Celebrate summer with the first-ever Firebird Parade

Celebrate summer with the first-ever Firebird Parade

A Chicago-based dancemaker hopes to spark your interest in nature with a festive procession of bird inspired movements, which will be on display at the upcoming Firebird Parade.

The parade concludes a month-long series of workshops and dance mediations at different parks across Chicago, all as part of Chicago Park District’s “Night Out in the Parks.”

It’s quite mesmerizing to watch choreographer and performer Najla Yatkin express herself. 

“And so, with movement, I am hoping to just inspire people in the parks. Surprise them,” Yatkin said.

She certainly surprised onlookers walking around Lincoln Park Zoo, while showing off some of her moves.

Percussionist Patrick Wojtak chose to use a steel drum to accompany her.

“The way she moves is natural and this tone kind of fits the environment. You can actually hear birds respond to it. It’s pretty amazing,” Wojtak told NBC Chicago.

Yatkin said dance in its original form was all about celebrating nature.

“When the seasons change, we had dances for death, we had dances for birth, we have dances for rebirth, and these all came from observing patterns in nature,” Yatkin said.

Over the past few weeks, Yatkin has been hosting pop-up workshops in parks around the city.

The journey continues Saturday evening with the free Firebird Parade, celebrating the return of summer.  

“Firebird goes back to the original myth of the phoenix, which is connected to the power of the sun and celebrating the return of summer,” Yatkin said.

The event happens at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Caracol Gathering Space, just south of Northerly Island along the lakefront in the Burnham Wildlife Corridor.

Yatkin says everyone is invited to this free, family-friendly event.

“I want people to come with their most colorful costumes, join us and walk peacefully and joyfully in the parade, and reflect on what it means to transform, and be more supportive to nature and climate change.”

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