Cerqua Rivera Art Experience | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Cerqua Rivera Art Experience 

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Wilfredo Rivera's extroverted choreography is the perfect match for the 13-piece jazz band directed by his partner, Joe Cerqua, a composer, musician, and singer. The two halves of Rivera's Summertime Suite reveal two sides of his passionate nature: first Carol Loverde sings a soaring, piercing a cappella version of the George Gershwin classic "Summertime," reflected in the dancers' gentle but powerful interactions and sense of community, and then Cerqua's band plays a vampy instrumental version of the tune that elicits every bit of the dancers' ardor and sensuality. Rivera's new The Carole King Suite is lighter in tone but conveys the same fervent sense of reaching out to the audience despite--or perhaps because of--all the kitschy fluttering hands and other signature 70s moves. Also on this bill, which is crammed with a variety of music and dance selections (often combined), are company member Mike Rioux's new From My Heart, May It Return to Thy Heart, a sweet-natured piece that both elevates romance and sees it truly, and Harrison McEldowney's crowd-pleasing Revelers, set to klezmerlike jazz and featuring a maelstrom of boastful, often inept, utterly charming circus performers. Friday and Saturday at 8 at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 Campbell in Arlington Heights; $27.50. Call 847-577-2121 for tickets and information.

--Laura Molzahn

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

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