Billboards has been a big hit for the Joffrey, but I was disappointed, maybe because I like Prince's music so much: three of the four sections in this evening-length dance, choreographed by four different people, don't even come close to the subversion in Prince's lyrics and androgynous style. Most of Billboards is business as usual, the American business of selling beautiful young people in conventional sexual posturing. Now it seems the Joffrey may have had a similar neutralizing effect on Randy Duncan, former artistic director of Chicago's Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre. It's impossible not to compare his commissioned piece for the Joffrey, A Tri-Fling, with the dance he did for a WTTW special "Love in 4 Acts" called Urban Transfer: the situation is the same, a love triangle involving two men and a woman, and the similar-sounding music is by Tommy Mother in both cases. But Urban Transfer makes the person at the center of the triangle a man--torn between his love for the other man and the woman--while it's the woman who lies at the center of A Tri-Fling, in which everyone is safely straight. Not surprisingly, the choreography and the dancing are technically more sophisticated in A Tri-Fling (which is quite a good dance), but Urban Transfer communicates more feeling. Ah, well, it seems commercial success and daring don't go hand in hand; what a surprise. See listing for schedule. At the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress; $15-$50. Call 902-1500 for tickets.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Herbert Migdoll.