Lead by Artistic Director Joanna Rosenthal, an accomplished choreographer, performer and educator, SPDW self-produces two concerts each year and participates in a variety of festivals throughout the Chicago area and nationally. SPDW performances offer unique aesthetics and perspectives and never cease to be dynamic and inspiring. Known for presenting the choreography of artists from across the country, seasoned veterans as well as up-and-coming innovators. SPDW events feature dance genres that range from classical to post-modern, satire to high-octane virtuosity.
Since 2008, SPDW has made significant strides in engaging a national market and building credibility among presenters in Chicago and in communities throughout the United States. A recipient of an A.W.A.R.D. Show! Chicago grant in 2010, SPDW has been presented locally by the Dance Center of Columbia College, and has toured extensively with residency work at the University of Iowa, Illinois State University, and St. Paul's School in New Hampshire; and offered performances at the Joyce Soho and Wave Rising Festival in New York City, Spring to Dance - Dance St. Louis, and at the Rarig Center at the University of Minnesota. The company is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund, supporting a tour to Israel. SPDW is a member of Pentacle's Artist Gallery.
During its fifteen-year history, SPDW has cultivated a community of artists both locally and nationally that embody its mission to be inclusive of local talent in its exchanges with national artists it brings to Chicago. SPDW has been actively cultivating and building a reputation as an educational and experiential resource for the professional and professional-in-training dance community in Chicago. To that end, SPDW Dance Theatre is responsible for the Guest Artists Project, a program that commissions national artist to conduct workshops and set new work on the company, and the High School Performance Company. In addition, since 2007, the company has offered open company classes to the community at Links Hall and Visceral Dance Center and held its first winter workshop this past January taught by Ms. Rosenthal and artists that artists that have contributed to SPDW over its fifteen-year history.
The company has also developed a robust educational program for Chicago area high schools engaging them in workshops and performances.