DANCE DAYS AHEAD
For many years that incomparable cartoonist, Jules Feiffer, drew barefoot modern dancers heralding the arrival of spring. As snowstorms blow our way in the next few months, Chicago dance lovers can look forward to a packed calendar of concerts by companies of every description. Here is a closer look at the lineup at three major venues, and there is plenty more on a slew of smaller stages, too.
AT THE AUDITORIUM
THEATRE, 50 E. Congress:
The Joffrey Ballet (Feb. 13-24): Under the umbrella title “American Legends,” the company will perform Jerome Robbins’ exuberantly youthful romp “Interplay,” set to music by Morton Gould; Twyla Tharp’s homage to Old Blue Eyes, “Nine Sinatra Songs”; “Sea Shadow,” Gerald Arpino’s exquisite duet to music by Ravel; and a demanding world premiere, “Son of Chamber Symphony,” choreographed by Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (March 8-17): Under its new artistic director, Robert Battle, the company’s mixed repertory programs are full of surprises, but continue to include Ailey’s signature piece, “Revelations.”
River North Dance Chicago (April 13): In collaboration with Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, the company will perform the world premiere of “Havana Blue,” with artistic director/choreographer Frank Chaves teaming with Davis on a piece that explores the men’s shared Cuban/Afro-Caribbean roots in a contemporary way.
Eisenhower Dance Ensemble (April 14): This Detroit-based ensemble will perform “Motown in Motion,” set to recordings by many of the Motor City’s most fabled artists, as well as additional works from its rep.
The Joffrey Ballet (April 24-May 5): The company will reprise Lar Lubovitch’s fascinating full-length work based on Shakespeare’s “Othello.” Set to music by Oscar-winning composer Elliot B. Goldenthal, the ballet was a huge hit when the Joffrey first danced it in 2009.
The Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, Russia (May 17-19): This unique company will dance his full-length work “Rodin.” Set to music by Saint-Saens, Massenet and Ravel, the work looks at the French sculptor Auguste Rodin.
For schedules and tickets for all performances, call (800) 982-2787 or visit www.ticketmaster.com/auditorium.
AT THE HARRIS THEATER FOR MUSIC AND DANCE, 205 E. Randolph:
Mummenschanz (Jan. 18-19): This beloved Switzerland-based physical theater company, on a 40th anniversary tour, is renowned for the way its performers transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Using common materials and everyday objects such as wires, tubes, boxes and fabric, they create fantastical characters and reveal timeless truths about human relationships.
Hamburg Ballet: (Feb. 1-2): Led by former American ballet dancer John Neumeier, this internationally admired German company will perform “Nijinsky.” The score includes music by Chopin, as well as Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade.”
Thodos Dance Chicago (March 2-3): Choreographers Melissa Thodos and Ann Reinking continue their award-winning collaboration (“The White City”) with the premiere of “A Light in the Dark,” a one act story ballet about Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan.
Luna Negra Dance Theater (March 9): As part of a program titled “Made in Spain,” the company will perform a world premiere by Spanish choreographer Fernando Hernando Magadan, created in collaboration with, and performed live by the Turtle Island Quartet. The program also will include a new work by Monica Cervantes, the Spanish-bred ensemble dancer and choreographer, plus a reprise of Magadan’s wildly ingenious “Naked Ape,” which looks at the impact of technology on human behavior.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (March 14-17): This engagement will mark the Chicago premiere of a multi-year collaboration with choreographer Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet of San Francisco. These two dance companies join forces on one stage to create a “supergroup” of contemporary and neoclassical dancers. Also on the program will be repertory works by both companies.
Giordano Dance Chicago (March 21-23): The program will include a new full company work by Cuban-American choreographer Liz Imperio.
For schedules and tickets for all performances, call (312) 334-7777 or visit www.harristheaterchicago.
AT THE DANCE CENTER
OF COLUMBIA COLLEGE, 1306 S. Michigan:
Double Edge Theatre (Jan. 18-19): In “The Grand Parade (of the Twentieth Century),” conceived and directed by Stacy Klein, this Massachusetts-based physical theater company will incorporate choreography, aerial flight, puppetry and circus arts to conjure the life and times and paintings of visionary artist Marc Chagall.
Zoe/Juniper (Feb. 14-16): In “A Crack in Everything,” choreographer Zoe Scofield and her husband, sculptor/photographer/media artist Juniper Shuey, have drawn on “The Oresteia,” the Greek tragedy, to explore the tension between our quest for justice and our hunger for the blood lust of revenge.
Stephen Petronio Company (March 7-9): This dynamic New York-based troupe will present Petronio’s “Underland,” an erotic, enigmatic, evening-length work inspired by the bittersweet songs of Australia’s Nick Cave.
The Chicago Moving Company (March 21-23): The troupe will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a program of four major revivals and a new work by founder Nina Shineflug.
Delfos Danza Contemporanea (April 4-6): This Mazatlan-based troupe’s program will include “Resonancias,” a suite of seven pieces, as well as the newer 2012 work, “Secretos (Secrets).”
For schedules and tickets to all performances, call (312) 369-8300 or visit www.colum.edu/dancecenter.