Our spring 2016 season launched with a terrific and enthusiastically-attended weekend presentation by Giordano Dance Chicago, the nation’s oldest jazz dance ensemble and one of Chicago’s most beloved dance institutions. It had been 37 years since their last appearance on the Dance Center’s stage! We won’t let it go anywhere near that long next time.
It was truly an honor to host this exceptionally well-trained and richly dynamic cohort of dancers in an evening entitled Closer Than Ever. The five works on the program roared by in a wonderful blaze of variety and energy. In her review for See Chicago Dance, Lauren Warnecke got it exactly right: “The close proximity shows every mistake, but by my calculation, they didn’t make any. For this viewer, that was worth standing up for.” Artistic director Nan Giordano has done visionary work with the company by balancing their long tradition of “classical” jazz dance based on the choreography and training of her amazing dad and the company’s founder, Gus Giordano, with securing and commissioning new contemporary material for the company. We saw it all up close and personal this weekend, and were truly thrilled at how terrific they all looked on our stage.
One of the things that The Dance Center is very glad to be doing is working with a number of our Chicago-based dance troupes and independent choreographers by including them on our annual performance season. Some presenters create a separate program that distinguishes between the “local” artists and those coming from other parts of the nation and the world. Our philosophy reflects our belief that world-class excellence and juicy artistic provocation reside and flourish just as much out of our own community as from New York or London or Los Angeles or Taipei. So when you see Giordano, or The Seldoms, or Same Planet Different World, or Chicago Dance Crash, or our founder Shirley Mordine’s company on our stage, you’re seeing our philosophy and curatorial commitment in action.
Giordano Dance Chicago has more ahead this spring season, including a spring series at The Harris Theater (April 1-2). Follow their activities on their website here: http://giordanodance.org/calendar.html
And we hope to see you, gentle viewer, for our next presentation the weekend of February 18-20: the return of Urban Bush Women and the Chicago premiere of Walking With ‘Trane.