Photo courtesy Nikolay Krusser
Boris Eifman is the writer’s choreographer; his muse is the figure of the artist, the genius, the madman. His theatrical ballets have emerged from the real and imagined psyches of Don Quixote, Hamlet, Anna Karenina, the Karamazovs, Tchaikovsky and, most recently, Auguste Rodin and his tumultuous relationship with his colleague, muse and lover Camille Claudel. Eifman’s “Rodin” opens with Claudel in the asylum (where she spent out the last thirty years of her life), then travels back in time through Rodin’s memory—meeting his young student turned lover, co-author of his works, subject and object of creative jealousy. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the most diverse dance programs this year will take place in the Loop, on the stage of the Auditorium Theatre. The Movement + Music Showcase is a collection of all new pieces by six Chicago companies and their musical collaborators for one night, one performance only. The six companies—representing a spectrum of styles and traditions—were selected from workshops held at the Auditorium’s Katten/Landau studio; some of the names may be familiar, some perhaps less so: Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Kuumba Lynx, Mexican Dance Ensemble, DanceWorks Chicago and Thodos Dance Chicago. Giordano Dance Chicago also gets a special invite. Read the rest of this entry »
Photo courtesy Herbert Migdoll
The Joffrey reprises Lar Lubovitch’s evening-length interpretation of the famous tale—a theme of Chicago stages this year; the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Lyric Opera are also staging productions of the tragedy of the Moor. The Joffrey first performed Lubovitch’s high-drama story ballet in 2009 and many of the same dancers can be seen in title roles many nights: willowy, girlish April Daly as Desdemona, Matthew Adamczyk a perfectly arch and seething Iago, and towering Fabrice Calmels the quintessential Othello, a great warrior carved from stone. Read the rest of this entry »
Detroit’s leading contemporary dance company visits the Auditorium Theatre for the first time, representing D-town through the music that made the city famous. “Motown in Motion” is a dance tribute album of sorts—a collection of pieces set to iconic Motown Records recordings and choreographed by leading names like Gregory Patterson, Ginger Thatcher, Joel Hall and, of course, the ensemble’s founder Laurie Eisenhower. The program also includes favorite selections of repertory, two by Chicago-based choreographers Ron de Jesus and Michael Foley. Read the rest of this entry »
Photo courtesy Cheryl Mann
Frank Chaves was born in Cuba, but left as a very young child, well before he could form distinct memories of his birthplace. When Chaves, founder and artistic director of River North Dance Company, returned to Havana accompanied by the founder of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, a new project was born. “Havana Blue” is the product of a two-year collaboration between Chaves and Orbert Davis—a seven-part love letter to the city set to original Afro-Cuban music by Davis and performed live by the Philharmonic. The partnership is a real treat; Chaves’ theatrical, vivacious choreography should pair beautifully with the verve and spontaneity of live jazz. Read the rest of this entry »
Photo: Andrew Eccles
The world-renowned Ailey company will stop in Chicago for a rigorous week-and-a-half of performances, allotting them time to showcase old and new, American and European, contemporary and modern, narrative and abstract, jazz, classical, gospel, pop and hip-hop. The programs slated for Ailey’s ten-day run are an ambitious collection of eight stylistically diverse pieces spanning decades and continents. Highlights? Hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris’ gospel-house scored “Home,” inspired by people living with HIV; the first performance of “The Lion King” choreographer Garth Fagan’s “From Before” by a company besides his own; and the first time the Ailey dancers perform “Petite Mort” by Jiri Kylian, the influential director of Nederlands Dans Theatre. Read the rest of this entry »
Though we publish a list of “players” every year, we alternate between those whose accomplishments are most visible on-stage (the artists, last year) and those who wield their influence behind the curtain (this year). Not only does this allow us to consider twice as many people, but it also puts some temporal distance between the lists. So, the last time we visited this cast of characters, two years ago, we were celebrating the end of the Richard M. Daley years in Chicago, fretting over a nation seemingly in the mood for a Tea Party and contemplating the possibility of a Latter Day Saint in the White House. Today, we’ve got a dancer in the mayor’s office, the most prominent Mormons are in a chorus line at the Bank of America Theatre and the Tea Cup runneth dry. Call us cockeyed optimists, but things sure look better from here. And so, meet the folks who, today, bring us the best theater, dance, comedy and opera in the nation.
Written by Zach Freeman, Brian Hieggelke, Sharon Hoyer and Johnny Oleksinski
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Photo courtesy Bruce Monk
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet brings a tale of star-crossed lovers during La Belle Epoque to Chicago, ringing in the holiday stage season with grand theatricality and rafters-high kicks well before The Rockettes strap on their heels. Choreographer Jorden Morris tells the story of two innocents enticed by the glitter of the Moulin Rouge, and how their youthful passion is threatened by the cabaret’s evil proprietor. Colorful skirts will be thrown high in can-cans en pointe, framed by the iconic windmill and sets reminiscent of late-nineteenth-century Paris. Read the rest of this entry »
Photo courtesy Herbert Migdoll
In 1932, German choreographer Kurt Jooss crafted a scathing invective of war in the language of ballet. “The Green Table” opens and closes on those distinguished men in suits who decide the fate of millions, and traces the path of destruction in the chapters between, the specter of death always hovering nearby. The Joffrey Ballet was the first American company to dance it in 1967 and presents it again this week as part of a thought-provoking program well-timed in an election year. I spoke with the Joffrey’s artistic director Ashley Wheater and Jeanette Vondersaar, repetiteur for “The Green Table,” in town to work with the company.
How does the aesthetic of The Green Table translate to your dancers today?
Wheater: The aesthetic is very specific and I feel the company has grown so much working in it. For this generation of dancers, I feel it’s very, very important for them to understand why this piece is so seminal. For some it’s much harder than others. Inside, they have to believe the movement; you have to be inside it one-hundred percent. Read the rest of this entry »
Vibrant, luscious costumes and foot-stomping rhythms explode onto the Auditorium Theatre stage with the return of Amalia Hernandez’s joyful, energetic company. Ballet Folklorico has been a major cultural ambassador for sixty years, bringing folk music from regions across Mexico to life through traditional, ritual and contemporary dance. Ms. Hernandez founded the ballet to collect and preserve indigenous Mexican dances and today the company, under the direction of her grandson Salvador Lopez, has dozens of folk dances in their repertory, adapted for the stage. Caballeros leap and pound out driving rhythms to the horns of on-stage mariachi; the mystery and ceremony of ancient Mayan culture is felt in low, thunderous drums and strong, angular movement vocabulary. The Ballet creates an onstage party so infectious, it’s impossible to keep from clapping along when brightly colored skirts twirl eye-high. (Sharon Hoyer)
At the Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress, (800)982-2787. Saturday, October 6 at 7:30pm and Sunday, October 7 at 3pm. $30-$74.