Choreographer Daniel Ezralow and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago are in many ways a heavenly match: both stylish, both full of sizzle, both entertaining but eager to be more, too. For Ezralow’s new piece, In Praise of Shadows, the stage is stunningly draped and lit; Thom Willems’s score hovers tantalizingly between rock and traditional Indonesian music. The seven dancers resemble Eastern gods and goddesses in graceful, often erotic poses; couples wrapped in winding-sheets look like pieces of statuary, icons to be alternately worshiped and torn down. So where does the sizzle come in? Well, in the absolutely dazzling floor work–the dancers often look like human pinwheels–and in Ezralow’s delicate exploitation of the music’s odd, enticing rhythms. You can see In Praise of Shadows on the first of Hubbard Street’s two programs at Ravinia this week; also on the first program are Twyla Tharp’s Baker’s Dozen, her Nine Sinatra Songs (perfectly suited to romantic outdoor evenings), David Parsons’s The Envelope, and Margo Sappington’s Step Out of Love. The second program consists of an older Ezralow piece, Read My Hips, plus Lou Conte and Claire Bataille’s Line Drive, Conte’s Georgia, The Envelope, and Nine Sinatra Songs. First program Wednesday and Thursday at 8, second program next Friday and Saturday, September 3 and 4, at 8, at Ravinia Festival, Lake Cook and Green Bay roads in Highland Park; $10-$25. Kids’ concert next Saturday, September 4, at 2; $5. Call 728-4642 for tickets and information.

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