Best free dance extravaganza

The Chicago Dancing Festival

chicagodancingfestival.com

This world-class festival was founded in 2007 by choreographer Lar Lubovitch and dancer Jay Franke as a one-night performance by multiple companies at the Pritzker Pavilion. It's grown to a five-day series of events, scheduled for August 23-27 this year, and all still free. If the past is any indicator, every performance will be something special, but the biggie is still the multicompany extravaganza at the Pritzker, scheduled for the final night. Out-of-towners in the lineup this year include the Martha Graham and Paul Taylor dance companies, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Ballet West, and the Brian Brooks Moving Company. Venues include the MCA, the Harris Theater, and, for the first time, the Auditorium Theatre. Tickets will be distributed in mid-July and will be scooped up almost immediately (visit the festival's website to sign up for ticket e-mail notices). The Pritzker Pavilion event is ticketless, but if you want a seat, arrive early. —Deanna Isaacs