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March Dance Madness in Full Force

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MARCH DANCE MADNESS IN FULL FORCE

The muse of dance, Terpsichore, has been smiling on Chicago this month, with audiences confronted by an embarrassment of riches. This weekend alone the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is at the Auditorium and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (in league with LINES Ballet of San Francisco) is at the Harris Theater. Meanwhile, the following three companies are gearing up for engagements. So get jumping!
The companies include:
┬▒GIORDANO DANCE CHICAGO [March 21-23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. 205 E. Randolph. For tickets ($15-$60) call 312 (334)-7777 or visit harristheaterchicago.org]: A program paying homage to the company's 50th anniversary as a force in jazz dance, with a world premiere by Liz Imperio, who has choreographed for Jennifer Lopez and Madonna, among others.
┬▒COMPAGNIE MARIE CHOUINARD [March 21-23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. For tickets ($35) call (312) 397-4010 or visit www.mcachicago.org]: The Montreal maverick presenting her version of "The Rite of Spring," plus a newer work inspired by a surrealist artists and poet.
┬▒ LEHRERDANCE [cq] [March 16 at 8 p.m. at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. For tickets ($28) call (773) 935-6875 or visit www.athenaeumtheatre.org]: A former Giordano company members who now has his own playful and athletic troupe based in Buffalo, New York.

MARCH DANCE MADNESS IN FULL FORCE

The muse of dance, Terpsichore, has been smiling on Chicago this month, with audiences confronted by an embarrassment of riches. This weekend alone the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is at the Auditorium and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (in league with LINES Ballet of San Francisco) is at the Harris Theater. Meanwhile, the following three companies are gearing up for engagements. So get jumping!

GIORDANO DANCE CHICAGO [March 21-23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. 205 E. Randolph. For tickets ($15-$60) call 312 (334)-7777 or visit harristheaterchicago.org]:

In honor of its 50th anniversary (a true milestone), the Giordano company has programmed six works exemplifying the evolution of jazz dance, an art form shaped, codified and transmitted by dancer, teacher, choreographer Gus Giordano (1923-2008). On the bill will be "Giordano Moves" (Gus' choreography as "constructed" in 2005 by daughter Nan Giordano and John Lehrer); Sherry Zunker's comic duet, "The Man That Got Away" (1990); Randy Duncan's spirit-raising "Can't Take This Away" (1996); Ron DeJesus' heartbeat-altering "Prey"; Autumn Eckman's super-charged "G-Force" (2012), and to top it all off, the world premiere of "La Belleza de Cuba" ("The Beauty of Cuba") by Liz Imperio, whose extensive commercial dance credits include staging and choreography for Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Gloria Estefan and Madonna.

Imperio, who grew up in Hollywood, Ca., is of Cuban parentage with a mother and aunt in the Havana entertainment world. She has set her full company, 10-dancer work to Latin and Afro-Cuban music (Los Van Van, a major post-revolution Cuban band, Ozomatli, an L.A.-based seven band, and La India ("The Princess of Salsa"), and has used a vocabulary of jazz and contemporary dance.

"When I choreograph for 'the stars' I'm given a three-minute piece of music, so I'm essentially writing a sentence," said Imperio. "With a dance company like Giordano I can write a story, giving the audience a fuller arc, provoking them, making them think, saturating them."

"This assignment was such an honor. And I decided to pay tribute to Gus' legacy as 'the godfather of jazz dance' by paralleling it with my own Cuban heritage. I've never been to Cuba, but wanted to reflect the love of music, food, movement and life my family brought with them, as well as the very important Santeria influence in Cuba. I also wanted to challenge the Giordano dancers to move differently, to be more raw."


COMPAGNIE MARIE CHOUINARD [March 21-23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. For tickets ($35) call (312) 397-4010 or visit www.mcachicago.org]:

"The Rite of Spring," the revolutionary Igor Stravinsky score, and the Nijinsky ballet that came with it, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Marie Chouinard, the maverick Montreal-based choreographer, created HER version of "Rite" in 1993, and she recently recalled that some months before she began work on it she was doing a spiritual fast and began having "auditory hallucinations" that became the source of her inspiration.

"There are so many simultaneous layers of rhythm in the score," said Chouinard. "As for the story -- the sacrifice of a girl in a fertility ritual -- that is not what interested me. A rite is something dead, not an act of creation. Stravinsky's work is anything but a rite. It's something that can't be controlled."

Also on the program will be Chouinard's new work, "Henri Michaux: Mouvements," inspired by a book full of drawings and poems by the surreal and "idiosyncratic" Belgian-French artist. Michaux's drawings, which Chouinard saw as "bodies in movement," are projected against the backdrop of the stage, with the dancers at moments reciting poetry.

Note: Chouinard herself will give a special in-gallery performance (March 23, from 2 p.m.-5 p.m.), as part of the exhibition, "Color Bind: The MCA Collection in Black and White." Dressed entirely in white, "like Pythia, prophetess of Delphi," she will perform intimate solos based on encounters with gallery visitors.


LEHRERDANCE [cq] [March 16 at 8 p.m. at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. For tickets ($28) call (773) 935-6875 or visit www.athenaeumtheatre.org]:

Jon Lehrer is the New York-bred dancer-choreographer who joined the Giordano company here in 1997, stayed for a decade, and then established his own exuberantly athletic troupe of eight dancers in Buffalo, New York.

Now he is "coming home" for a one-night visit as his company performs a program including: "The Alliance" (about the unity of a group of tribal warriors, set to music by YACHT, No Zu, Iva Nova); "Murmur"(a lyrical quartet, inspired by the flocking of birds, to the music of Budo, The Cinematic Orchestra and Reverand), "Bridge & Tunnel" (Lehrer's look at his formative years in Queens, New York, to the music of Paul Simon); "Morphic Slip" (an alien love duet to Aphex Twin); "SuperZeroes" (a comedic look at a dysfunctional family set to Bellstedt, Rigolleto, Dvorak, Bach, Sibelius); "Taken" (a solo to Textile Audio, inspired by a man's near-death experience); and "A Ritual Dynamic" (Lehrer's first work for his company, set to Dj Disse and designed to showcase its style.

Read my story in Weekend on March 15, 2013.

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This page contains a single entry by Hedy Weiss published on March 8, 2013 3:19 PM.

Profiles Theater delays play's opening a second time was the previous entry in this blog.

"FIDDLER" SOARS ANEW AT AURORA'S PARAMOUNT THEATRE is the next entry in this blog.

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