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American Ballet Theatre

American Ballet Theatre Few classical ballet companies can hold a candle to American Ballet Theatre’s stable of principal dancers. Not only is their ballet technique outstanding, they’re renowned for creating an onstage magic that lingers well after the curtain goes down. In recent years ABT has charmed Chicago audiences with superb performances of Romeo and […]

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Better With Age

James Kelly Choreography Project at the Harold Washington Library, June 28 and 29 Connolly Dance Company and Janet Skidmore Harpole at Link’s Hall, June 28 and 29 By Maura Troester In 1991 the name seemed temporary, as if James Kelly didn’t want to create a dance company, he only wanted to make choreography. Five seasons […]

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First Steps

Rebecca Rossen and Keith Carollo at Link’s Hall, June 14-16 Looking Through, Looking On Scott Putman and Margi Cole at the Dance Center of Columbia College, June 7 and 8 By Maura Troester There’s a Zen emptiness to the dances of Rebecca Rossen and Keith Carollo. Both create refreshingly simple choreography–it feels as if they […]

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Hedwig Dances

The world of Jan Bartoszek’s choreography is a gracious, orderly one; movements unfold gently, birth comes as surely as death. Her new piece, Falling Into the Sky, part of the “Dances for the Deep Field” program, explores the archetypal relationship between a grandmother and her young granddaughter. Innocent and playful in the beginning, they share […]

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Ballet Chicago

After its dismal production of Hansel and Gretel two seasons ago, Ballet Chicago seemed on its last legs. But the company bounced back beautifully last year with a technically impressive, highly entertaining production of Coppelia. Artistic director Dan Duell’s trick to keeping his impoverished classical company alive then: hire strong dancers and borrow sets and […]

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Surface Noise

Joe Chvala and the Flying Foot Forum at the Dance Center of Columbia College, April 25-27 Imagine six dancers: lips blackened, faces gray and gaunt, wearing white shirts, narrow black ties, trench coats. After 17 minutes of a ferocious, pulsating war dance, they assemble in a military line. Hands bent like claws ready to tear […]

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Joel Hall Dancers

If stuffy old Christmas ballets danced in cavernous halls simply bore you and the little ones, Nuts & Bolts: A Nutcracker for the 90s, Joel Hall’s hip, evening-length modern jazz dance, provides an alternative. Set to Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s rendition of the Nutcracker Suite, plus a generous dose of house music, Nut & […]

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Passion Play

Romeo and Juliet American Ballet Theatre at the Auditorium Theatre, September 26-October 1 Sexual passion is a physical thing–something you feel in your gut, your groin, and the tips of your fingers–and dance is the perfect vehicle to convey it. In a pas de deux, when the ballerina lifts her chin, arches her back, and […]

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Where Did Our Love Go?

American Ballet Theatre at the Auditorium Theatre, through October 1 Walking out of American Ballet Theatre’s mixed-repertory concert last Friday I was plagued by one question: what the hell has happened to love in the 20th century? Whether deliberately or unwittingly, the five dances on this program together offer a sort of mini history lesson […]

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Stepping Out

Damhsa: A Celtic Odyssey Trinity Irish Dance Company at the Skyline Stage, Navy Pier, August 25 and 26 Chicago’s Trinity Irish dancers are perhaps America’s best-known Irish dance team. Three times they’ve won the world championships of Irish dance, held annually in Ireland. They’ve danced on the Tonight show, at the Grand Ole Opry, for […]

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Chicago Moving Company

According to Nana Shineflug, in Bali there’s no word for art. It’s simply part of communicating with the spirit world–as essential to daily living as eating or breathing–keeping bad spirits at bay and the mind, body, and soul well balanced. For Shineflug, one of the city’s oldest choreographers (she turns 60 next year), dance seems […]