Chances Dances turns ten, grows up, and celebrates with a multimedia exhibit | Fall Preview | Chicago Reader

Chances Dances turns ten, grows up, and celebrates with a multimedia exhibit 

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Video still of Macon Reed's Witchual, one of the pieces featured in "Platforms"

Video still of Macon Reed's Witchual, one of the pieces featured in "Platforms"

Macon Reed

Chances Dances launched a decade ago as a queer dance party with a focus on inclusivity. It's now evolved into a multifaceted collective that not only hosts well-DJed parties (a transcendent remix of Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" comes to mind) but also awards microgrants to artists and supports Chicago's LGBTIQ communities in myriad ways.

The group's ideology and history is explored in an exhibition at Gallery 400—part of a citywide anniversary celebration entitled "Platforms: 10 Years of Chances Dances." Expect a mashup of grantee artwork, audio and visual histories, a photo archive, a nonlinear time line designed by artist and illustrator Edie Fake, and ephemera. More than 40 artists are involved, reflecting Chances' collaborative, get-things-done approach as well as its affiliates' diverse talents. Everything from the seating—an upholstered banquette by Charles Vinz—to a performance platform constructed by artists Elijah Burgher and Gordon Hall is custom-made for the exhibition.

That platform will host a series of events by Chances-awarded performers. "Chances' radical inclusivity is the central thing," says Gallery 400 director Lorelei Stewart, who cocurated "Making Chances" with artist and educator John Neff. "We want to emphasize how the collective functions as a community catalyst."

9/11-10/24, Gallery 400, 400 S. Peoria, 312-996-6114, gallery400.uic.edu, chancesdances.org/platforms, free.

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