Watch out for random flying layouts and soaring kicks: jazz dancers from around the world are converging on Chicago for a four-day series of performances (part of the Jazz Dance World Congress, which also includes classes and workshops). Troupes are coming in from Canada, Mexico, Italy, and Japan as well as several U.S. cities. Also included are local favorites the Joel Hall Dancers, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, and Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago, among others; Chicago Tap Theatre makes its first appearance. Former Alvin Ailey dancer Christopher Huggins, who hasn’t attended before, performs a new solo he’s choreographed. Also new is Cuerpo Etereo Danza Contemporanea, from Mexico, whose Vigias (scheduled for Saturday) is agreeably savage in the usual jazz dance vein. The old-timers are host company Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago and the Masashi Action Machine from Japan, both of which performed at the original Jazz Dance World Congress in Evanston in 1990. Each program is completely different; see for details. a Opens Wed 8/1, 8 PM. Through 8/4: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph, 312-334-7777, $45-$60. Contestants in the Leo’s Jazz Dance Choreography Competitive Event perform each night at 6:15 PM, and ticket holders on a given evening can watch for free. –Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Masashi Action Machine photo by Waco.