If you’re looking for an interesting “pooperie,” as the late Mayor Washington would have said, look no further. The two-week Next Dance Festival, now in its second annual incarnation, provides a peek at a wide variety of Chicago groups and choreographers. The senior and junior companies of Sundance Production brought the old Medinah Temple down with their energy in their first appearance at Dance/Africa last fall. Modern choreographer Frank Fishella continues his series of “Desire Dances” with two more that focus on the vagaries of gay love, while Winifred Haun offers a new abstract duet, Compliments, set to the music of Frank Zappa and UB40. One of the dancers in Haun’s company, Jill Dema, has choreographed a new quartet called Capriccio; and Regina Klenjoski offers another premiere, Paired Down. Christine Munch presents her Solitude Confined: The Journeys of Dear John, a dance-theater work that, despite its title, focuses on women’s experiences. And the Mad Shak Dance Company, headed by the prolific Molly Shanahan, premieres a work called Goodfellow’s Easel: I have no idea what it’s about, but Mad Shak’s Hive impressed me during the Dance Chicago festival last fall with its inventiveness and studious attention to its own nonsensical rules. The following weekend features work by Angela Pfeifer, Paula Frasz, Reginald “Reggio the Hoofer” McLaughlin, the Zephyr Dance Ensemble, and Fluid Measure Performance Company. First program, Thursday, January 25, through Saturday at 8; second program, next Thursday through Saturday, February 1-3, at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $14-$16. Call 989-3310 for tickets and information. –Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Eileen Ryan Photography.