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

Jump Rhythm Jazz Project 

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"I've always been a kind of dirt guy," JRJP artistic director Billy Siegenfeld says; his new piece, God of Dirt, is about "honoring what's beneath you." Siegenfeld discovered Goran Bregovic's contemporary Gypsy folk songs in his search for nonjazz, nonblues music that was rhythmically propulsive and eventually chose five selections for this 20-minute work celebrating the earth. Conceiving of his dancers as a community clearing away a space, he's created grasping hand gestures layered over a base of weighted movement; the choreography is in his trademark syncopated style but responds to a rhythmic voice that's new for him. The three-act program also includes three older Siegenfeld pieces--I Hear Music, You Make Me Feel So Young, and Too Close for Comfort--plus a reworked version of 2005's The News From Poems. The progression is from the past to the present to the future, represented by God of Dirt: Siegenfeld says he believes that when the world's going awry it's because people aren't "paying attention to their deeper, natural impulses." a Opens Wed 5/23, 8 PM. Through 5/25: Thu-Fri, 8 PM, Northeastern Illinois University, auditorium, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr, 773-442-4636, $15-$25.

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