River North artistic director Sherry Zunker burst on the scene almost ten years ago with her vivid, stirring, MTV-influenced Reality of a Dreamer. That dance was showcased in an Emmy-winning documentary about the company, which put her jazz-dance troupe and the (then) tiny video firm of HMS Media on the map. Now Zunker is leaving River North (Frank Chaves, who’s been coartistic director since 1993, will take over) to pursue freelance projects; the two performances this weekend are the last in which she’ll be involved. The troupe will dance her duet Vent, about women’s strength in adversity; the sly but touching The Man That Got Away, set to Judy Garland’s singing and tinged with nostalgia both cultural and personal; and the piece she choreographed with Chaves for the company’s tenth anniversary, Mission. Also on the program is Daniel Ezralow’s Pulse, choreographed for River North last fall (when he made the provocative statement that “the choreographer is useless–the body knows what to do”) using digitized videotapes of the dancers improvising. Chaves contributes The Two Sides of Tes–and Then Some, a piece by and about men that premiered last fall (“tes” is short for “testosterone”), and the witty, stylish Grusin Suite, set to music from the film The Firm. Rounding out the program is Harrison McEldowney’s Perfida, a company favorite that gives infidelity a cheery, cheeky look. North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 847-673-6300 or 312-902-1500. Through May 13: Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 2 PM. $35.

–Laura Molzahn

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