SYNAPSE ARTS

  • projects
  • about
  • programs
  • people
  • support

Programs

Synapse Arts runs 3 main programs:

Professional Presentations

New Works

Dance with Synapse

 

Professional Presentations

DANCE BASED WORKS

about Professional Presentations

Professional Presentations is the company's founding program, flexibly supporting the creation and performance of original works by the company's artists. Many of these works have been directed by Rachel Damon with input from the ensemble and collaborators, though in recent years the company has expanded to support works by many choreographers. Synapse's site-specific pieces bring dance to unique spaces and make the artform accessible to all.

- Crosswalk Dances, a series of traveling performances with choreography customized to pedestrian pathways. Join in a yoga warmup then watch professional dancers enliven the city landscape, and maybe add your own moves!
These free dance pop-ups exemplify Synapse Arts’ belief that art can happen anywhere, at any time. Look for dancers wearing bright colors and body speakers that carry the music with them! (more info on Crosswalk Dances)

- Mural Dances

- Dance Films

- Performance pieces ranging from 15 to 75 minutes long

- Studio Series

Click here to know what's up next ON THE CALENDAR.

Synapse Arts events actively welcome individuals with diverse identities, including all genders, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, income levels, ages, parent/caregiver statuses, backgrounds, and household structures. All Synapse Arts events are relaxed and sensory-friendly.

For accessibility service requests, please contact info@synapsearts.com.

In The Studio

To kick off our 20th-anniversary celebration, we are inviting past collaborators of Synapse to our studios, hosting one artist every month throughout 2024.

Each artist will spend their time in the studio as they wish—researching, remaking, creating, and engaging in conversations with peer artists. A stipend is provided to support their process. Audience members will be invited to informal showings featuring participating artists every 3 months — look for more information soon!

Photo by Michele Reid

JanuaryChartamia "Shay" Turner

Photo by William Frederking

Molly is on the wooden floor with her weight spread between her right knee and her left foot. Her fingers are intertwined with her hands stretched to the side of her body. She's looking to the side with a smile and soft light in her face. Her long dark brown wavy hair flows down her shoulders.

February Molly Hillson

Photo by Matt Griffo

March
Kait Dessoffy

EMERGING CREATIVES

New Works

New Works has developed extensively since it's first version in 2010. Now the program is a biennial, 6-month long incubator for emerging and underrepresented artists. Up to three artists (or artist groups) are selected through a public request-for-proposals and panel review to receive commissions supported by rehearsal space, a dedicated mentor, professional development, fully-produced performances, and documentation. 23 works by women, LGBTQIA+, and BIPOC makers have premiered to date, culminating in consistently sold-out performances of the new pieces developed by the supported artists.

This Chicago-based program reflects the founding principles of Synapse Arts, connecting artists with one another to share resources and develop their voices through the creation of unique artworks.

The minimal and flexible structure is intended to organize a process that provides balance and direction without restricting creativity. New Works can be a step in your artistic evolution; we are interested in helping move focused artistry forward.

about New Works

WHAT THE ARTISTS RECEIVE

  • A $500 stipend which can be used to pay oneself and/or to pay for costumes, additional rehearsal space, collaborator fees, etc.
  • Free rehearsal space at our Chicago Park District locations (schedules allowing)
  • Mentorship from an outside person selected in collaboration with the artist, who receives a $100 stipend
  • Support from the staff and collaborators of Synapse, including a work-in-progress showing and rehearsal visits, if desired
  • Hands-on experience in performance production
  • A place in a final performance or showing or screening, produced by Synapse Arts with public relations & marketing
  • Professional photos and video of their work in performance

INFO SESSION

A recorded information session from a panel of former New Works artists, including Maria Blanco (of LOUD BODIES), Chris Knowlton, Amanda Ramirez, Megan Rhyme, and Nora Sharp.

Please email info@synapsearts.com to request a transcript of the closed captioning.

A LOOK BACK

FULL INFO about New Works 2023 HERE: NEW WORKS

Dance With Synapse

weekly classes and short term residencies

about Dance With Synapse

Dance With Synapse is a local outreach and education program which serves families and professional dancers year-round and periodically provides intensive study at other locations through workshops and residencies.


Current classes are taught at three locations: Loyola Park, Berger Park Cultural Center and Lincoln Park Cultural Center, where Synapse works as an Arts Partner in Residence with the Chicago Park District.

Photos by: Megan Rhyme, Laura Tennal, Mathew Gregory Hollis.

WINTER CLASSES 2024

Monday, January 08 to Sunday, March 24

Beginning Ballet for 3 to 5 year olds

Saturdays 9:30-10:15am.
Except the following date: Feb 17.

$50 for a 10 week session.

Taught by Synapse Teaching Artist Chartamia Turner.

REGISTER HERE

 

Beginning Ballet for 6 to 8 year olds

Saturdays 10:30-11:15am.
Except the following date: Feb 17.

$50 for a 10 week session.

Taught by Synapse Teaching Artist Chartamia Turner.

REGISTER HERE

 

Beginning Ballet for 3 to 5 year olds

Saturdays 11:30am-12:15pm.
Except the following date: Feb 17.

$50 for a 10 week session.

Taught by Synapse Teaching Artist Chartamia Turner.

REGISTER HERE

Trans Dance Connect  (Allies welcome)

Mondays 6:30-8:00pm.

Jan 22, 2024 - Mar 25, 2024.

