Our Story

Our Story

This company is hotter than hot.

Chicago Sun-Times

River North Dance Chicago pulled out all the pyrotechnic stops. The performance left an indelible montage of high-octane body percussion, lush lines and evocative curves.

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Our Mission

River North Dance Chicago produces, promotes and presents dance, makes vital connections between dancers and the audience, creates partnerships and collaborations, assists in the professional development of dancers and choreographers, participates in cultural programming and advocates for dance and dance education.

About RNDC

Critically acclaimed for their athletic, sensual and dynamic repertoire River North Dance Chicago presents dynamic works that combine athletic prowess and artistic perspective with bold, theatrical flair. Founded in 1989 and under the artistic leadership of Frank Chaves, RNDC demonstrates depth and sophistication with a commitment to creating an accessible, enriching experience for audiences. The company continues to make a name for themselves on the world stage traveling throughout the country and internationally. Core works by Chaves are augmented with an array of pieces by renowned choreographers including Mauro Astolfi, Adam Barruch, Robert Battle, Sidra Bell, Ashley Roland and Nejla Yatkin, among others.

View the RNDC Timeline


River North Dance Company founded by 4 dancers: Mark Dow, Karen Frankel Jones, Ronna Kaye and Julie Burman Kaplan


Sherry Zunker appointed as Artistic Director


Frank Chaves joined as Co-Artistic Director


WTTW and HMS Media produced the first of three documentary films on RNDC, “Reality of a Dreamer,” which garnered two Midwest Emmy Awards.


Summer Training Programs launched by former Company Member and current Workshop Director Sara Bibik.


River North was the first dance company to perform at the world class Harris Theater for Music and Dance.


The Company begins to tour significantly both domestically and internationally. International tours include Germany, Russia, South Korea, Columbia and Israel.


RNDC debuted at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University as part of the Miles Davis Festival.


Artistic Director Frank Chaves celebrated his 20th Anniversary with the Company, kicking off the season with a debut at the Pritzker Pavillion in Chicago’s Millennium Park.


Frank Chaves retires as Artistic Director. During Chaves’ impressive 23-year, he created 25 works for River North, as well as commissioned 30 original works from emerging and renowned choreographers.

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