"Style is what makes the movement, not steps," says Nan Giordano, artistic director of Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. That's certainly true of the new piece LA-based Cuban-American choreographer Liz Imperio has written for the company. La Raza del Barrio is all about style and attitude--the looks and walks and gestures you see in Latino neighborhoods. The first of its four sections, "La Raza," shows four men in close if sometimes antagonistic relationships, shoving or throwing each other around. There are some showy moves, like a bow-legged jump that turns into a kick, but perhaps the most striking are those that are a little more mundane but revealing, like a slow walk away from the audience in unison, legs dragging a bit, heads lifted. The second section features four women, the third is a passionate duet, and the fourth represents a party scene. Also on the programs are two other new dances, Alberto Arias's At the Aragon, set at the famous Chicago ballroom in the 50s, and company member Jon Lehrer's Cesura, a duet about the hunter-prey nature of a new relationship. Scheduled company favorites include Randy Duncan's Unarmed and soulful Can't Take This Away, Gus Giordano's Sing, Sing, Sing, Nan Giordano's Untitled, Billy Siegenfeld's Getting There, and Mia Michaels's thoughtful, challenging Le Grand Futur Is Here! Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500. Through March 4: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 3 PM. $16-$20. Note: A company benefit party follows the Saturday-night program; the cost is $75 and includes the performance. Call 847-866-6779 for information.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Mike Canale.