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Chicago Dancing Festival

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Free is good, but it's really good when the goods are top-shelf. Seven dance troupes with great reps take the stage on this program, which includes Alvin Ailey's classic Cry. Created in 1971 for Judith Jamison, who succeeded Ailey as company director after his death, it's performed by Dwana Adiaha Smallwood. And the Ailey-like Complexions Contemporary Ballet--directed by former Ailey dancers Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson--performs Rhoden's Red/The Force. But overall the evening is weighted toward ballet: Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews of American Ballet Theatre perform the Don Quixote pas de deux; the Joffrey Ballet offers Gerald Arpino's best-known work, Light Rain; and the San Francisco Ballet presents Helgi Tomasson's Concerto Grosso. Ballet Florida straddles the line between classical and popular dance with Elemental Brubeck, a piece by Lar Lubovitch, who with Jay Franke has started up the Chicago Dancing Company and organized this event (see the Business). The New York Times describes Elemental Brubeck as a "nicely made, easy-on-the-eye dance that gently evokes old-fashioned movie musicals and teenage socials." If that sounds a tad genteel, Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago should provide a good dollop of rollicking energy. a Wed 8/22, 7:30 PM, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 100 N. Michigan, 312-742-1168. F --Laura Molzahn

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