Chicago Human Rhythm Project: Juba! | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Chicago Human Rhythm Project: Juba!

by

comment

No one is saying that the Israeli troupe Sheketak is completely original: its inventiveness with props recalls Stomp, its macho posturing Tap Dogs, its playing of implements strung overhead Chicago's own Jellyeye, and its mad onstage drumming and comic antics Blue Man Group. Still, the company's three dancers and two musicians open up new vistas, broadening the palette of percussive dance by tapping while lying on their backs or beating out rhythms with drumsticks in counterpoint to their stamping. Even their hip-hop and break dancing have a percussive, staccato feel. While Sheketak's tapping is not what you would call nuanced, its performances are superbly entertaining, as those who saw the troupe during last year's Chicago Human Rhythm Project festival can attest. For the "Juba!" concerts this weekend, Sheketak performs Friday on a program with Buster Cooper and members of the festival's Youth Tap Ensemble Conference in a reconstruction of the late Charles "Honi" Coles's Conglomerations and in Stan Kahn's Stairway to Heaven, which employs 20 miniature staircases. On Saturday Sheketak shares the bill with Brenda Bufalino, Margaret Morrison, Tony Waag, and Sam Weber, and on Sunday with Dianne "Lady Di" Walker, Especially Tap Chicago, and Claudio Figueira. The following weekend, on Saturday, August 17, the fourth annual "Jubalee!" benefit for CHRP features Sheketak, Rachel Barton and CHRP founder Lane Alexander in a violin-tap duet, and other Chicago tappers. Then on Sunday, August 18, Sheketak performs with other tap and percussive dance artists. Northwestern University, Josephine Louis Theatre, 1979 South Campus Dr., Evanston, 847-491-7282. Through August 11: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 4 PM. $20-$25. Then at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. Call 312-587-8370 for the benefit Saturday, August 17, 6:30 PM. $35-$125. Call 773-935-6860 for the show Sunday, August 18, 4 PM. $17-$20. Call Ticketmaster at 312-902-1500 for either Athenaeum show. Note: Sheketak will hold a dance workshop for children Tuesday, August 13, at 5:30 PM at the Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton, Skokie. All participants must preregister by calling 847-324-3149 or signing up in person.

Add a comment