Theater, Dance, Comedy and Performance in Chicago

Preview: Spring Engagement/River North Dance Chicago

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River North Dance Chicago presents a one-night repertory performance with a diverse and eclectic mix. The night features several pieces by artistic director Frank Chaves. “The Good Goodbyes” reflects on the relationships developed within the dance community; the intense, yet brief bonds that form and their inevitable, bitter-sweet end. The piece is choreographed to original piano music composed by Josephine Lee, artistic director of the Chicago Children’s Choir. “Underground Movements” is set to an original score also performed by the Chicago Children’s Choir. Sung in a made-up language, the music creates a timeless, otherworldly atmosphere. “Underground Movements” is an unfolding of the human journey through awakening, temptations, abysses and, finally, hope and ascension. Beginning with a slow, heavy, sensual beat, the piece moves toward uplifting and lyrical movement. “Stormy Monday,” an excerpt of a longer work set to the music of Eva Cassidy, chronicles the intensity of a tempestuous love. “Dawn,” choreographed by Kevin Iega Jeff, is a dramatic, celebratory piece that brings us from darkness to light, contrasting ancient and contemporary soundscapes. “Contact-Me,” by Mauro Astolfi, highlights beautifully intertwined bodies and powerful yet liquid movement.

Dance provides us with a uniquely visceral expression of the human condition. River North’s performance is a breathtaking reflection of the beauty of that human condition, be it peaceful or stormy, light or dark. As Chaves puts it, “I want the audience to feel River North—to take them on a journey, put them in touch with places they have not touched in a long time, so they feel and be emotionally fulfilled in some way.” (Lauren Nelson)

At the Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress. Saturday, April 12, 8pm, $27 -$68.

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