River North Chicago Dance Company | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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River North Chicago Dance Company

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Now in its tenth season, this troupe has staked out its own considerable territory in Chicago's jazz-dance world--a well-documented territory in HMS Media's second video on the company, River North Rising, recently aired on WTTW. Sherry Zunker Dow, who started the troupe, has firm roots in music theater, evident in her 1991 piece The Man That Got Away as well as the recent Vent, which shows two women most definitely on the verge of a nervous breakdown; her most popular work, the 1993 Reality of a Dreamer, also has its origin in music theater, though in this case it's MTV. Her fellow artistic director, Frank Chaves, was once a dancer with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, where he must have picked up a thing or two because his classy, witty choreography shows a strong instinct for what works: his romantic duet Fixe and ensemble piece Temporal Trance are inventive, affecting pieces that evolve over time. For the troupe's annual Dance Chicago engagement Zunker Dow and Chaves have teamed up for the first time on a piece called Mission, reportedly a nonverbal expression of the company's mission statement. All these pieces will be shown on the programs that begin this weekend as well as Ashley Roland's popular Captain Tenacity, which uses Richard Wagner's music, some Velcro, and a posturing superhero to make fun of soaring righters of wrongs. Friday, Saturday, and next Saturday, November 20, at 8 and next Sunday, November 21, at 3 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport; $20-$25. Call 312-902-1500 for tickets, 773-935-6860 for information, including subscription rates. --Laura Molzahn

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