As part of the Jazz Dance World Congress—where dancers and dance companies from across the globe are gathering in Chicago for intense classes and workshops given by renowned jazz-dance studio owners and jazz-dance masters and faculty as well as for jazz-dance choreography competitions—nightly dance presentations open to the public will be held, taking advantage of such a vast gathering of jazz dancers and companies from Canada, Japan, Italy and Mexico as well as from Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, Salt Lake City and Chicago. Finalists in the Leo’s Jazz Dance Choreography Competitive Event will perform prior to each night’s performance at 6:15pm, and the winner will be presented with the Gold Leo Award at the Saturday performance finale. Each night’s program is different: Thursday’s program includes Chicago’s own Giordano Jazz Dance (which performs each night), Joel Hall Dancers, River North Chicago Dance Company and Thodos Dance Chicago as well as Canada’s Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (bjm danse), Italy’s Danza Prospettiva Vittorio Biagi and Salt Lake City’s Odyssey Dance Theatre; Friday’s program includes performances by Chicago Tap Theatre, Chicago’s Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, New York’s Christopher Huggins, Los Angeles’ Instincts Live Media and Japan’s Masashi Action Machine; Saturday’s finale night includes performers from preceding evenings as well as Mexico’s Cuerpo Etéreo Danza Contemporánea and award presentations, including the 2007 Jazz Dance World Congress Award to Joel Hall and the host venue, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. (Dennis Polkow)
The Jazz Dance World Festival runs August 2-4 at the Harris Theater, 205 East Randolph, (847)866-9442. $45-$60.