Chicago’s Fall 2015 dance card is full, and some of the activity is happening beyond such traditional venues as the Auditorium Theatre and Harris Theater for Music and Dance.
For shape-shifting movement courtesy of Pilobolus head to Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “The Tempest.” For a grand Viennese waltz nab a ticket to Lyric Opera’s “The Merry Widow,” helmed by Broadway’s Susan Stroman. Visit Aurora’s Paramount Theatre and see how choreographer Katie Spelman ropes in Agnes de Mille’s groundbreaking dances for “Oklahoma.” And check out the exceptional Ensemble Espanol Dance Theatre (on various stages), Ballet Folklorico de Mexico (at the Auditorium), and much more.
Highlights from the Auditorium Theatre include:
— THE JOFFREY BALLET at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress: As it closes in on its 60th anniversary, the Joffrey, has slated three major engagements. Its “Millennials” program (Sept. 16-20), will feature two world premieres – “Mammatus” (“Mammary Cloud”) by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and “The Passenger,” by Myles Thatcher (a young dancer-choreographer from the San Francisco Ballet), plus the Joffrey premiere of “Fool’s Paradise,” by Christopher Wheeldon (the acclaimed director-choreographer of Broadway’s “An American in Paris”). Next will be “Sylvia” (Oct. 14-25), the Joffrey premiere of the full-length, female-powered classic by John Neumeier, artistic director of Germany’s Hamburg Ballet. The come the final performances of the Joffrey’s long-beloved Victorian American take on “The Nutcracker” (Dec. 4-27), before Wheeldon’s new version debuts in 2016.
— TWYLA THARP – 50th ANNIVERSARY TOUR (Nov. 5-8 at the Auditorium Theatre): To celebrate the career of the genre-and-decade-spanning choreographer, the Auditorium, Ravinia Festival and four other dance presenters nationwide commissioned Tharp to create two new works. “Preludes and Fugues” is set to excerpts from J. S. Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier” Volumes 1 & 2, and “Yowzie” is set to music from “Viper’s Drag,” a compilation of jazz arranged by Henry Butler and Steven Bernstein. Each dance is introduced by a fanfare composed by John Zorn.
— RIVER NORTH DANCE CHICAGO (Oct. 3 at the Auditorium Theatre): Following this performance, this hugely admired company will take a year-long hiatus as it transitions from the 23-year tenure of artistic director/choreographer Frank Chaves and searches for new leadership and funding. The farewell program will feature Chaves’ “Love Will Follow,” “Temporal Trance” and the Cuban-themed “Habaneras,” plus favorites by others, including Randy Duncan, Ashley Roland, Robert Battle and Ginger Farley, Kevin Iega Jeff and Sherry Zunker.
By: Hedy Weiss