WBEZ | Auditorium Theatre http://www.wbez.org/tags/auditorium-theatre Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daily Rehearsal: Chicago gets a 'Big Fish' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/daily-rehearsal-chicago-gets-big-fish-102231 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/big fish.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- <a href="http://www.citylifesupplement.org">The City Life Supplement</a> </strong></span></span>is doing another season, this time at the Holiday Club, opening September 29 at the Holiday Club. The <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/alison-cuddy/2012-02-24/weekender-afro-beats-civil-rights-opera-and-pee-wee-herman-96655">monthly performances</a> will continue at Transistor Chicago.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Some staffing changes at Auditorium Theatre</strong></span></span>; Colleen Flanigan is leaving Chicago Opera Theater to join as Chief Marketing Officer. Christina Bourné is in as Director of Education.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- The stage version of<em> Big Fish</em>,</strong></span></span> that movie with&nbsp;Ewan McGregor, will open at the Oriental Theater in April, starring Norbert Leo Butz, <a href="http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/big-fish-musical-to-open-in-chicago/">reports the <em>New York Times</em></a>.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/M3YVTgTl-F0" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 12:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/daily-rehearsal-chicago-gets-big-fish-102231 Local groups urge boycott of Israel's Batsheva Dance http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-28/local-groups-urge-boycott-israels-batsheva-dance-96790 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-28/Batsheva Dance Company.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-28/Batsheva Dance Company.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 421px;" title="Tel Aviv-based Batsheva Dance Company plans a two-day stint in Chicago in March. (Courtesy of Batsheva Dance Company) "></p><p>The Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago and the Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights are urging Chicagoans to just say no to <a href="http://www.batsheva.co.il/en/About.aspx">Batsheva Dance Company</a>, based in Tel Aviv, Israel. The troupe, headed by Ohad Naharin, began a Canadian/U.S. tour last week that includes two days in Chicago, March 17 and 18, at the Auditorium.</p><p>Three years ago, during another U.S. tour that included Chicago, protests were mounted in San Francisco and New York, and similar protests are reportedly planned for this tour. Last week, in <a href="http://adalahny.org/document/790/open-letter-north-american-organizations-batsheva-take-strong-unequivocal-stance-agains">an open letter to Batsheva</a>, Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel asked the company to “take a stand against the Israeli government’s violations of Palestinian rights.”&nbsp; One of the signatories was the U.S. Palestinian Campaign for the Academic &amp; Cultural Boycott of Israel, which holds that no Israeli arts organization can claim independence from Israel’s policies on Palestine—particularly if an organization accepts money from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Batsheva does.</p><p>The attempt to “re-brand” Israel is a reality. In March 2009, after the Gaza War, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/world/middleeast/19israel.html">the <em>New York Times</em> quoted Arye Mekel</a>, the foreign ministry’s deputy director general for cultural affairs, as saying, “We will send well-known novelists and writers overseas, theater companies, exhibits. This way you show Israel’s prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war.”</p><p>Of course a boycott means nothing if you wouldn’t buy the product in the first place. But Batsheva and choreographer Naharin (well known here for the works he’s set on Hubbard Street) are international stars. They’re stars for a reason, and I’m looking forward to seeing them. But even if I hated a company, I’d think it had a right to create—and be seen—independently of the politics of the place it happens to call home.</p></p> Tue, 28 Feb 2012 14:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-28/local-groups-urge-boycott-israels-batsheva-dance-96790 Daily Rehearsal: Your new day-before-New-Year's plans http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-01/daily-rehearsal-your-new-day-new-years-plans-94507 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-01/hannibal.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-01/hannibal.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 180px; height: 270px; " title=""><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Don't have day-before-New-Year's plans?&nbsp;<a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/hannibal-buress-at-the-lincoln-lodge-dec-30,64987"><em>The A.V. Club</em> points out</a> that Hannibal Buress </strong></span></span>will be at the Lincoln Lodge on December 30 for two performances, just in time to make it on all those "this was big in Chicago this year lists", &nbsp;or whatever people in the media do at the end of the year.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,64"><em>Elizabeth Rex </em></a>opens next week at Chicago Shakes</strong></span></span>. The star of the production, Diane D’Aquila, reveals a bit about her background <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/9157322-421/elizabeth-rex-a-regal-portrait-of-the-iconic-english-queen.html">to Hedy Weiss</a>, including the tidbit that&nbsp;she worked as a dresser early in her career, a job I find super fascinating, perhaps merely for it's very literal title. For those who watched the movies on our fair Virgin Queen, the costumes alone look worth the price of admission.