It’s a small world after all… Part 3 – Michael Snipe Jr interviews Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell!

Posted in Chicago Dancing Company, Performances, Testimonials on August 5th, 2009 by MarcMacaranas

Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell | Photo by Andrew Eccles

I recently asked Michael Snipe Jr to interview Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell while she was in Chicago teaching for the Hubbard Street summer intensive. Check out this interesting conversation between two friends as they discuss Chicago ties, Fisher-Harrell’s take on Alvin Ailey’s Cry and life after Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Thanks Michael and Linda for this great read!

Michael Snipe Jr: So Linda, I know that you’ve come through Chicago for many years throughout your career with Ailey, but do you have any other connections with Chicago?

Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell: Yes, after I left Juilliard I danced with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago before joining The Ailey Company.

MSJr: Have you any connections with Jay Franke and Lar Lubovitch, the two founders of the Chicago Dancing Festival.

LDFH: Well, I just found out that some years after me, Jay Franke also attended the Juilliard School and then joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and I worked with Lar Lubovitch on 3 separate occasions while at Ailey. The first piece I did was a 15-minute duet called Fandango, set to Maurice Ravel’s Bolero. The second was called Cavalcade and the third was The Time Before The Time After (After The Time Before)

MSJr: So you’re going to be performing Mr. Ailey’s solo Cry here at the Festival, how does that make you feel?

LDFH: Nervous, Tired, Scared, Excited…Many, many things are going through my mind.

MSJr: You learned it 13 years ago, and I know it’s a long solo, do you still worry about stamina, or can you just get into a groove and perform it.

LDFH: OH yes, stamina is still an issue, especially since I’ve been away from the company for a while, but my being away from the company and the solo will also contribute to and enhance my performance.

MSJr: How so?

LDFH: Dancing can be so self absorbed at times and when I used to do the solo, it was a lot about the steps and getting through it. Now that I have stepped away from performing as much, I am teaching and mentoring. I had a baby girl, and I’ve just been experiencing other aspects of life, all of those factors will contribute to my journey in the solo.

MSJr: And what a journey it is. I know that there are three sections to the solo. Do you have a favorite?

LDFH: I will have to say it’s a toss up between the first and the second sections. With the first section, you have the cloth and it can be used in so many ways. As it lies in your arms it can be a body that you’re mourning over. When on the floor it can be represented as you scrubbing blood off the floor and as a slave cleaning…but just as easy as you are cleaning the floor with it, you take it and wrap it around your head and you become this noble queen. It’s amazing. The second section allows you to lose yourself emotionally. You can dig deep within yourself through the music and you’ll be surprised with what you might find.

MSJr: That sounds fantastic Linda. I know many people are excited to have you back in Chicago and to be a part of the Chicago Dancing Festival. What’s the largest audience you’ve ever performed for?

LDFH: I think it will be for this festival. I’ve performed in Athens, Greece at the Herodes Atticus Theater and they attract huge crowds, but I heard last year there were about 10,000 people here for the Chicago Dancing Festival. Now, that’s exciting.


Don’t miss Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell’s exciting performance of Alvin Ailey’s Cry on Saturday, August 22 at the Celebration of American Dance in Millennium Park! Be sure to come early to nab your seats at the Pritzker Pavilion or stake out a plot on the lawn – this is definitely going to be the dance event of the year!

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Oregon Ballet Theatre

Posted in Testimonials on October 10th, 2008 by Oregon Ballet Theatre

“Performing at the Chicago Dancing Festival this year was incredible.  It was a real privilege to share a stage with so many talented dancers.   I was especially happy to have the opportunity to see ‘Concerto 622.’ We performed the work at OBT two years ago, and the duet from that ballet is one of my all-time favorite roles.  To see Mr. Lubovitch’s own company dancing it was an added bonus to an already great experience.”
– Ronnie Underwood, Oregon Ballet Theatre

“I was so happy to participate in this year’s festival.  Everybody involved was very nice and welcoming, and the audience was fantastic.  Congratulations to everyone in Chicago for such a wonderful success.  I really hope I have the opportunity to come back again next year!”
- Yuka Iino, Oregon Ballet Theatre

Last Year

Posted in Chicago Dancing Company, Testimonials on August 20th, 2008 by Chicago Dancing Festival

Here are what some of last year’s participants had to say about Chicago Dancing Festival:

I had a great time at the Chicago Dancing Festival last year. It was so inspiring to be on the same stage with so many beautiful artists. What a fantastic experience to be a part of such a keen presentation of the many facets of dance!
-Valerie Robin
Dancer, The Joffrey Ballet

I am very excited to be a part of Chicago Dancing Festival 2008. Last year was an amazing experience. So far in my career I have yet to experience the energy and excitement that was created at last years performance. I can’t think of anywhere in America where as an audience member you get to see such a variety of dancers and styles all on one stage. I can only hope that this year’s show will be as memorable as last. Thank you.
-Jared Matthews
Dancer, American Ballet Theatre

Watch Highlights from the 2007 Chicago Dancing Festival!

8,500 attended the festival, despite the threat of rain. The weather forecast for tonight is partly cloudy and 75°! We hope to see you there!