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Choreography: Frank Chaves

Music: Orbert Davis, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic

Choreographic Assistance: Hanna Bricston
Lighting Design: Joshua Paul Weckesser
Costume Design: Jordan Ross
Costume Construction: Lynn Ziehe
Program Notes: Frank Chaves


I. Sabor:
Dancers: Ensemble


II. Congri:

Dancers: Ensemble

III. Soleteras:

Dancers: 6

IV. Lo Mascullino:
Dancers: 6


V: Canción De Polo Montanez
Musical Interlude

VI. El Malecón

Dancers: 10

VII. Al Fin Te
Musical Interlude

VIII. Azul Vivo: Havana at 12
Dancers: Ensemble

"In a momentous collaboration, the Artistic Directors of River North Dance Chicago and Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Frank Chaves and Robert Davis, explore their shared Cuban experiences for a vibrant World Premiere of original live music and dance, bringing the culture's rich history of life in a contemporary way. Co-commissioned by the Auditorium Theatre."

"'Havana Blue' ultimately amounted to a profound look at the meaning and value of Cuban culture today."

Havana Blue_802_Photo by Cheryl Mann
Havana Blue_575_1000px_Photo by Cheryl Mann
Havana Blue_549_Photo by Cheryl Mann
Havana Blue_505_Photo by Cheryl Mann
Havana Blue_411_Photo by Cheryl Mann
Havana Blue_097_Melanie Hortin_Photo by Cheryl Mann (1)
Havana Blue Mel_Ahmad


“Sabor (Flavor): All things sprinkled with that immediately recognizable sensuality of the Cuban people. A beautifully seasoned sample of the flavor of Cuba!”



“Congri (delicious mix of beans and rice): A delicious mix of cross cultural movement, vibrant, athletic, sexy, tasty!”



 “Solteras (single women): Celebrates the strength, wisdom and foundation provided by the beautiful, powerful and sensual women—holding up the world (and their men) with their beauty and grace.”

Lo Masculino

“Lo Masculino (The Masculine): Enough said!”​

Canción De Polo Montanez (Musical Interlude)

El Malecón
“El Malecón (iconic wall bordering the coastline): Inspired by the departure of my family from Cuba, representing all Cubans and the heartache and struggles experienced by all who had to leave behind the rich culture and life of this beautiful island.”


Al Fin Te (Musical Interlude)

Azul Vivo: Havana at 12

“Azul Vivo (Vivid Blue): We may have left Cuba, but we certainly didn’t leave our Culture behind. A celebration of the music and dance that serves as a lifeline for the Cuban people. Rich in Culture, rich in generosity of spirit, rich in their passion for life.”

Havana Blue has been a monumental project brought to fruition through the support of extraordinary donors celebrating Artistic Director Frank Chaves’ 20th anniversary season with River North Dance Chicago.


Leadership gifts generously provided by Philip & Marsha Dowd, Bill & Orli Staley Foundation, and Diane & Richard Weinberg.


Principal Sponsorships graciously provided by Pamela Atkinson, The Chicago Community Trust and David Herro & Jay Franke.


Choreography underwritten by Loraine Kaufman Foundation/Lori & Steve Kaufman in memory of Grace Hokin.


Costume and lighting design underwritten by Sallyan Windt.


Essential additional support by Joyce & Bruce Chelberg, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and Gene & Tita Zeffren.


The creation of Havana Blue was supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. 


Havana Blue was commissioned through New Music USA’s Commissioning Music/USA program, which is made possible by generous annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs as well as endowment support from The Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, The Helen F. Whitaker Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trust. 


Havana Blue was co-commissioned by the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL as part of its new Music + Movement Festival.

Havana Blue - excerpt

Havana Blue - excerpt

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