As the last days of summer pass by, we begin to acknowledge fall as a welcome inevitability. Tees and shorts seem to abruptly turn into jeans and jackets. School is back in session, the leaves start to turn, and dance season has officially begun.
Ringling Brothers may have live animals--minus the elephants--but they have nothing on “Carlucci’s Marvelous Exotic Extraordinary Big Top Universe of Renown,” otherwise known as Chicago Tap Theatre, for thrills and chills, and plenty of laughs.
By Lynn Colburn Shapiro
When native Chicagoan Vernard J. Gilmore first saw Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performing in his hometown, he said, “I need to be there!” Gilmore saw himself, and the world in which he lived, in the characters portrayed onstage, and he dreamed of one day becoming a member of the company. Today, as he anticipates returning to dance at the Auditorium Theatre in the company’s annual Chicago engagement, he has been living that dream for twenty years.
Summing up Dances from the Underground in a brief preview seems a daunting task; the triple bill featuring The Seldoms, Peter Carpenter Performance Project, and Kate Corby & Dancers will show works in varying stages of development over two weekends at Links Hall.
“We can dance together; we are humans of the world!” says Cuba’s DanzAbierta resident choreographer Susana Pous, taking a break from her company’s joint rehearsal with Chicago’s Hedwig Dances. Dancing together is exactly what the two companies will be doing in their collaborative concert, “Trade Winds/Aires de Cambio,” (Air of Change) this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM, October 9th-11th at the Dance Center of Columbia College.
Rebellious Teen Defies Father, Leaves Home; Debutante Engaged to Wealthy Bachelor; Priest Guilty of Sexual Misconduct, Torches Temple--They could be tabloid headlines, but in this case, surprise, they’re abbreviated synopses of Joffrey Ballet’s upcoming “Stories In Motion,” opening this Thursday night, September 18th at the Auditorium Theater and running only through Sunday, September 21st.
Stories are making a comeback on the dance scene, or reinventing themselves as post-post-modernism, take your pick. Throughout September and October, Chicago dance lovers have an absolutely tantalizing array of dance styles and companies to choose from, with a rip-roaring line-up that ranges from conventional story ballets to innovative collaborations, abstract dance tone-poems to jazz rhythms and tap dance narratives. Here are a just few of the many wonderful stories in dance coming our way this fall:
Walking into the Mayne Stage late night for a KTF (Keeper of the Floor) dance battle between company members and friends of Chicago Dance Crash (CDC), a number of realizations come to mind: 1) KTF is not a typical dance show, 2) Chicago Dance Crash is not a typical dance company, and 3) it’s possible to make people go crazy for dance. Host, judge, moderator, and lubricator Mattrick Swayze (with his darling Swayzettes) are a large part of what make the quarterly hootenanny work.