Chicago Human Rhythm Project | Dance Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Chicago Human Rhythm Project 

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Can there be too much of a good thing? If so, look out: the seventh annual Chicago Human Rhythm Project features 12 performances over two weeks by some 17 individuals and groups. They range from old hands like Chicagoan Ernest "Brownie" Brown, who's been tapping for over 70 years, to rising young stars like Jay Fagan (from Chicago) and Mandy Bryan (Minneapolis). They come from all over the continent: Lynn Dally hails from the west coast, Bill Orlowski from Canada, Robert Reed from Saint Louis, and the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble from--well, you get the point. New Yorkers include Van "the Man" Porter, as smooth a piece of masculine grace as you're likely to see (he was featured in Riverdance and Black and Blue), former Chicagoan Ted Levy (who was assistant choreographer for Bring In da Noise, Bring In da Funk), Dianne "Lady Di" Walker (who danced in Black and Blue), and Sam Weber, awarded a Bessie in 1994 for his dancing. Among the Chicagoans performing are Reginald McLaughlin, Chicago Human Rhythm Project director Lane Alexander, the Especially Tap Company, Rhythm I.S.S. (all women), Steppin' Out (for street-smart tapping), Richard Weinberg, and Billy Seinfeld's Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, a deceptively easygoing, highly entertaining troupe. If you like happy feet--and who doesn't?--you'll be in tap-dance heaven come July 8. See listing for complete programs; the Orbert Davis Quartet plays throughout the run. Tuesdays-Thursdays at 7:30, Fridays and Saturdays at 8, and Sundays at 3 through July 20 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport; $15-$27 (opening night $35, $55 including postperformance reception). Call 312-902-1500 or 773-935-6860 for tickets, 773-761-4889 for group and benefit information. --Laura Molzahn


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