WBEZ | Dance Center of Columbia College http://www.wbez.org/tags/dance-center-columbia-college Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daily Rehearsal: Lookingglass plans a day of 'Eastland' remembrance http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/daily-rehearsal-lookingglass-plans-day-eastland-remembrance-100982 <p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Ralphie May is back</strong></span></span> and he&#39;s performing at Zanies in St. Charles. It was also brought to my attention that the St. Charles location is at the Pheasant Run Resort. If everyone else knew and appreciated this already, I apologize for being late to the party. Anyway, the show is one-night-only on August 7 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><strong><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; ">- Raven Theatre&#39;s welcoming new ensemble members:&nbsp;</span></span></strong>Michael Boone,&nbsp;Cathy Bowren,&nbsp;Cody Estle,&nbsp;Jason Huysman,&nbsp;Teri McCaskill,&nbsp;Sophia Menendian,&nbsp;Jen Short,&nbsp;John Weagly,&nbsp;Antione Pierre Whitfield&nbsp;and&nbsp;Kristen Williams.<strong><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; ">&nbsp;</span></span></strong>Additionally, ensemble member and&nbsp;Director of Education &amp; Outreach Kelli Strickland has won the DeVos Institute Fellowship. She&#39;ll be in D.C. for nine months at the Kennedy Center.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/070912_Eastland_MustClose.jpg" style="height: 137px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="" />-&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lookingglasstheatre.org"><strong>Lookingglass </strong></a>and the <strong>Eastland Disaster Historical Society</strong>&nbsp;are observing the anniverary of the actual Eastland disaster on July 21. &quot;The day will open with the annual wreath laying commemoration event on the Chicago River between Clark and LaSalle; the cast of <em>Eastland: A New Musical</em> will perform two musical numbers during the event and the U.S. Coast Guard will lay flowers on the site.&nbsp; Following the ceremony, Lookingglass will host a reception and program, featuring speaker Alberta Adamson from the Wheaton History Center, at Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan Ave.&nbsp; Discussions will follow both the matinee and evening performances; descendants and relatives of those impacted by the disaster are expected to attend and participate.&quot; This sounds...intense.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- &quot;You can afford your own Crowns</strong></span></span>,&quot; Hot Tix tells me in an email. Cool!</p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14px; ">-&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tmsmail.us/t?r=1163&amp;c=507417&amp;l=119528&amp;ctl=1410847:4DE4A83246006CB44E56862546BBA083033AABF93247C536&amp;" target="_blank">The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago</a></span></strong></span>&nbsp;is opening&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.tmsmail.us/t?r=1163&amp;c=507417&amp;l=119528&amp;ctl=1410842:4DE4A83246006CB44E56862546BBA083033AABF93247C536&amp;" target="_blank">Voices of Strength</a>&nbsp;</em>in September, &quot;celebrating the stylistic diversity and talent of African women artists.&quot;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 18 Jul 2012 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/daily-rehearsal-lookingglass-plans-day-eastland-remembrance-100982 Critics theater picks for the weekend; 'Don Quixote', 'Mary Poppins' and 'Dancing Henry 5' http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-13/critics-theater-picks-weekend-don-quixote-mary-poppins-and-dancing- <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-12/HenryVdownload.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><u><strong>Kelly Kleiman</strong></u></p><p>The most moving moments in <a href="http://www.lookingglasstheatre.org/content/box_office/the_great_fire">Lookingglass Theatre's <strong><em>The Great Fire</em></strong></a> belong to Mr. and Mrs. O'Leary, the Irish immigrants falsely accused of causing the blaze. Watching them cringe in front of some sort of government investigative panel you get a sense of how marginalized and terrified even these English-speaking immigrants were. If the rest of the show had that level of emotional engagement or social commentary, it would be a knock-out; instead, it's a pleasant tour through familiar territory, an in-joke for Chicagoans. Its acrobatics never reach to any impressive height, nor does its story-telling. But Cheryl Lynn Bruce's turn as Alderman Hildreth, who thought to stop the fire by using gunpowder to blow up some of the buildings still standing, is equal parts hilarious and true and should be required viewing for anyone who thinks the Chicago City Council is fit to govern. Through November 20 at the Waterworks; tickets $42-$60.