Dance For Life

Fact Sheet

  • Winner of 2 Emmy Awards
  • Premiered August 2011
  • The morning after the premiere broadcast on WTTW11, tickets for Dance For Life’s 20th anniversary concert sold out


Since 1991, Dance For Life has been one of the hottest tickets and most important benefits in Chicago. Created by Chicago dancers in response to the AIDS crisis and first performed in a tiny storefront theater, Dance For Life now fills the Auditorium Theatre, boasts performances by Chicago’s finest dance companies, and has raised more than $4 million to fight HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses.

To help celebrate the 20th anniversary of this landmark arts and social-issue event, HMS teamed with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago not only to document the live performance but also use the gorgeous show footage to illustrate the impact of the AIDS crisis and the dance community’s powerful response to it.

Featuring glorious performances by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Giordano Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, River North Dance Chicago, Ensemble Español and Thodos Dance Chicago, and capped off by a thrilling world premiere created by Harrison McEldowney with more than forty dancers from a dozen dance companies, this documentary honors both the fallen and the survivors, and is a testament to the beauty of the human body, mind and spirit.

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Notes and Quotes

"Genius. Nothing short of stunning... I cannot have enough compliments and accolades for this documentary... beautiful... spectacular."

"HMS may very well possess the greatest gifts for filming dance of anyone around right now. You will see masters at work... They have a fabulous understanding of how to film dance in a way that makes it a totally visceral experience... This is a thrilling work... absolutely ravishing."
—The Chicago Sun-Times

"Profound... a stirring, deftly shot celebration... beautiful, illuminating, insightful and uplifting... artful and stunning... HMS are among the top dance documentary filmmakers in America."
—The Chicago Tribune