Ballet Hispanico | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Ballet Hispanico 

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Ballet Hispanico

Don't be thrown by the name--ballet has little to do with this New York-based troupe. Nor is it ethnic in the same sense as the venerable Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. One of the works on this Ballet Hispanico program, Ann Reinking's Ritmo y Ruido ("Rhythm and Ruckus"), is pure Broadway jazz in the Fosse vein, all swiveling hips, undulating torsos, come-hither looks, and beckoning fingers. The party atmosphere and stop-motion snapshots seem generic, not Hispanic--and though some clapped hands suggest flamenco, a vague jig suggests Irish dance. The short excerpt I saw from Ramon Oller's Bury Me Standing, also on this program, looked modern in its movement despite the ethnic touch of the women's long skirts and head wraps. And the third work being performed, Somethin' From Nothin', is by David Rousseve, a choreographer who specializes in issue-oriented dance-theater pieces often garnished with obscure texts (his company has appeared in Chicago several times under the auspices of the Dance Center of Columbia College). It's hard to imagine his work alongside Reinking's hot commercial property, but perhaps the aim is simply an urban feel. Friday and Saturday at 8 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress; $20-$48. Call 312-902-1500 for tickets, 312-922-2110, ext. 4, for rates on groups of ten or more.

--Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Bruce Laurance.

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