EMMY®-nominated film to broadcast on WYCC PBS Chicago (Channel 20), in support of critically acclaimed story ballet from Broadway legend Ann Reinking and award-winning choreographer Melissa Thodos, returning to Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre on Nov 29th, 2014.


Airing Thursday, November 20 at 9:00 pm on WYCC PBS Chicago

Repeats Friday, November 21 at 2:00 am



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Early in 2011, Emmy Award®-winning Chicago filmmaker Christopher Kai Olsen partnered with Thodos Dance Chicago to create an hour’s worth of original film projections for their The White City: The Columbian Exposition of 1893The ambitious original performance piece – set against the backdrop of the famed Chicago World's Fair – was co-conceived and choreographed by Melissa Thodos and Tony Award® winner Ann Reinking, and went on to be named Best Dance of 2011 by the Chicago Sun-Times.


The one-act ballet brings the 1893 Columbian Exposition to life through dance, in a story filled with passion, ingenuity, intrigue, and murder. Its cast of historic characters includes famed architect John Root, ill-fated Chicago mayor Carter Harrison, Sr. and America’s first serial killer Dr. H.H. Holmes, who preyed upon young women amidst the chaos of the World's Fair.  The stage performance returns to Chicago as part of the Auditorium Theatre’s 125th Anniversary celebration on Friday, November 29th, 2014 at 7:30PM. More information can be found on the Auditorium’s website: http://www.auditoriumtheatre.org/shows/thodos-dance-chicago/


Along the way, Olsen’s unprecedented access to the visionary endeavor allowed him to simultaneously capture an artistic insider's view of the creative process on film.  The result is the visually arresting half-hour dance odyssey Beneath the White City Lights, a deftly edited combination of breathtaking performance video, intimate rehearsal footage, and revealing interviews with co-creators Ann Reinking and Melissa Thodos, and the performers who brought this story to life.


The film will broadcast on WYCC PBS Chicago on Thursday, November 20 at 9:00 pm and Friday, November 21 at 2:00 am.  During the program, supporters of WYCC will have the opportunity to receive a copy of the DVD and tickets to the November 29 performance at the Auditorium Theatre.


About The Artists


Christopher Kai Olsen is a renowned filmmaker who began showcasing dance in his popular Emmy®-nominated PBS arts documentary series The Artsiders®.


Melissa Thodos is the Founder and Artistic Director of Thodos Dance Chicago (TDC), a 20-year-old contemporary dance company with a unique three-tiered mission of inspiring expression through dance education, dance creation, and dance performance.