Posted inArts & Culture

Billboards

BILLBOARDS Joffrey Ballet at the Civic Opera House, March 16-21 When MTV meets pointe shoes, look out. Brash, fast, and fashionable, Billboards is probably the sexiest work ever performed on the Civic Opera House stage. The Joffrey’s new evening-length ballet set to music by Prince stands conventional thinking on its head. Not the idea that […]

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Human and Suprahuman

ARIE BURSZTYN and SINAPSA DANCE GROUP at the Dance Center of Columbia College, March 9 and 10 Some dances are human, others suprahuman. Human dances are unmistakably enmeshed in social and cultural currents, explicitly testing the dancers’ and viewers’ shared world. The suprahuman ones explore the essential materials of dance–movement, space, time–for their own sake, […]

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Joe Goode Performance Group

The combination of beautiful, easy movement and raw insight in the work of the Joe Goode Performance Group is seductive, even irresistible. Watching The Disaster Series and Convenience Boy, I laughed–laughed hard–until the absolute tragedy and unarguable reality of character and situation hit me. Convenience Boy, commissioned by the Dance Center and premiering there next […]

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Ballet Chicago

Believe it or not, ballet is finally a homegrown form in Chicago: if you haven’t seen Ballet Chicago in the last two years, you haven’t seen how they’re shaping a unique repertory highlighting works by artistic director Daniel Duell and resident choreographer Gordon Peirce Schmidt. This weekend’s performances feature two of Duell’s works: the pas […]

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New Direction

MORDINE & COMPANY DANCE THEATRE at the Dance Center of Columbia College May 14-16 and 21-23 Choreographer Shirley Mordine long ago established her reputation as one of the most accomplished craftsmen in Chicago. Her canny manipulation of the raw material of dance–sheer movement, space, and time–knows no peer. And in the course of its 24-year […]

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Joffrey Ballet

JOFFREY BALLET at the Auditorium Theatre April 29-May3 Ballet tends to reduce women to one of two images: the ballerina as a cool, active, independent force, the agent of her own destiny and dancing, or as the object of male fantasy and desire, hurled, hauled around, and deprived of volition. The most interesting dances present […]

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Masculine-Feminine

ABOUT MEN . . . ABOUT WOMEN Jan Erkert & Dancers at the Dance Center of Columbia College March 5-7 Jan Erkert makes dances for mind and eye alike. Strong, appealing dancers perform expressive movement with absolute authority and without affectation; shifting spatial patterns and dynamic configurations of dancers occupy every inch of performance space; […]

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Ballet in Your Face

BALLET CHICAGO at the Dance Center of Columbia College October 23-November 2 By performing in Uptown, in the city’s preeminent modern-dance performance space, Ballet Chicago has undertaken its biggest gamble yet. Daring to show ballet up close and personal is a lot like daring to attend a costume gala in a G-string. Strip away the […]

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Love Among the Lettuce

DAVID PUSZH DANCE COMPANY AND HEARSAY at the Weinstein Center for the Performing Arts June 21 and 22 Whether you believe musical theater is entirely moribund or the most vital and accessible performance form in America, your position is supported by The Ballad of Etta Blue, an original one-act musical by Cheri Coons and Eric […]

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Two Women’s Tales

TWO WOMEN’S TALES Jan Bartoszek/Hedwig Dances and Amy Osgood at the Dance Center of Columbia College March 14-16 Jan Bartoszek and Amy Osgood make fine dances–musical, well crafted, and thoughtfully produced. Both choreographers choose interesting scores and create shifting, complex relationships between the images, phrases, and structures of the movement and those of the music. […]

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ISO and the Bobs

ISO AND THE BOBS at the Civic Theatre February 20-24 Watching ISO dance is like watching classic Saturday-morning cartoons: no intellectual pretensions, no political agenda, no tugging on the heartstrings; just entertaining high jinks and slapstick taking whack after powerful whack at your funny bone. Actually, watching ISO is more fun: they’re real, not celluloid, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

He Said? She Said!

To the editors: Somewhere in the editorial process, my February 22 review of Joe Goode Performance Group’s Disaster Series at the Columbia College Dance Center acquired a small but troubling error: a quote that I meant to attribute to Elizabeth Burritt was attributed to Joe Goode instead. Goode placed his broad, splayed hand on Burritt’s […]

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American Ballet Theatre

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE at the Civic Center for Performing Arts February 12-14 Beautiful dancing is seductive. Watching American Ballet Theatre perform Jiri Kylian’s Sinfonietta is a pleasure: the dancers’ lightness and ease in Sinfonietta’s lightning-fast leaps and changes of direction inspire a sense of wonder. Joop Caboort’s warm lighting and Walter Nobbe’s idyllic costumes and […]

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Coping With Chaos

DISASTER SERIES Joe Goode Performance Group at the Dance Center of Columbia College February 14-16 You just can’t help laughing when you first see Joe Goode onstage in the Disaster Series. Goode solicits that response with placid exaggeration–a porkpie hat, big eyes, wide mouth, and drawn-out vowels. The work’s ten sections treat disasters large and […]