Julio Bocca With Ballet Argentino | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Julio Bocca With Ballet Argentino

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You may not care for Julio Bocca's duets with Eleonora Cassano if you're a ballet puritan--in fact, any kind of puritan at all. Their bastard blend of ballet and tango marries glittering precision with sexual innuendo not customarily found in the ethereal world of ballet: in Dos mundos, the man and woman challenge each other by placing a leg inside the other's thighs, the woman on pointe. His chest is bare, her legs are. In Entre tangos y milongas, Cassano drapes an enticing arm around Bocca's shoulders, and he lifts her by the inside of the thigh at a point dangerously close to zero, wrapping his fingers around the long, strong tendon that runs from groin to knee. But though the choreography is musical and suggestive, what really transforms it is the dancing. Cassano is the earthier of the two performers, focusing attention on her steely legs and hips. Bocca--a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre who started this company on the side in 1990 with Cassano--is a chameleon, seemingly transforming even his physical presence in different roles. In Dos mundos he's the passionate, soulful lover, in Don Quixote the reserved aristocrat, and in Entre tangos y milongas a heartless street tough. What remains constant is his glorious technique and a certain fine-pointed elegance. I don't know--if you can stand to watch a couple hours of really sexy dancing, you might enjoy Ballet Argentino. Wednesday at 7:30, next Friday, November 4, at 8, and next Sunday, November 5, at 3: Alberto Alonso's Carmen Suite, a suite from Petipa's Don Quixote, and Tangos. Thursday at 7:30 and next Saturday, November 5, at 8: a suite from Raymonda, Dos mundos, and the Don Quixote suite. At the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress; $15-$50. Call 902-1500 for tickets and information.

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

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