River North Chicago Dance Company | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

River North Chicago Dance Company 

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If you're into sexual power trips, James Gregg's new Redlight should make River North Chicago Dance Company's performances this weekend an excellent choice for Valentine's Day. The subtly erotic piece for five couples, set to tango music by Gotan Project, has all the vehemence of tango dance but none of its moves. Usually women are the instigators of the violence, making this a sort of reverse apache dance--they dip the men back, sit on them as they crawl across the floor, or leap onto their backs and knock them down. Redlight gains nuance, however, from its quiet opening, in which the five women sit or kneel facing one another in a circle and perform small, isolated motions, circling a hand or their heads. Also new is Take a Seat by artistic director Frank Chaves, a work in two sections for five men manipulating folding chairs. The interest here is Chaves's kinetic invention as his dancers wind their arms and legs through these unwieldy metal objects, often rapidly and with apparent risk to themselves and others. The third and final new piece is by former artistic director Sherry Zunker: Grace, a dance for four women, is based on the supposed archetypes of the angel, warrior, and enchantress. It's unintentionally ludicrous, however, when the figures' transformation comes across as a striptease, especially since the music at that point is "Amazing Grace." Company favorites by Chaves (Grusin Suite and The Mourning), Zunker (The Man That Got Away and Reality of a Dreamer), and the two of them together (Mission) fill out the programs. Fri-Sat 2/11-2/12, 8 PM, Sun 2/13, 3 PM, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph, 312-334-7777, $25-$45.

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