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. In this week's Don't Miss List, Laura Molzahn <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-30/dont-miss-list-spice-it-muntu-dance-theatre-94458">suggests </a>you see </strong></span></span>Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago. At&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/muntu-dance-theatres-spice-it-up/Content?oid=5101709">the <em>Reader</em></a>, Molzahn gives us a look into why Muntu chose it's name, and what to expect from the show. The name of the group's new suite of dances ("Roff") actually means "a lot of different spices put together." So expect like a chutney or a chili or something of a dance.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Don Hall has<a href="http://donhall.blogspot.com/2011/12/a-la-carte-audience.html">&nbsp;thoughts</a> on the importance of subscription tickets</strong></span></span> to different theaters, via <a href="http://www.tcg.org/tools/facts/">a report</a> from the Theater Communications Group. To Hall, the loss of tickets sold through subscription models will really only be noticed by marquee theaters. For the small (and when I say small, I'm not talking about theaters with a $250,000 budget, I'm referring to theaters with far less than that to go from show to show) it means relatively nothing," writes Hall. "Show to show is how we do business in the first place."</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Fascinated with the <a href="http://auditoriumtheatre.org/wb/">Auditorium Theatre</a>?</strong></span></span> Who's not! Did you know the movie <em>Public Enemies</em> with Christian Bale and Johnny Depp was filmed there (among others?) The theatre toots their own horn in <a href="http://auditoriumtheatre.blogspot.com/2011/11/mystique-helps-to-illuminate-our-past_21.html">this blog post</a>, but it is, in actuality, quite beautiful.</p><p>And for those who were worried the <em>Jersey Shore The Musical</em> is closing -- fear not! It's been extended through March 31.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 01 Dec 2011 18:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-01/daily-rehearsal-your-new-day-new-years-plans-94507 Eiko & Koma, AXIS reimagine the dancing body http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-08/eiko-koma-axis-reimagine-dancing-body-93850 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-08/ek_3191_image.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Editor's Note: Body and soul unite in two upcoming dance performances. Each encourages audiences to re-imagine the body in motion. <a href="http://www.luciamauro.com/" target="_blank">Lucia Mauro</a> shared her take with <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>:</p><p>In dance, the body is a given. After all, it’s the instrument through which artists ply their craft on stage. But some dancer-choreographers challenge viewers to look beyond the flesh and make new discoveries about relationships and their place in the grand scheme of things. Eiko and Koma are legendary figures in experimental dance that doubles as installation art. The Japanese-born husband and wife will perform a continuous duet, titled <em>Naked</em>, at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Turner Gallery. In it, the unclothed dancers move at a glacially slow pace inside a giant nest of twigs and feathers. Their exposed chalk-white bodies seem to figuratively dematerialize inside their natural environment—they fuse with the earth.</p><p>Now some may ask, “But is this dance?” And the answer is not so straightforward. Eiko and Koma were influenced by a post-World War II Japanese practice known as Butoh. This artistic movement, which also has been called a meditative approach to life, honors the journey of the body from birth to death and beyond. Often associated with the atomic bomb and white-powder makeup, Butoh utilizes the entire body, from eyes to fingertips. Eiko and Koma are considered more avant-garde dance artists, most interested in linking human beings to their natural surroundings. And despite their often naked performances, their bodies do not necessarily project sexuality. Rather, the sensual texture of their skin merges with crackling leaves and branches; throughout, their bodies seem to disappear.</p><p>On the opposite end of the spectrum, AXIS Dance Company does not advocate the gradual disappearance of the body. Instead, the artists of this longtime physically-integrated troupe place dancers in wheelchairs front and center. They are joined by able-bodied dancers; but everyone is an able-bodied dancer in this company. . For its Chicago engagement at the Auditorium Theatre, AXIS will perform choreographer Alex Ketley’s hard-edged <em>Vessel</em>. It consists of a stream of quartets and duets meant to evoke how human bodies can project memories, both assuring and painful.</p><p>The central duet in <em>Vessel</em> places a man and woman in an aggressive push and pull. His wheelchair seems to serve as a barrier for their fractured relationship. The woman soars into his lap, perches in a dangerous overhead lift, and tumbles across the floor. He resists, rotates and pitches forward in utter despair before picking himself up and continuing a less arresting tug of war. Just watching them interact is like being mesmerized by the continuous movement of a carousel. The action is fierce and non-stop. It’s also gentle and sublime—like &nbsp;gliding ice dancers entwined with graciously sculpted shapes in space.