Chicago Dance Review: GIORDANO DANCE CHICAGO (Harris Theater)

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by Lawrence Bommer on October 27, 2012

in Theater-Chicago

KINETIC COOL IN MILLENNIUM PARK

As evidenced at last night’s opening, Giordano Dance Chicago’s Fall Engagement—a two-night gig at the Harris Theater—is a major installment in the company’s very welcome 50th anniversary season.

The most exciting part of the program is the world premiere of company member Autumn Eckman’s G-Force. Almost living up to its name, this raw romp is packaged as a kind of retro sci-fi: Clad in jack boots and futuristic garb, the company erupt in an aggressive display of forensic writhing and reflexive gestures, that, despite the name, were inevitably earth-bound. Electronic music from Starkey pulsed through the frenetic movements to create a short but sharp new piece.

Lawrence Bommer’s Stage and Cinema review of Giordano Dance Company’s Fall engagement at Harris Theater in Chicago

Preceding it was Le Grand Futur Is Here!, an eclectic 1999 work by Emmy-winning Mia Michaels that depicted couples in ritualistic movements that quickly turn visceral, with love depicted as a rope that pulls everyone at once. Following it was the 1978 Wings, a lovely solo piece performed by Eckman to Joan Baez’ version of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” Lyrical in a diaphanous flowing white gown, Eckman and this tribute to the late Gus Giordano continue to charm.

Lawrence Bommer’s Stage and Cinema review of Giordano Dance Company’s Fall engagement at Harris Theater in ChicagoCapping the first act is a ballroom dance spectacle, the 2011 Sabroso by Del Dominquez, a fiesta of swirling samba and equally hot social struts, flawlessly performed by the impeccable ensemble to the exciting sounds of Tito Rodriguez, Monguito Santamaria, Tito Puente and Machito.

The second act opens with Mark Swanhart’s funky 2004 Sidecar, a jukebox-jazzy and very whimsical mating dance full of testosterone flourishes and evasive escapes. Seldom has the distractibility of the Alpha Male pursuing coupling over romance been more graphically displayed.

Gravity from 2009 was full of supple swirling by the shirtless guys and pliable ladies, all beautifully in tandem as the energy level veered on perpetual motion.

Finally, this year’s well-named JOLT by the busy Eckman was, like so much of the program, full of frantic, peppy, perky gesticulations and jerky action, its movements punctuated and propelled by the sounds of buckets, pots, and pans.

You’d never know they just turned 50.

Lawrence Bommer’s Stage and Cinema review of Giordano Dance Company’s Fall engagement at Harris Theater in Chicago

photos by Kam Hobbs, Kat Fitzgerald, and Gorman Cook

Giordano Dance Chicago’s Fall Engagement:
G-Force, Le Grand Futur Is Here!, Sidecar, JOLT, Sabroso, and Wings
Giordano Dance Company at Harris Theater
Artistic Director Nan Giordano, Executive Director Michael McStraw
scheduled to end on October 27, 2012
for tickets call 312-334-7777 or visit http://www.harristheaterchicago.org

for info on this and other Chicago Theater, visit http://www.TheatreinChicago.com

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