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Chicago Moving Company

CHICAGO MOVING COMPANY If there’s any Western dance equivalent to the oriental forms of No and the martial arts, intended to produce beauty and cosmic connection throughout a lifetime, it’s choreography like that by Nana Shineflug, especially her new 25th-anniversary Chicago Moving Company creation, Coming Forth by Day. At the heart of this work, inspired […]

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Moving Toward Unity

Dance Theatre of Harlem at the Auditorium Theatre, May 9-11 Rites & Rituals Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago at the Shubert Theatre, May 15-18 By Joseph Houseal Since the inception of Dance Theatre of Harlem in 1968, the status of black people worldwide has changed, and so has the dance world. To think of DTH […]

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No Flash Necessary

Shirley Mordine choreographs with a physical poetry that harks back to an earlier age of modern dance. Her work is modern in the sense of the great modern movement of the 20th century in art, and contemporary in that it still speaks and still educates and is performed by strong, young dancers. Capturing the primitivism […]

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Dance Theatre of Harlem

DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM Dance Theatre of Harlem, a company of monumental historic importance, is the first and finest among all-black ballet companies, led by Balanchine protege Arthur Mitchell. And its Chicago run features two meaty new works. John Alleyne, artistic director of Ballet British Columbia, is one of the most exciting choreographers on the […]

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The Road Ahead

Winifred Haun and Dancers at Links Hall, April 4-6 By Joseph Houseal Movement for movement’s sake, if it exists at all, is a self-annihilating idea. Motion devoid of any intellectual, emotional, or spiritual implication can only be superficial at best, purposeless at worst–what you see is all you get. Yet it’s Merce Cunningham’s ideal of […]

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Keepers of The Flame

Giselle Ballet Theater of Chicago at the Athenaeum Theatre, March 19-23 Cinderella Ballet Chicago at the Shubert Theater, April 9-13 By Joseph Houseal Classical ballet is the foundation upon which all contemporary concert dance is built, and its presence in or absence from a dance environment speaks volumes about that environment’s depth. The challenges of […]

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Cinderella

Cinderella What distinguishes Ballet Chicago from the other struggling groups in town with similar names, in this performance in particular, is the Russian connection. Artistic director Daniel Duell made his mark with the New York City Ballet under the direction of America’s greatest gift from Russia, George Balanchine, learning to perform that outstanding hybrid of […]

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World Wide Web

Kazuco Takemoto at the Dance Center of Columbia College, March 6-8 By Joseph Houseal Kazuco Takemoto–appearing in Shinpi No Bi, the Dance Center’s ongoing festival of contemporary Japanese dance–is evidence enough that, with the world at our fingertips, national identities pale. Completely at home in herself, she unites the elements of this performance–klezmer music, Graham […]

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Eiko & Koma

Nothing in the dance world even remotely approaches the saturation of feeling achieved by Eiko & Koma, a husband-and-wife team whose intimacy in performance magnifies the moment, not the personality, conveying a Zen-like timelessness. (They’re the only duo ever to win a MacArthur Foundation genius award, formerly reserved for individuals.) Memory–the performance that concludes the […]

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On a Grand Scale

Being in Dreaming II at the Athenaeum Theatre, through March 1 Uno Man at the Dance Center of Columbia College, February 19-21 By Joseph Houseal Choreographer August Tye competed with a blizzard on opening night of “Being in Dreaming II,” but she held her own with a showcase of new dance work–her first concert in […]

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Keep the Legacy Alive

While Ruth St. Denis was exploring orientalism, Martha Graham human psychology, and Agnes de Mille American lore, Katherine Dunham was preserving the dance traditions of Africa and the Caribbean in her own uniquely theatrical way. A black woman, a dancer, and a student of anthropology, she sought to gain respect for black dance traditions–indeed, to […]

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Technical Ecstasy

Joffrey Ballet of Chicago at the Shubert Theatre, January 28-February 2 Ballet Theater of Chicago at the Athenaeum Theatre, February 5-9 By Joseph Houseal What classical ballet training brings, first and foremost, is refinement–of the human form, of dance technique, and of historical appreciation. And in its short winter season at the Shubert the Joffrey […]

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Joffrey Ballet of Chicago

Having the Joffrey in Chicago could be a win-win situation for both the company and Chicago’s dance community if the Joffrey wises up and focuses on its own brand of art instead of populist pabulum, and if the community learns to leverage the presence of an internationally recognized ballet company. It seems to be happening. […]

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Call of the Wild

The Nutcracker Joffrey Ballet of Chicago at the Rosemont Theatre, November 27-December 8 Nuts & Bolts: A Jazzy Nutcracker for the 90s Joel Hall Dancers at the O’Rourke Center of Truman College, December 6-15 By Joseph Houseal In the last half century The Nutcracker–originally a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann and later a ballet by Petipa […]