Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

DanceAfrica Chicago 2005

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Rennie Harris Puremovement last appeared in DanceAfrica Chicago seven years ago. True, the Philadelphia-based company came through town in 2001 with the ingenious, explosive, Bessie-winning Rome & Jewels, a hip-hop version of Shakespeare's tragedy. But that was presented in the rarefied confines of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Now the group, which has performed throughout this country and Europe, returns to the DanceAfrica stage as part of a program that celebrates some of the best of the festival's 15-year history. Also on the roster (and also representing more recent manifestations of African dance traditions) is Prophets of da City, a group from Cape Town specializing in rap, hip-hop, and breakdancing that was here last in 2003. Ndere Troupe, from Uganda, reappears after a four-year absence, demonstrating traditional African dance accompanied by live percussion, string, and wind instruments. Other traditional performers are "griot" Chuck Davis's African American Dance Ensemble, from North Carolina, and Chicago's Muntu Dance Theatre. Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, also based here, merges African-based dance with modern choreography. 10/21-10/23: Fri 8 PM, Sat 2 and 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, 312-902-1500 or 312-344-7070 for groups of ten or more, $26-$54.

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