Tapmeisters unite at CHRP's jubilant "JUBA!" | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Tapmeisters unite at CHRP's jubilant "JUBA!" 

Look out for flying cleats.

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Push Past Break

Push Past Break

Courtesy ProPhotoSTL

The "JUBA!" shows that close Chicago Human Rhythm Project's 23rd annual "Rhythm World" fest begin with a bang. Next Monday, in an intimate cabaret setting, eight nationally and internationally renowned tap-dancers, plus unnamed guests, join the Greg Spero Trio for . . . whatever develops. But you know it will be good with the likes of Jason Janas, Jumaane Taylor, Lisa LaTouche, and Starinah Dixon on tap. The three Brazilian visitors that night include Leonardo Sandoval, a skinny youngster who a few years ago was dancing on the street for change. He made his international debut in 2012, on the reality talent series ¡Q'Viva! The Chosen. A thoroughbred on video, Sandoval is strong yet fine-boned, capable of authority and nuance.

The three other "JUBA!" shows, performed in a theater, should also feel like a party thanks to mobs of cheering students. Here's a taste of the lineups: On Wednesday, Chicago's M.A.D.D. Rhythms and guest artists perform excerpts from Ted Levy's The Life & Times of Sammy Davis, Jr. On Thursday the Brazilians dance to a Brazilian music quartet, and CHRP's ensemble, BAM!, performs Bessie winner Michelle Dorrance's bluesy Push Past Break, exploring the paradox that joy can grow out of poverty and oppression. Dorrance's quintet—a highlight of May's "Music + Movement Showcase"—draws the dancers into the unfamiliar territory of storytelling, where they thrive. And Saturday features tap-dance "bad boys."

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