Dance for Life

Randy Duncan, former artistic director of Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre and now a freelancer, is the quintessential Dance for Life choreographer: the lineup for this sixth annual fund-raiser reveals a range of ethnic, contemporary, and classical dance. Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago will open the evening with a complex drum song sure to bring everyone to attention, then Hedwig Dances Performance Company and Natyakalalayam Dance Company offer the cross-cultural Conversation. The middle of the program is the lightest: Especially Tap Company’s hoofing, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s riotous The Envelope, and River North Dance Company’s Zib Wohs, a send-up of showbiz ambitions. The jazz-tinged Cerqua/Rivera Art Experience presents Tom & Jerry, then the stalwart Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago offers Kirby Reed’s new section for Chain of Rocks. The evening eases back into the inspirational with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago performing three excerpts from Gerald Arpino’s 1971 Kettentanz. And finally there’s Duncan’s world premiere, Inside Your Heart, which employs 20 dancers from six different companies, all of them in the jazz-modern-classical vein. What Duncan’s piece should bring to the mix, aside from original music by Ira Antelis, is soul–Duncan can’t seem to make a dance without feeling. It’s a good way to end the evening, a benefit for Open Hand Chicago and the Dance for Life Fund, both of which help those with HIV or AIDS. Thursday, September 4, at 8 at the Navy Pier Skyline Stage, 600 E. Grand; $25-$75 (premiere seating and a light buffet, which begins at 6, are available at $125-$500). Call 773-665-1000 for tickets and information. –Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Jennifer Girard.