Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago
A generation separates Gus and Nan Giordano, the father-daughter team who choreographed Le Firebird de Jazz, but that gap doesn’t seem to have bothered them; indeed, this new dance spans even more disparate choreographic and musical generations. Using some of Stravinsky’s original 1910 score for the Fokine ballet as well as Charlie Parker’s 40s variation on the music, Le Firebird de Jazz reveals the connections between early-20th-century ballet and mid-century jazz dance: both are highly stylized forms whose tableaux, flying leaps, and sometimes grotesque contortions of the head and neck, torso, and arms are justified by Firebird’s fairy-tale origins and ornithological characters. Le Firebird de Jazz is a curiosity that works, and Sam Watson’s new Hi Jinks is another. In this suite of four dances the former Chicagoan pays “tribute” to 60s variety-show entertainers with cartoonish choreography and even more ludicrous costumes. These world premieres appear on all three programs next weekend, while Le Firebird de Jazz is featured in a free storefront presentation Tuesday from 7 to 8:30 AM in the window of the Anna Held Flower Shop, 5557 N. Sheridan. Regular performances are next Friday and Saturday, September 11 and 12, at 8 and next Sunday, September 13, at 3 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport; $15-$20, $5 for children for the Sunday matinee. See listing for complete schedule. Call 312-902-1500 for tickets, 847-866-6779 for information on the postshow benefit party Saturday. –Laura Molzahn
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Le Firebird de Jazz photo by Mike Canale.