Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago

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This venerable company, founded more than 40 years ago by Gus Giordano and now headed by his daughter Nan, goes punk for its Harris Theater debut. Chicago choreographer Michael Rioux says that in his quintet Punk You Very Much he was aiming for "something fun to watch" that would also communicate the feeling of being alone, of being one person against the world. At the same time he was laughing at himself a bit, an aspect clearly visible in the costumes (bright punkwear that would look right at home on Saturday-morning cartoons) and in the choreography: one tough guy shoves his hands in his pockets, then can't seem to get them out. It's full of wriggling and attitude and breathtaking leaps and catches, and it's set to songs by the White Stripes among others. Also on the program is Ron De Jesus's Prey, premiered last fall, a seductive piece with lots of scissored legs and splits for the women. This work has a ferocity and quality of attack I don't associate with De Jesus, a lyrical dancer formerly with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and now on Broadway in Twyla Tharp's Movin' On. But there's a welcome wild energy to Prey, and it's enhanced by the tribal-sounding music: didgeridoo, drums, throat singing. The bill also includes Davis Robertson's Entropy, Nan Giordano's Taal, Jon Lehrer's Bridge and Tunnel, and Gus Giordano's Sing, Sing, Sing. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph, 312-334-7777. Through April 11: Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 3 PM. $25-$45.

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