Frequently favoring jazz dance and other pop-culture forms like tap, ballroom, and hip-hop, the Dance Chicago festival has been anchored ever since it started in 1995 by River North Chicago Dance Company. That was smart: in 1993 River North had had a weekend of sold-out shows at the Harold Washington Library Center, largely on the basis of Sherry Zunker's Reality of a Dreamer, a piece with music-video appeal featuring a live cellist playing along with the Eurythmics song "Sweet Dreams." This year River North no longer has a program all to itself (not to worry--the company's still appearing at places like the Harris Theater). It is, however, offering three pieces on "Jazz Fusion," which also includes ten other pop-oriented troupes or individuals. River North artistic director Frank Chaves is reviving one of the first works he ever choreographed, 1994's Grusin Suite, plus The Sweetest Sounds (a tribute to Richard Rodgers he choreographed with former artistic director Zunker) and Harrison McEldowney's jokey 5 Easy Lessons, set in a ballroom-dance school. Other highlights include straight-up ballroom dancers Gregory Day and Tommye Giacchino, two pieces by the hip-hop tap company M.A.D.D. Rhythms, and Chicago Tap Theatre in Spyrographe, French choreographer Valerie Lussac's whimsical tap dance involving a mysterious valise. Fri-Sat 11/26-11/27, 8 PM, Sun 11/28, 3 PM, Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500, $20.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Marc Hauser.