Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago 

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In the ephemeral world of dance, this 44-year-old company is exceptionally long-lived. Even older is the school associated with it, now called the Giordano Dance Center; it was founded by Gus Giordano 53 years ago. Perhaps because of its link to dance education, the troupe is known for technical excellence, a tradition maintained by Gus's daughter, current artistic director Nan Giordano: attention to detail and a feel for style mark the dancers' strong, precise work. For this program she digs deep into the company's past, but everything looks fresh because the dancers reinvigorate it. The oldest piece is Sam Watson's 1989 Chameleon, set to an original score by Rocky Moffit; perhaps because the music sounds heroic, the choreography is unusually serious for Watson. He's better known for pieces like the 1998 Hi Jinks, a tribute to 60s TV shows so brazenly, shamelessly silly it can't help but succeed. It's also on the program, along with Davis Robertson's expertly musical BeIngOne (premiered last fall, though Giordano says that now the "feel and style have come together") and Entropy (2002) and Ron De Jesus's Prey (2003). Another older piece, James Kelly's 1990 Ten Cents a Dance, is being performed by apprentices, perhaps in a nod to the importance of training second, third, even fourth generations of dancers. Fri-Sat 3/3-3/4, 8 PM, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph, 312-344-7777, 877-447-7849 for groups of ten or more, $25-$45. VIP seating, which includes wine and a preshow talk with Nan Giordano, is available both nights, $60, 847-866-6779.


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