This fall program features the world premiere of “CUGAT!” a large-scale company homage to the dynamic 1930s and 1940s era of “Mambo King” Xavier Cugat choreographed by Luna Negra founder and artistic director Eduardo Vilaro, with live accompaniment by Chicago’s own Grammy Award-nominated twenty-one-piece Angel Melendez & The 911 Mambo Orchestra performing six Mambo tunes made famous by the Cuban arranger and bandleader known as “Cugie.” Also on the bill are two Chicago premieres: “Allegro con Sabor,” a co-commission of the Joffrey Ballet and the Luna Negra Dance Theater choreographed by Bessie award-winner Pedro Ruiz and performed by Joffrey dancers Willy Shives and Megan Quiroz and Luna Negra dancers Ricardo Garcia & Vanessa Valecillos inspired by the music of Eric Lewis that attempts to capture the color and sounds of a sultry night in the tropics, and “Tango Vitrola,” by Argentine choreographer Alejandro Cervera, which explores the history, rhythms and dance forms of the tango and combines them with ballet and contemporary dance. Rounding out the program is the reprise of “Sugar in the Raw” by Luna Negra rehearsal director Michelle Manzanales which premiered last spring and which explores what it means to be a Latino and is set to music by Argentine film composer Gustavo Santaolalla (“Babel,” “The Motorcycle Diaries” and “Brokeback Mountain”). Note that the Sunday performance is a reduced-price special “Mi Familia, My Dance” program that substitutes “Tango” and “Sugar” with Septime Webre’s “piel canela” and Gustavo Ramirez Sansano’s “Flabbergast.” (Dennis Polkow)
At the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 East Randolph, (312)334-7777. This production is now closed.