Good news: artistic director Jim Vincent can choreograph. And well. Hired by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago less than two years ago, he once worked for Walt Disney setting up fashion shows and fireworks displays. That's where he honed his organizational skills, but he learned dance from two masters, Jiri Kylian and Nacho Duato (who've also set pieces on HSDC). Vincent's new work for the company, Counter/part, is a supremely musical piece for ten set to Bach's Brandenburg Concertos. Full of detail and nuance, it might have been a clockwork wonder, but Vincent throws us a curve with two sections ("counters" rather than "parts") that are improvised. Introduced by whispering just before the recorded music plays, these have a tentative quality that forms a delicious contrast to the other four, more outgoing sections. Soft-spoken, quick, intense, and extremely polite, Vincent has created a lively, humorous, precise work with a little ragged human edge to it. Also new are Irish choreographer Marguerite Donlon's Reverse Deconstruct and Ohad Naharin's Queens/Black Milk, a company premiere Naharin created from two earlier works, Queens of Golub and Black Milk. There's some bad news too: veteran HSDC dancer Ron De Jesus is leaving the company after this engagement. Lucky for us he's joining the cast of the new Twyla Tharp musical, Movin' Out, set to music by Billy Joel, opening in Chicago this summer. He and Sandi Cooksey (soon to retire as a dancer and become rehearsal director) will perform Lou Conte's Georgia on three programs (see listing for dates and times). Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, 312-902-1400; 312-850-9744 for gala tickets. $18-$65. Note: Tickets to the opening-night gala benefit are $350-$500 and include a postperformance reception and dinner. Vincent will give talks before two Sunday matinees, April 14 and 21, at 2 PM.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael Slobodian.