In Transit Blog: Chicago Fire Festival Theme: Renewal

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 15 Agustus 2014 | 17.35

Photo A Redmoon Theater fireworks show.Credit Al Zayed

In conjunction with the city, Chicago-based Redmoon Theater, known for site-specific spectacles as well as interactive shows, will stage the first Great Chicago Fire Festival on Oct. 4, with the fire of 1871 as its subject and renewal as its theme.

At sundown that day, three floating platforms in the Chicago River containing "fire sculptures" that look like pre-1871 homes will be set ablaze, eventually revealing symbolic artworks at their center referencing, among other themes, the birth of the skyscraper.

The historic 19th-century blaze destroyed most of downtown Chicago, or about 18,000 buildings. In the rebuilding, which included the world's first skyscraper, Chicago gained a reputation for architecture and engineering.

"We are trying to tell the story of resurgence, grit and a city that built itself up from ashes," said Jim Lasko, executive artistic director of Redmoon Theater.

A series of 15 summer weekend festivals in some of the city's most crime-ridden neighborhoods lead up to the event. Each neighborhood will have its own community stand on the riverfront as part of the fire fest's River Bazaar in October, selling crafts and food.

"The gripping, sensational and super-important headlines around gun violence occur overwhelmingly on the South and West Sides, and there is a counter narrative of stories we are trying to tell, and that's the spirit of resilience," Mr. Lasko said.

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