River North Dance Company

River North achieves a remarkable range within its rather narrowly defined niche. Traditionally a jazz-dance company performing short, entertaining works, it nevertheless offers a variety of styles and moods, partly because it taps a variety of choreographers. The troupe’s Dance Chicago ’98 program alone showcases such widely divergent work as Randy Duncan’s emotion-laden modern-dance piece Turning Tides, Harrison McEldowney’s witty, tongue-in-cheek ballroom dance Perfidia, and Tony Savino’s supercheery swing-dance extravaganza Care to Dance. This season River North also presents the company premiere of Ashley Roland’s jokey Captain Tenacity, which I saw years ago at an ISO and the Bobs performance: it involves a superhero hurling herself at a giant wall of Velcro. More promising, at least to me, are two new works by the company’s artistic directors. Sherry Zunker Dow premieres Vent, a female duet set to music by Buddy Johnson, and Frank Chaves offers Temporal Trance, a piece for seven dancers said to escalate to a “pulsating” finish and set to the music of Peter Gabriel, Vangelis, Gabrielle Roth, and the Mirrors. See listing for complete program. Friday at 6:30, Saturday at 8, and Sunday at 3; then Friday, October 16, and Saturday, October 17, at 8. At the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport; $20-$25 ($175 includes the company benefit at the Ambassador West Hotel following this Friday’s performance). Call 312-902-1500 for tickets; 773-935-6860 for information, including Dance Chicago ’98 subscriptions; and 312-944-2888 for information on the benefit. –Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Turning Tides photo by Karla G. Nicholson.