WBEZ | The Good Dance http://www.wbez.org/tags/good-dance Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Two new performances blend different genres of dance http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-25/two-new-performances-blend-different-genres-dance-84244 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-25/Lucia_reggie.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Choreographers work within a whole host of styles. But many are focusing on mixing up dance genres. In some local cases a mix of ballroom, ethnic and post-modern approaches are creating altogether new dance forms. Dance critic Lucia Mauro told <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> how.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Gone are the days when dancers can limit themselves to, say, ballet, modern or jazz dance. That&rsquo;s because choreographers are exposed to a range of dance genres &ndash; from social to urban styles. And this cross-fertilization is evident in two upcoming performances.</p><p><a href="http://www.colum.edu/dance_center/performances/reggiewilson/index.php" target="_blank">Reggie Wilson/Fist &amp; Heel Performance Group</a> brings to Chicago the local premiere of a full-length collaborative piece, titled <a href="http://www.bam.org/view.aspx?pid=1283" target="_blank"><em>The Good Dance &ndash; dakar/brooklyn</em></a>. It posits Wilson&rsquo;s experiences as an African-American choreographer working in Brooklyn against those of Congolese dance maker Andreya Ouamba. Both share histories that involve a profound attachment to bodies of water. For Wilson, it&rsquo;s the Mississippi Delta from which his family migrated. For Ouamba, it&rsquo;s the Congo River.</p><p>The ever-fluctuating set piece includes close to 400 half-filled plastic water bottles. The dancers balance the bottles on their heads, frequently shifting their bodies to reach a state of equilibrium. The bottles also symbolize rushing currents, obstacles for the dancers and, later, a makeshift bridge. Water, as a whole, traditionally represents a life-giving source. The bottles are also a poetic way of harnessing that source.<br /> <br />But the real crux of <em>The Good Dance</em> is how it shows side by side the way dancers with formal post-modern training adapt to more natural, or improvised rhythms &ndash; and vice versa. At its core, the work features one woman moving to the beat of her own body through loose arm swings, hip motions and turns. Next to her a trained dancer clearly formalizes these movements into something more stylized. Yet both show a similar virtuosity: the first exhibits a comforting oneness with her inner vibrations; the other crafts stunning shapes with her torso and limbs.</p><p>For its spring show, <a href="http://giordanodance.org/company/" target="_blank">Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago</a> incorporates Latin ballroom rhythms into its performance. Latin dance partners Del Dominguez and Laura Flores of Chicago&rsquo;s Mixed Motion Art ballroom dance studio stepped out of their traditional social performance style to the concert-dance format. Five couples comprise their ensemble work, titled Sabroso, or Delicious in Spanish. Instead of telling a specific story, the high-energy five-part work attempts to capture the spirit of each rhythm. So it opens with a group cha-cha that feels like a free-for-all street party, with its share of lightning footwork. A couple dances a suggestive but refined bolero, with traditional lifts, and a mambo section includes some freer jazz stylings. But instead of only partnering each other, the dancers open up the space and perform impressive solo kicks and swivels facing the audience.</p><p>Both Reggie Wilson and Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago expand the dance vocabulary while stretching their dancers&rsquo; versatility.</p><p><br />Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago performs Friday and Saturday at the <a href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/" target="_blank">Harris Theater</a>. Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group will be on stage from March 31-April 2 at the Dance Center of Columbia College.</p></p> Fri, 25 Mar 2011 14:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-25/two-new-performances-blend-different-genres-dance-84244