*NO CLASSES  Monday Feb 12, 19.

$60 for an 8 week session or drop in for $10.

Classes take place in the Berger Ball Room on the 3rd floor.

Taught by Synapse guest artist and collaborator Reign Drop.

REGISTER HERE

 

Beginning Ballet for 3 to 6 years

Thursdays 2:00-2:45pm.

$42 for an 10 week session.

Classes take place in the Berger Ball Room on the 3rd floor.

Taught by Synapse Teaching Artist Lucas Greeff.

1 make up added on March 21 for the class cancelled due to inclement weather on February 18.

REGISTER HERE

 

Beginning Ballet for 3 to 5 years

Saturdays 9:30am-10:15am.

$42 for an 9 week session.

Classes take place in the Berger Ball Room on the 3rd floor.

Taught by Synapse Teaching Artist Laura Tennal.

REGISTER HERE

 

Adult All Levels Yoga

Saturdays 10:30 - 11:30am.

$40 for a 10 week session.

Classes take place in the Berger Sun Room on the 1st floor.

Taught by Synapse Teaching Artist Laura Tennal.

REGISTER HERE

2045 N. Lincoln Park West, Chicago, IL 60614.

Classes take place in the Lincoln Dance Room on the 1st floor.

Classes take place in the Lincoln Dance Room on the 3rd and 1st floor -
see details below.

6205 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60660, USA.

1230 W Greenleaf Ave, Chicago, IL 60626.

Classes take place in the Sky Room on the 2nd floor.

click here for full access info

Beginning Ballet for 4 to 7 year olds

Thursdays 4:15-5:00pm.

$20 for a 11 week session.

Taught by Synapse Teaching Artist Lucas Greeff.

REGISTER HERE

 

Beginning Hip Hop Dance for 4 to 7 year olds

Tuesdays 4:15-5:00pm.

$20 for a 11 week session.

Taught by Synapse Teaching Artist Vanessa Maxwell.

1 make up added on March 26 for the class cancelled due to inclement weather on February 16.

REGISTER HERE

 

Dance Performance Workshop for 6 to 12 year olds

Tuesdays 5:00-6:00pm.

FREE for an 11 week session, registration requires instructor approval. Once approved, register in person at Loyola Park.

Taught by Synapse Teaching Artist Vanessa Maxwell.

REGISTER HERE

click here for full access info

more information about classes

Beginning Ballet (all classes): this beginner level activity is an introduction to ballet. Instruction includes the five positions, floor and barre work as well as basic dance combinations. This class introduces students to music and movement with a structured progression.

Dress code: We ask that students have their hair off their face and wear clothing they can move safely in. Leotard/tights or athletic shorts/shirt and ballet shoes are preferred; leggings and socks are also acceptable.

Beginning Hip Hop Dance (4 - 7 years): learn current Hip Hop dances and develop techniques to choreograph one's own freestyle. This energetic class incorporates music, dance and more.

Dress code: Students are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing that allows movement; Soft-soled shoes are recommended.

Dance Performance Workshop (6 to 12 year olds): Participants in this 6 week program will learn dance technique in addition to preparing dance pieces for public performance. Hip Hop, contemporary, and modern dance styles will be utilized in creating performance pieces.

The program is free but requires instructor approval to join. Please contact megan@synapsearts.com for more information about how to register.

Dress code: Students are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing that allows movement; Soft-soled shoes are recommended.

Adult All Levels Yoga: this class works to lengthen, strengthen and stretch the body while clearing the mind. Reduce stress while improving strength and flexibility through visualization, focused breathing, and yoga postures with modifications for all levels.

Notes: Please bring a mat and wear comfortable, loose-fitting attire.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols: Please see the Park District’s updates here: COVID PROTOCOLS

new class alert!

Trans Dance Connect

(Allies welcome)

with Reign Drop

Trans Dance Connect is a movement practice designed to create space for transgender dancers and their allies. Throughout the class we will move through contemporary combinations, guided improvisation, and reflective questions centered around sustainability and restoration. Reign is excited to create new connections in the community and dedicate a space to trans artists.

When: Mondays 6:30-8:00pm, Jan 22, 2024 - Mar 18, 2024
*No class Monday Feb 19

Cost: $60 for an 8 week session or drop in for $10.

Advance registration is limited to 10 spots, drop in spots are subject to availability.

Register through the Synapse Arts website at: REGISTRATION LINK

Location: Classes take place in the Berger Ball Room on the 3rd floor of the main mansion. The studio has a Marley dance floor over wood planks, natural and artificial lighting, and window air conditioning. Non-binary bathrooms are available on the 2nd floor. We regret that the studio is not fully accessible - participants must move up two sets of stairs to access the space.

Full wayfinding information is available at this link: WAYFINDER BERGER PARK.

Taught by Synapse guest artist and collaborator Reign Drop.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols: Please see the Park District’s updates here: COVID PROTOCOLS

Programs

(this page is in progress)

Timeline milestone

I’m a text box. Double click me to edit the text or to change the way I look. You can change the font, size, color, and more.

Timeline milestone

I’m a text box. Double click me to edit the text or to change the way I look. You can change the font, size, color, and more.

Timeline milestone

I’m a text box. Double click me to edit the text or to change the way I look. You can change the font, size, color, and more.

1990

2000

2100

Today

Timeline milestone

I’m a text box. Double click me to edit the text or to change the way I look. You can change the font, size, color, and  more.