</p><p>Both Eiko and Koma and AXIS Dance Company challenge preconceptions about dance and expand the reach of the human body.</p><p><a href="http://www.eikoandkoma.org/" target="_blank">Eiko &amp; Koma’s</a> living installation <em>Naked</em> begins Tuesday at the <a href="http://www.turnercontemporary.org/" target="_blank">Museum of Contemporary Art’s Turner Gallery</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.axisdance.org/" target="_blank">AXIS Dance Company</a> performs Nov. 19 and 20 at the <a href="http://auditoriumtheatre.org/wb/" target="_blank">Auditorium Theatre</a>.</p></p> Tue, 08 Nov 2011 15:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-08/eiko-koma-axis-reimagine-dancing-body-93850 Love is in the air and so is dance http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-11/love-air-and-so-dance-82162 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/ballet dancer.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Valentine&rsquo;s Day is just around the corner.&nbsp;So is spring.&nbsp;That means LOVE is in the air! That&rsquo;s especially true for two local dance companies.<a target="_blank" href="http://www.rivernorthchicago.com/"> River North Dance Chicago</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.joffrey.com/">The Joffrey Ballet</a> are celebrating the loving season with romantic moves &ndash; from the tango to the waltz. River North Dance Chicago performs &ldquo;Al Sur Del Sur&rdquo; today through Sunday at the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/">Harris Theater in Chicago</a>.<br /><br />The Joffrey Ballet kicks off its week and a half run of &ldquo;The Merry Widow&rdquo; Wednesday at the <a target="_blank" href="http://auditoriumtheatre.org/wb/">Auditorium Theatre</a>. WBEZ dance critic Lucia Mauro got caught up in the sensual swirl:<br /><br /> It just doesn&rsquo;t get more seductive than the tango. This intricate partnering dance that originated in the barrios of Buenos Aires truly embodies a vertical expression of a horizontal desire. Yet various tango spectacles that breeze through town tend to favor flashy moves, macho posturing and a chronological timeline of the dance&rsquo;s history. Not so for River North Dance Chicago, a local troupe that masterfully combines ballet, jazz, contemporary and social dace.<br /><br /><span>For the company&rsquo;s annual Valentine&rsquo;s engagement at the Harris Theater, artistic director Frank Chaves commissioned a suite of tangos by Argentinean tango superstars Sabrina and Ruben Veliz. The six-part dance, titled Al Sur Del Sur, tells the story of five couples and their tender and tumultuous relationships. The choreographers use movement as a vehicle to express these conflicting emotions. So the piece, as a whole, has a more believable and authentic feel than mere displays of showy kicks and spins.<br /><br /></span><span>At its core, the tango is shaped like a spiral that requires partners to navigate the push and pull of attraction. In one part of Al Sur Del Sur, an unbridled romantic duet blends the dance&rsquo;s characteristic slicing and dicing of the legs with more open lifts. This section segues into a tempestuous quartet. It brilliantly reveals sexual tension, jealousy and flirtatiousness through a sharp turn of the head, eyes locking in a freeze-frame flash of lust, aggressive dips, and a firm grabbing of a stiletto heel. There&rsquo;s even a loving duet for two women, who dance barefoot, and seem to be consoling each other. The piece culminates in a seemingly improvised milonga, or tango club setting, where all these characters come to escape from their daily problems.</span><br /><br /><span>The Joffrey Ballet&rsquo;s staging of The Merry Widow takes the waltz as its movement motif. But it&rsquo;s no less steamy. This Chicago premiere is a full-length staging by British choreographer Ronald Hynd of the ballet version of Franz Lehar&rsquo;s classic operetta. Originally created in 1975 for the Australian Ballet, The Merry Widow uses a lush and uncluttered musical adaptation of the Lehar score by John Lanchbery and Alan Abbott. The music&rsquo;s melodic expressiveness and the dance&rsquo;s conversational elegance clearly tell this beloved story set in a fictitious French principality at the turn of the century. There&rsquo;s also a famous can-can dance sequence and lots of fancy hats, epaulets and tight waistcoats.</span> Hanna, a poor-girl-turned-wealthy-heiress is unexpectedly reunited with the man who once rejected her: Count Danilo, now trying to save his country from bankruptcy. <br /><br />Complications naturally ensue. In addition, a scandalous subplot involves a clerk named Camille who is having an affair with a feisty young woman, Valencienne, who is married to an old baron. In one of the ballet&rsquo;s lustier scenes, Valencienne enters the busy Camille&rsquo;s office and teases him by snatching away the various pieces of paper he&rsquo;s reading. Unable to concentrate, Camille sweeps up his lover and drags her across his desk. The duet that follows vacillates between the coy and the uncontained as the woman trots like a horse while Camille kisses her hand, or resists his advances. In the end, the pair falls into each other&rsquo;s arms with abandon&hellip;only to be observed by a hidden spy.<br /><br />Both River North Dance Chicago and the Joffrey Ballet stoke the flames of passion through timeless stories and provocative movement. A perfect way to celebrate Valentine&rsquo;s Day.</p><p><em>DJ M. Sylvia Music Button: Jesse Rose, &quot;You Know It&quot;, Welcome to the Future 2010 (ID&amp;T)</em></p></p> Fri, 11 Feb 2011 15:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-11/love-air-and-so-dance-82162