Jazz Rhythms | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Jazz Rhythms

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One of the pleasures of the annual Dance Chicago festival is the opportunity to see less familiar groups on bills with older, more established performers. And one of the most impressive new companies on "Jazz Rhythms"--one of four programs closing Dance Chicago 2001 this weekend--is Culture Shock Chicago. Headed by Viola Elkins, it features amateur and professional hip-hop dancers as young as 16--and lots of them. Some 30 performers fill the stage in a lighthearted satire of virtual living, WWW.NOWWHATTICKPOPHIPHOP/THEREMIX.COM--PART I, that not only achieves a remarkable synchrony but conveys the excitement of living in a world of bone and muscle. On the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of experience and age are world ballroom-dance champions Gregory Day and Tommye Giacchino, who wow the crowd with their athletic, aerial take on the form. Attired in tight, glittery costumes, they offer a polished routine with a circuslike atmosphere. Also on the bill are jazz, hip-hop, and tap works by Duanne Pendarvis, Luna Negra Dance Theatre, Rhythm I.S.S., Ascension--The Kirby Reed Project, Hip Hop ConnXion, Jimmy Payne Jr., Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, Van Collins, MADD Rhythms, Vanessa Truvillion, Life, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, and the Cerqua Rivera Art Experience. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500 (773-935-6860 for information). Through December 1: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM. $15.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Marc Hauser.

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