Jump Rhythm Jazz Project | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Jump Rhythm Jazz Project 

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My dog does this thing where she leaps up, all four paws off the ground, and wiggles from her nose to her toes to her tail, apparently unable to contain the excitement of simply being alive. Not to detract from the artistry of choreographer Billy Siegenfeld and his dancers, but they remind me of my dog. They're frequently airborne, but without the taut disguised effort of ballet, skipping or skidding across the floor with a loose, almost accidental impetus. The three women in Siegenfeld's new Sole Nella Mia Bocca ("Sun in My Mouth") seem gloriously happy just to be soaking up the rays, mixing the soft, sultry motions of Latin dance with more percussive jazz moves to provide a sensuous blend of earthy pleasure and urban attitude. Siegenfeld in his new solo, I've Got Your Number, recalls Gene Kelly's happy-go-lucky tough guys. And his new ensemble work, Lunacy, which exploits the drama and power of breathing, depicts a houseful of people who wake up in the middle of the night, see the moon (hence the title), and start scat singing. Setting tap, jazz, and other popular forms to jazz music--sometimes played live for these performances by the Jump Rhythm Jazz Trio--Siegenfeld is a throwback with a pomo sensibility. Also on the program are associate artistic director Jeannie Hill's new Play Dirty, about the competitive impulse behind tap dancing, and several company favorites: Released in Their Own Custody, No Way Out, and Romance in Swingtime. Thursday, October 7, through next Saturday, October 9, at 8; free "parent/child movement workshop" next Sunday, October 10, at 2:15, followed by a narrated performance at 3. At the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $20, $6 (children) or $10 (adults) for the Sunday matinee. Call 773-989-3310 for tickets and information.

--Laura Molzahn

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

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