshop for movers who are parents (or parents-to-be.) Bring your little one for some fun movement-based interaction, including dancing, songs and games!
12pm - 15 minutes
A mini dance party with Synapse artists! Lunch break = dance break
Vote on songs by commenting on our Facebook
1pm - 10 minutes
The premiere of a short dance film by Kait Dessoffy
2pm - 15 minutes
An improvised performance by Rachel Damon
on Instagram Live
Registrants and commenters can suggest prompts/ideas
3pm - 30 minutes
MovementLab with Nadine Lollino, a guided moving meditation/improvisation class using visualizations and breath to become more present in our experiences. Open to all movers.
See more about Movement Lab here
4pm - 30 minutes
Improvised movement class with Amanda Ramirez
You’ll need a pen or pencil and paper
5pm - 15 minutes
Stretch it out with Dee Alaba
6pm - 20 minutes
“Leverage” Lightbulb Performance & Exploration by Dylan Roth with options to join in
An adapted excerpt from Synapse work “Leverage”, utilizing a lightbulb to explore and sense the relationship between. Grab a lightbulb, flashlight, or smartphone flashlight to join in the investigation.
7pm - 30 minutes
Join Sammy Spriggs for a 30 minute release-technique class, during which we will use the floor, movement efficiency, and spiraling to ground ourselves and find openness.
8pm - 30 minutes
Piano and ukulele performance with Matt Griffo
on Facebook Live
Relaxing cover songs and music to wind down to
Register for free to receive Zoom codes and special extras!
We are missing our ballet students! Our teachers have put together some ways for you to practice ballet at home.
Ballet flyer (English)
Ballet flyer (Spanish)
Links to ballet videos with Ms. Laura:
We hope you and your families will all stay safe and have some fun dancing at home. If you have questions or would like printed copies of the ballet flyer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: some of our programs have been postponed in response to health concerns. The schools and Park District locations that we work within are temporarily closed and have released official statements in response to COVID-19. You can read the Chicago Park District statement HERE.
Synapse remains committed to the health and safety of our artists, teachers, students, and their families. Our staff is working remotely and we are abiding by the attendance thresholds announced by Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot.
Updates will be posted here and on social media as they become available.
Thank you for your support during this challenging time for our artists!
March 18 - Residency at Old Orchard Junior High
Three performances of dance pieces and Social Emotional Learning elements for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.
April 2 - first day of the Spring Session
Cancelled by The Chicago Park District
Classes include Adult Modern with Margi Cole and LOUD BODIES, and beginning ballet and intermediate ballet for young artists.
April 23 - Free Dance Day
POSTPONED until May 21, 2020
Join us for a day of free classes, workshops, and performances for all ages at Loyola Park from 10am to 5:45pm.
April 30 - Synapse Soirée
The spring fundraising event is being reimagined as a day of online events and linked to a matched donation campaign supporting our artists, teachers, and students.