&nbsp;</p><p>Meanwhile, <a href="http://theartistichome.org/">The Artistic Home</a>'s <strong><em>A Touch of the Poet</em></strong> shows an Irish family from half a century earlier, struggling against being marginalized by accepting the claims of its paterfamilias to being a great gentleman and a brave soldier, though to all outward appearances he's just a tavern-keeper with a slavey wife and a pretty daughter. I saw this show some years ago with Brian Dennehy directed by Robert Falls and hated it with a passion surpassing all things because the central character, Con Melody, was so over-the-top in his delusions and hatefulness. Kathy Scambiaterra's production demonstrates that it's not the character at all: under her direction Frank Nall makes one hairpin turn after another in portraying Con's quest to escape himself. His splendid performance is complemented by that of Sally Eames, if anything stronger and subtler as the wife who knows Con for what he is and loves him nonetheless. Their performances carry the entire play, and remind us that Eugene O'Neill did, on occasion, provide a happy ending. Through November 6 at Stage 773 on Belmont; tickets $28-$32 with student and senior discounts available.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-13/HenryVdownload.jpg.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px; " title="'Dancing Henry Five' (Photo by Paula Court)"></p><p>And for something completely different, head to the <a href="http://www.colum.edu/Dance_Center/">Dance Center of Columbia College</a> tonight, tomorrow or Saturday for <em><strong>Dancing Henry Five</strong></em>, a dance version of Shakespeare's play choreographed by David Gordon.</p><p><u><strong>Laura Molzahn</strong></u></p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-13/don quixote.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; " title="(Courtesy of the Joffrey Ballet)"></p><p>A couple of big-ticket shows this weekend, both featuring world-premiere commissions, may be worth shelling out for. <a href="http://www.joffrey.com/donquixote">The Joffrey performs its first evening-length commission in 60 years</a>, a remix of <em><strong>Don Quixote</strong>&nbsp;</em>by former Bolshoi dancer Yuri Possokhov, who both riffs on the Petipa version and brings his own contemporary sensibility to the dancing. True to Cervantes’ 400-year-old story, Possokhov focuses on Don Q himself—and comic relief Sancho Panza. Animated projections help bring this 19<sup>th</sup>-century ballet into the 21<sup>st</sup> century.</p><p>Twyla Tharp hasn’t created <a href="http://www.hubbardstreetdance.com/calendar">a new piece for Hubbard Street</a> in 15 years—but she makes up for lost time in the formally and musically intricate <strong><em>Scarlatti</em></strong>, a piece for 12. Those familiar with her work in the 1978 film <em>Hair </em>or the 2010 Sinatra jukebox musical <em>Come Fly Away</em>won’t be surprised by her gift for communicating character too.</p><p><strong>It’s Alive…!</strong> at <a href="http://www.dfbrl8r.com/DEFIBRILLATOR/NEXT_NOW.html">Defibrillator Gallery’s three-week series, the ALive Installation Project</a>. A wall has been built down the middle of the space, and a dancer on one side and performance artist on the other perform simultaneously for three hours. (No worries: you can drop in.) The opening show features Michelle Kranicke of Zephyr Dance and Korean artist Gim Gwang Cheol, performing a project similar to one in Montreal that included “creating crossfire with red string” and reading a dictionary.</p><p><u><strong>Jonathan Abarbanel</strong></u></p><p>I'm mainly beholden to the Brits for my choices this week, which could not represent greater artistic and intellectual extremes.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-13/cloud9.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 285px; height: 400px; " title=""><em><strong>Mary Poppins</strong></em> is back in town, and if that's not reason for rejoicing I don't know what is. Beloved by some and sentimental hogwash to others, this dazzling Broadway version of the popular Disney film adaptation of the old P. L. Travers children's book is perfect for children of all ages, as advertisements like to proclaim. The familiar songs all are there and the spectacular dance numbers are even more spectacular when performed live, onstage with a few eye-popping surprises. This is a great first Broadway show for kids. <em>Mary Poppins</em> is at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through Nov. 6.</p><p>On the other hand, you'd best keep the kiddies away from <strong><em>Cloud 9</em></strong> at the Gift Theatre in Jefferson Park, unless they are extremely advanced. This 1979 play by Brit author Caryl Churchill uses cross-dressing and other meta-theatrical devices to target racism, sexism and gender identity in 19th Century British Colonial Africa and London today. Nothing sacred in this highly theatrical work of magic realism, which is quite a different sort of play for the Gift Theatre. FYI: the extremely intimated Gift storefront playhouse will put the action, some of it sexual, very much in your face. <em>Cloud 9</em> runs through Dec. 4.