River North Dance Chicago to Present AUTUMN PASSIONS at Harris Theater, 11/15-17
The critically acclaimed River North Dance Chicago (RNDC) leaps into fall with "Autumn Passions," their November 15 - 17 Fall Engagement at the Harris Theater (205 E. Randolph Dr.). Introducing a company premiere by Adam Barruch and two world premieres by Kevin Iega Jeff and Ashley Roland, the company performs a program filled with stunning athleticism and innovative choreography. In conjunction with the Fall Engagement, RNDC hosts their annual gala featuring a performance at the Harris followed by a festive evening of cocktails, dinner and dancing at the Fairmont Chicago (200 N. Columbus) on November 14. Tickets for the Fall Engagement ($30 - $75) are on sale now at www.harristheaterchicago.org or by calling 312.334.7777.
"RNDC audiences are once again treated to fresh, exciting new work by three incredible choreographers as we kick off our 2013 - 2014 season," said Artistic Director Frank Chaves. "Each of these new pieces offers something different for both the dancers and the audience. From theatrical movement to stunning artistry the company is pushed in new directions both physically and emotionally."
RNDC continues to add to their athletic, sensual and dynamic repertoire introducing new work by pioneering, inventive choreographers. Returning to RNDC after his highly regarded "Sky" (2006), Kevin Iega Jeff brings his fourth commission for the company, the world premiere of "Dawn." Danced by the full RNDC company, the piece is set to music by Sigur Ros, Kronos Quartet and the dramatic, iconic melody O Fortuna from "Carmina Burana" and explores the concept of "a new age of enlightment." The new piece is based on the abstract while being both quietly simplistic and ragingly physical.
"My experiences choreographing for RNDC revealed a company willing to take emotional and physical chances - a company with discipline and rigor who are not afraid to bare their souls," said Iega Jeff. "My work needs that in a company of dancers. The delicate balance between form and content, and a powerful commitment to process, is essential, especially when I'm creating new work. RNDC provides a rich environment for that creative process to happen."
Ashley Roland returns to RNDC with the world premiere of "Get Out the Ghost." Choreographed for six dancers and set to various musical pieces including Inside, composed by Thomas Newman; Movement II, Quintet for StringQuartet and Contrabass, Composed by Edgar Meyer, performed by Edgar Meyer & Emerson String Quartet; Star Machine, composed by Thomas Newman; and Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum from Children's Corner (instrumental), composed by Clause Debussey, performed by Béla Fleck & Edgar Meyer, the work is an athletic and quirky piece that will leave audiences filled with surprise throughout.
"Telling the story of six people who, like most of us, carry loads of baggage or skeletons around with us, I set out to create a piece that evolves into the ethereal," said Roland. "We all have tremendous life experiences that have permanently altered us and through this new work we see how some are able to relieve themselves from carrying the "ghosts" of their past and move forward having gained wisdom from their experiences."
Adam Barruch also returns to RNDC after having his piece "I Close My Eyes Until the End" performed by the company during last year's fall engagement, the first professional company to perform his work. Barruch brings his highly acclaimed "The Worst Pies in London" to the stage which thrilled audiences at the 2011 Chicago Dancing Festival and was described as "the standout [work] of the night." The fast, witty, intricate solo-performed for the first time by someone besides Barruch himself-was inspired by Angela Lansbury's performance in Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" and stems from Barruch's fascination relying purely on movement and gesture to convey a story in conjunction with a dynamic piece of music.
"I have been blessed to work with RNDC for two seasons and each time I am continually amazed and overwhelmed with both the prowess and the openness of each dancer," said Barruch. "I am thrilled to bring this specific piece to this company, knowing that they are truly able to connect to any part they are dancing while accessing the complete range of their humanity."
Other pieces included in the Fall Engagement are Nejla Yatkin's stunning solo piece "Renatus," (2012) set to the aria "Vissi d'arte" from Puccini's "Tosca," Daniel Ezralow's revival of the fiercely physical urban meltdown "SUPER STRAIGHT is coming down..." (1998) and the Harris Theater debut of Frank Chaves's own "Eva" set to the haunting songs of the late songbird Eva Cassidy, known for her luscious interpretations jazz, blues, folk and gospel standards. "Eva" was commissioned by, and premiered at, the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in honor of their 30th anniversary.
On Friday, November 15, RNDC offers audiences a special, family-friendly performance of "Street Beat: Dancing Through the Decades." This high-energy, educational performance piece teaches students about the historical and social conditions of the 20th century and how the cultural underpinnings influenced dance. Each decade, from the Roaring 20s to the Hip-Hop 90s, is introduced with a narrative that comments on major events, historical figures, popular music and fashion. Tickets ($16) are general admission. Discounted Group Ticket reservations are available for groups of 10 or more at Grouptix.net or by calling 773-327-3778.
Performance Schedule and Ticket Information
River North Dance Chicago's Fall Engagement at the Harris Theater:
"Street Beat: Dancing Through the Decades:" Friday, November 15 at 12 p.m.
Fall Engagement: Saturday, November 16 at 8 p.m
Sunday, November 17 at 3 p.m.
Tickets are on-sale now at www.harristheaterchicago.org or by calling 312.334.7777.
More On: Adam Barruch, Thomas Newman, Edgar Meyer, Angela Lansbury, Stephen Sondheim.