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Jazz Rhythms

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The monthlong Dance Chicago festival closes this weekend with two performances of the second "Jazz Rhythms" program as well as "Finale" on Sunday afternoon and evening and "Dance for Kids, Too!" on Saturday afternoon (see listings). It turns out that, for programming purposes, "jazz dance" is a broad rubric. One of the more promising selections combines ballet, jazz, and Spanish dance: the teenagers of JHD 1511, an offshoot of the Joel Hall Dancers, perform Nancy Teinowitz's "Cha Cha Classique," an excerpt from the company's Nuts & Bolts--The Remix (see the Joel Hall Dancers listing for performances of the complete show). Here 15 young dancers don Patricia Roeder's Latin-inflected costumes and perform to the "Chocolate" divertissement ("Spanish dance") from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker combined with Brazilian jazz composer Milton Nascimento's song "Escravos de Jo," a slave's lament. Also on the bill are hip-hop groups Culture Shock Chicago and Hip Hop ConnXion; old-line troupe Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago (Cesura); modern/jazz companies Cerqua Rivera Art Experience (Giving Out Some Soul) and Melissa Thodos & Dancers (La Fiesta); fusion group One World Dance Theatre (Oye Como Va); and tap dancers Jimmy Payne Jr. (performing solo), Footprints Tap Ensemble, and the innovative M.A.D.D. Rhythms (Stevie Wonder Suite). Retiring after this year are ballroom dancers Gregory Day and Tommye Giacchino, audience favorites who'll perform My Funny Valentine as their swan song on this program (and Lifetime Loving You on the "Finale" bill). Other "Jazz Rhythms" works are provided by Dance 2XS, Maurice H. Coleman, the On Broadway Dancers, and Instruments of Movement. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500 for tickets; 773-935-6860 for information. Through November 29: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM. $18.

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

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