artandculture artandentertainment

Carnival: Choreographer's Ball

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 Jennie Velasco

HalfStack was invited to the bi-annual Carnival showcase earlier this month to view Chicago's top talent, once again, all on one stage.

Different from other showcases, this show originated in LA and has been conquering other cities throughout the world.  The Choreographer's Ball is known to have launched or boosted the careers of today's well known dance talent.  Familiar noteworthy dancers include The Groovaloos, Brian Friedman, The Jabbawockeez, Chris Scott and Wade Robeson to name a few.

This time around, the highlighted acts featured the works of:

Hip Hop ConnXion HQ
Boom Crack! Dance Co
Terry Tuner
Joey Hernandez
Gifted Souls
Alexis Salgado
Brian Rabenda
The Package Deal
Mike Henderson Project
Second Wind
Stacy Letrice
Silent Successors
Tyler Nowotnik
FT Dancepack
Julian Carmolinga
Intercollegiate Urban Dance Team
The Ladies In Lace
and The Pack Drumline

Carnival has always been known in the dance community as a late show and afterparty all in one. Dancers from the area can come and enjoy the entertainment, drinks, and open freestyle sessions that spontaneously occur throughout the evening.  It is proof that these dancers are true lovers of their art and love enjoying it with others.

Now, because I'm old, I was not able to experience all of the incredible acts.  However, from the few there were certainly some that left a great impression on me.  I've come to appreciate how these artists continue to innovate and combine other arts in order to entertain an audience.  First, Julian Carmolinga broke up some of the high-energy, bass-pounding sound with a gorgeous piece that was inspired by a personal trauma.  Organic movement with a backdrop of a soothing ballad kept me in a trance of grace and sadness, with a hushed triumphant close.

Another that kept the crowd hyped was Boom Crack! with a fun energy occupied with a bit of sass and major turn up vibes.  HHC HQ is another crowd favorite that brought a new number accompanied with a mix of recognizable choreography from their One Showcase last month.
Lastly, Stacy Letrice pretty much rocked my world with variations of island flavor with some hip hop favorites.  Vibrant movement with its hype moments that had the crowd loud in support for this crew. They left me pretty shocked and amazed, and also with a wish that crews would bring more of this cultural flavor into their pieces.  Regardless of my noteables, the show had been a fresh experience with the help of the MC's of the evening, Carey Ysais and Donnette Cannon.

There is definitely more Carnival to catch if you are in the LA area.  The Choreographer's Ball is coming to you late May with more jaw dropping talent.
For details on ticket information or video submission of work for the next Carnival, visit

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