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Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre

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Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre has three casts for Bill T. Jones's romantic duet Soon--a man and a woman, two men, and two women. Everyone involved agrees that the male-female duet was easiest. "We have hundreds of years of history of how men and women should dance together," says Arthur Aviles, the Jones-company dancer who's teaching Soon to the Holmes troupe. The women's duet also came together easily, according to Aviles, though initially it was too soft and flowery. But the men were often like two rams butting heads. One of the male dancers, Malcolm Low, says, "I like the men's duet because I get to be feminine. I'm supposed to be the masculine one, but with Arturo [Alvarez], it ends up differently." The dance has dark underpinnings: it's one of Jones's first responses to the death from AIDS of his longtime companion Arnie Zane. In it two people meet, fall in love, and live together, but the final image tells the real tale--one person collapses and lies still while the other backs away into darkness. "All of Bill's dances are personal," says Aviles, "and I think this dance is how he sees relationships now." Soon will be performed Wednesday on an otherwise all-Holmes program, and next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on a program with dances by Torya Beard, James Kelly, Leni Wylliams, and Holmes. Wednesday and next Friday, May 6, at 7:30; next Saturday, May 7, at 7; and next Sunday, May 8, at 3 at the Shubert Theatre, 22 W. Monroe; $10-$30, but the Saturday night show is a JHCDT benefit and tickets are $100, including a postperformance reception. Call 902-1500 for tickets and info; 942-0065 for benefit tickets.

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