4-ISH break-dancer. Photo courtesy of ISH
Joffrey Cinderella dancer Calvin Kitten. Photo by Bob Nick
Even as Sugarplum Fairies and Mouse Kings continue to twinkle their toes throughout the Chicago area ( see the Nov. 29 WCT for Xmas season dance and music events ) , we look beyond holiday fare to take note of other December dance programs and a few coming up in January.
Links Hall, as ever, continues to offer a steady diet of non-mainstream performances, among them Asimina Chremos/Silverspace Dance this weekend ( Dec. 15-17 ) with the premiere of CutUp ( sic ) , danced by Chremos to vocal/musical tape loops created by Carol Genetti, with special guests from the Mucca Pazza punk-rock marching band ( which is a concept all by itself ) ; 773-281-0824; $10. FYI: Links Hall will devote January to an extraordinary range of puppetry artists and programs, and a puppetry film festival. Check out www.linkshall.org for details.Read more story below....
The same weekend ( Dec. 15-16 ) , RTG Dance and Thread Meddle Outfit will share a performance of works in progress at Locus ( 2114 W. Grand, formerly the Spareroom ) . RTG Dance will showcase two new works by Rachel Thorne Germond, a quartet that explores tragedy as a cathartic force, and Double Judy, a tragi-comic tribute to Judy Garland in which Germond dances ( solo ) as a Garland impersonator accompanied by a film-clip montage of the legend and recordings of Garland speaking and singing.
Thread Meddle Outfit, directed by Christine Betsill and Johannah Wininsky, will present three new works: a solo performed by Angelica Palomo to the music of Radiohead; a duet performed by Betsill and Wininsky which explores their differences and similarities on topics such as relationships, family, and career; and a quirky quartet, Screaming Backwards in the Sand, danced to sarcastic music by Ween and soothing music by Ravel with movements by unconventional balletomanes. 773-279-9368; $10 ( suggested donation ) .
Dec. 15-17 also are the dates for Dummy by Chicago Dance Crash at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts ( 1016 N. Dearborn ) . Founded in 2002, Chicago Dance Crash ( CDC ) is a contemporary dance company that focuses on the potential of human conflict and athleticism, using martial artists and gymnasts as well as ballet/modern dancers. This troupe's odd aesthetic is to employ and abuse every type of conflict: visual and spiritual; outward and inward; mental and physical...especially physical. CDC doesn't announce a repertory in advance. Instead, on any given night one can watch company members literally shortening their life spans in pieces ranging from comedic works to stunt shows to contemporary ballet. 312-337-6543; $18/door, $15/advance.
The 2007 dance year begins Jan. 11-19 with the premiere of a new solo work created and performed by Atalee Judy of the Breakbone Dance Company. Jeanne—Visions of Light is based on the life and visions of French schizophrenic martyr of Chantilly. ( There's a statue of her at Notre Dame in Paris. ) The new work delves into Jeanne's visions as well as Judy's own experiences with her schizophrenic/bipolar father. The evening-length work will be performed to live vocals by Berianne Bramman. Performances are at the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse ( 3035 N. Hoyne ) ; $12-$15; 773-841-2663; www.breakbone.com .
The new Chicago Children's Theatre slips into a dance groove early in 2007 with Jan. 19-28 performances of 4-ISH, a troupe from Amsterdam that combines extreme sports ( skating in particular—hey, remember Hans Brinker? ) with hip-hop, kung-fu, break-dancing, acrobatics and body percussion, all accompanied by a human beat box and a live DJ. This show is recommended for children ages 7 and up, and it sounds like a good bet for adults, too, who don't mind the intrusion of pop culture upon Terpsichorean territory. 'Everyone in ISH is looking forward to coming to Chicago for the show,' the troupe's artistic director has said. Sure, ISH may wish to be our dish, but given Chicago weather in January, ISH might squish to find its niche. 312-334-7777; $15-$25.
The Joffrey Ballet has announced that its Oct. 4-15 staging of Cinderella, danced to the Prokofiev score at the Auditorium Theatre, broke all previous box-office records for non-Nutcracker programs. The new production was the American premiere of the version choreographed several decades ago by Sir Frederick Ashton. The nine performances drew an audience of 19,274 and grossed over $1,040,000. The Joffrey Cinderella was the first new full-length story ballet the company has mounted since The Nutcracker premiered in 1987 ( and is at the Auditorium now, through Dec. 24 ) , and also marked the first time any American ballet company had been granted the rights to perform Ashton's version of the story ballet.