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posted: 3/31/2013 6:23 AM

On the road: Contemporary dance steps it up

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  • Zephyr Dance has joined three other Chicago dance companies to create FlySpace performing at Millennium Park.

    Zephyr Dance has joined three other Chicago dance companies to create FlySpace performing at Millennium Park.
    Courtesy of Cheryl Mann

  • Canyons and waterfalls are part of a special guided tour at Starved Rock State Park.

    Canyons and waterfalls are part of a special guided tour at Starved Rock State Park.

  • Navy Pier honors all things Greek, from dance to food to music on April 7.

    Navy Pier honors all things Greek, from dance to food to music on April 7.



I think I can fly

Four leading Chicago contemporary dance companies, The Dance COLEctive, Hedwig Dances, Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre and Zephyr Dance, have formed a new partnership called FlySpace to engage audiences in contemporary dance. The new project launches publicly this spring with the FlySpace Dance Series, a two-weekend series that includes six performances featuring all four companies (two each weekend) with five world premieres by six choreographers.

7 p.m. Friday to Saturday, April 5-6 and April 12-13; 5 p.m. Sunday, April 7 and 14 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph Drive, Millennium Park, Chicago. Tickets $15 and available at or by phone at (773) 871-0872.

June is busting out all over

Chicagoans are so pumped for the arrival of spring that the first dandelions pushing through sidewalk cracks might elicit feelings of absolute glee. For a greater sense of spring, explore the annual Spring Flower Show at Lincoln Park Conservatory. The changing collection of spring blooming plants including azaleas, spring flowering annuals and perennials. Take advantage of the rare opportunity to see the direct descendants of the azaleas that once bloomed at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. New this year, visitors will be serenaded by the sounds of the Lyric Opera ringing through the Show House.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through May 12 at 2391 N. Stockton Drive, Chicago. Free admission. (312) 742-7736 or

Greek journey in the Windy City

Navy Pier honors the city's Greek American presence with a lively afternoon of dancing, music, wine tasting, delicious Greek food, art exhibits and more. The afternoon will feature Film Hellenes, Greek America Foundation, Greek American Rehabilitation & Care Centre, Kostas Z Foundation, the National Hellenic Museum and Pontian Society Xeniteas. Enjoy performances by the Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society, Chicago Hellenic Choir, Cretan Youth Dance of Chicago and Pontian Young Dancing Troupe. Taste food by Greek restaurants including Athena, Greek Islands, Parthenon, Pegasus, Psistaria, Roditys, Taxim and Artopolis Bakery

Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 7. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Free admission. (312) 595-7437 or


Go speed racer

The second greatest exhibition in racing returns as the Indiana State Museum and the Boy Scouts of America Crossroads of America Council will sponsor a derby car race on the tallest, longest and fastest Pinewood Derby track in Indianapolis. The four-lane, 125-foot Pinewood Derby track spans two stories at the Indiana State Museum so cars are powered by gravity speed to the finish line. The Best in Show award, new this year, is based on visual design categories. Fun runs take place during the week and Sunday and the championship race is on Saturday, April 6.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. April 2-7, at Indiana State Museum, 650 W. Washington St., Indianapolis. Admission to the museum on these special days is $3.50 per person for all Scouts and their families. Regular museum admission is $9.50 for adults, $8.50 for seniors, $5 for ages 3 through 12. (317) 232-1637 or

Chasing waterfalls

The birds are chirping and the sun is shining, which means it's time to experience the fun of outdoor adventure at Starved Rock State Park. Consider a guided waterfalls and canyons tour, which includes three waterfalls and the French, St. Louis and Ottawa canyons. The tour also includes a special lunch menu and historical trolley ride.

11 a.m. Monday, 9 and 11 a.m. Saturday, April 6, to May 26, at Starved Rock State Park, routes 178 and 71, Utica, Ill. Cost is $31 for adults, $26 for children. For reservations, call (815) 220-7386 or

Sticky note

It may your last chance to see the tapping of the trees this year. The Maple Syrup Festival at the MacKenzie Environmental Center (between Wisconsin Dells and Madison), serves up a pancake breakfast in the main lodge, guided tours of the sugar bush, demonstrations of tapping and syrup-making, talks about how Native Americans and pioneers made syrup as well as current methods. There also will be old-fashioned music and horse-drawn wagon rides. Visit the live wildlife exhibit, which includes animals native to Wisconsin.

8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at the MacKenzie Environmental Education Center, County Road CS and Q, Poynette, Wis. Pancake breakfast requires tickets; guided tours and demonstrations are free. (608) 635-8105 or

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