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Lots of people seem to think that dance, especially modern dance, is esoteric. And how often does a choreographer get onstage and explain what she’s trying to do? So here’s your chance to get the skinny from lots of Chicago dance makers at once. “Choreography Now,” part of the city-sponsored Let’s Dance weekend, features three different programs, all free, in which some 18 choreographers give lecture-demonstrations, then join in roundtable discussions of their work. The first concert, Friday night at the Vittum Theater, features Ted Seymour of Ballet Chicago; Anna Simone Levin of the modern-dance collective Same Planet Different World; Annie Arnoult Beserra of Striding Lion Interarts Workshop, which has a feminist cast; Julia Rhoads and Holly Quinn of the often off-the-wall Lucky Plush Productions; and modern dancer Carrie Hanson of Galaxy 33. The second, Saturday afternoon at the Chicago Cultural Center, features Harrison McEldowney and work he’s made for the jazzy Hubbard Street 2; Amaniyea Payne of the African and African-American dance troupe Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago; Jan Bartoszek of Hedwig Dances, a modern company in residence at the Cultural Center; Eduardo Vilaro of the Latin-influenced Luna Negra Dance Theater; and Homer Bryant of the mostly African-American Bryant Ballet. The final program, Sunday at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, offers work by Larry Long of the Civic Ballet of Chicago; Venetia Stifler of Concert Dance, Inc.; Shirley Mordine of Mordine & Company Dance Theatre; Paul Abrahamson of the Moose Project, a ballet troupe; and Sherry Zunker, Ginger Farley, and Kevin Iega Jeff for River North Dance Chicago. Friday, February 1, 7:30 PM, at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble, 773-278-7471, ext. 194. Saturday, February 2, 2 PM, at the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph, 312-744-6630. Sunday, February 3, noon, at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, 312-337-6543. All are free. Note: Other performances associated with Let’s Dance are the Chicago Moving Company’s “Improvisation Jam,” a concert by elementary and high school students called “Youth DanceFusion Showcase,” Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago’s historical survey “Jazz Beat…Then and Now,” and the dance offerings in the Around the Coyote Winter Arts Festival (see separate listings for all four). There’ll also be a rare screening of Souls of Our Feats Saturday at 12:30 PM at the Chicago Cultural Center (see movie listings).
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/William Frederking.