</p><p>Also: a fine organization, <a href="http://www.chicagocabaret.org/">Chicago Cabaret Professionals</a>, holds its annual fundraiser concert at Park West this Sunday (Oct. 16) at 7PM. <strong><em>You and the Night and the Music</em></strong> will feature a dazzling line-up of Chicago's top cabaret musical talents, with special honors bestowed upon Ann Hampton Calloway, Jimmy Damon and former Chicago Cultural Commish Lois Weisberg. Tickets begin at $27.</p></p> Thu, 13 Oct 2011 20:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-13/critics-theater-picks-weekend-don-quixote-mary-poppins-and-dancing- Chicago's dance 'Transformation' http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/%5Bfield_program_ref-title-raw%5D/chicagos-dance-transformation <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Pilobolus.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Many dance choreographers seek to expand their medium through inventive collaborations. In two upcoming performances dancers are teamed with very unusual partners - dramatic lighting and lovable puppets: <a target="_top" href="http://www.pilobolus.com/">Pilobolus Dance Theatre performs</a> Friday and Saturday at the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/calendar/performance?id=2744&amp;mos=7">Harris Theater in Chicago</a> and the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.joegoode.org/">Joe Goode Performance Group</a> stages <em>Wonder Boy </em>at the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.colum.edu/Dance_Center/">Dance Center of Columbia College</a> next weekend.For WBEZ, dance critic Lucia Mauro gave<span style="font-style: italic;"> </span><em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> the details:<br /><span style="font-style: italic;">&nbsp;</span></p><p>Many choreographers are expanding the scope of dance through inventive collaborations. Two upcoming performances feature dance makers teaming up with dramatic lighting design and lovable puppets. Lucia Mauro gives us the details.</p><p>When it first somersaulted onto the post-modern dance scene 40 years ago, Pilobolus Dance Theatre baffled and intrigued the most seasoned dance lovers. Through Lego-like maneuvers and creative lighting cues, the six-member troupe transformed human bodies into trees, caterpillars and extraterrestrials. So, were they dancers, acrobats, filmmakers or magicians? Today, even though Pilobolus has the means to create more technologically sophisticated optical illusions, audiences are still asking the same question. And the answer is all of the above.</p><p>Pilobolus performs a retrospective of early and new work at the Harris Theater. <em>The Transformation</em> is a shadow-theater excerpt from a larger piece called <em>Shadowlands</em>. It was created in collaboration with Steven Banks, lead writer for the animated <em>SpongeBob SquarePants</em> series, and singer-songwriter David Poe. <em>The Transformation</em> is both a children&rsquo;s story come to life and a whimsical suggestion of Michelangelo&rsquo;s fresco of God creating Adam. It all takes place behind a large screen in silhouette. A giant hand molds the figure of a young girl like clay. Through some deft manipulations, she loses her head only for it to be replaced by that of a poodle. The dog wags its tail and rolls on its back. Eventually the likable figure becomes a dog-headed girl sent off on a journey &ndash; hobo sack and all -- to join the circus by her Titan of a creator. It&rsquo;s a familiar coming of age story with a fantastical twist.</p><p>The company also will perform <em>Duet</em>, a shape-shifting classic in which two women in sundresses grow taller and shorter before the audience&rsquo;s eyes&hellip;a witty study in genial power plays. Co-artistic director Michael Tracy points to the group&rsquo;s keen ability to spur a shock of recognition. He says they don&rsquo;t rely on elaborate rigs to create illusions. Instead they craft magical images through interlocking bodies and hand shadows.</p><p>Joe Goode Performance Group may not employ shadow play for its production of <em>Wonder Boy</em> at the Dance Center of Columbia College. But a puppet steals the spotlight in this touching dance-theater performance about the trials of a hypersensitive super hero. In this Westernized version of Japanese bunraku puppet theater, choreographer Goode has his contemporary ensemble manipulate a melancholic boy puppet. The achingly empathetic boy observes the world through a window with billowing white curtains.</p><p>Turbulent underpinnings in the dancers&rsquo; movement suggest discord, including the boy&rsquo;s combative parents. In other scenes, the performers lean on each other to imply the need for support before reaching out with pleading gestures. Throughout, the puppet sets out to overcome his fears and connect with another human being.</p><p>Both Pilobolus Dance Theatre and Joe Goode Performance Group tackle big questions with transformative ingenuity.</p></p> Thu, 27 Jan 2011 15:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/%5Bfield_program_ref-title-raw%5D/chicagos-dance-transformation