You may think dancers are a physical bunch, living in a material world of biceps, deltoids, and pecs. But they’re not. Dancers worth their salt know that the body is the means to a numinous end, and that’s why as artists they’re peculiarly suited to treat mortality, to look at how body and soul come together–and separate. It seems appropriate that Chicago Dancers United should organize a benefit for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, especially given how hard AIDS has hit the dance community. This second annual event features 11 of Chicago’s top modern, jazz, ballet, tap, and ethnic companies, in dances that may or may not be related to AIDS. What’s important is the energy. You can see Akasha Dance Company (now on hiatus after 13 years but revived for this event) performing a work by Claire Bataille, Alexander Michaels/Future Movement tapping Now or Never, Ballet Chicago in Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky pas de deux, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago in Sing Sing Sing, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago doing the male duet from Daniel Ezralow’s Read My Hips, the Joel Hall Dancers in Widow, Widow, Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre doing “The Storm” section from Randy Duncan’s Turning Tides, the James Kelly Choreography Project in his lovely Untitled Duet, Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago performing Drum Call and Mwana Mbenga, the River North Dance Company in Reality of a Dreamer, and independent choreographer Melissa Thodos dancing her In Two Time. Saturday at 8 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport; general admission $20 in advance, $30 at the door; $75 for Circle of Friends tickets, which include reserved seats and a preperformance reception. Call 642-5454 for tickets and information.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Gordon Meyer.