Magazine article Pointe

Chicago Choreographers Go Dutch

Magazine article Pointe

Chicago Choreographers Go Dutch

Article excerpt

Chicago Choreographers Go Dutch

This summer, under the auspices of Dance Chicago, multiple Chicago choreographers created or revived works on members of Amsterdam's Dutch National Ballet. In August, after two weeks of rehearsals, the dancers-joined by members of the Jeffrey Ballet, River North Chicago Dance Company and local independent artists-performed these diverse pieces as the Dutch National Ballet Project at the Athenaeum Theatre.

The program naturally had a showcase feel, but the dancers exhibited consistent strength and professionalism. Though these works may or may not land in Dutch National Ballet's future repertoire, the real benefit seems to have been in the exchange of movement styles.

Classical in carriage, the Dutch artists got to mix it up with Chicago's capable modern and jazz dancers to reveal the challenges and connections inherent within the varied forms-notably in Randy Duncan's praise/modern ensemble reverie, Kay's Lilt. A soothing yet dynamic interpretation of souls on their way to heaven, Kay's Lilt demands total-body expression. Altin Naska's new Into the Agape, a still-unformed, abstract drama set to a live, original score by Douglas Johnson, evokes a disjointed sense of dread by entwining the slicing pointe work of DNB's Natalia Hoffmann and Tamara Michalczyk with the intricate body twists of Paul Christiano and lithe elegance of Aaron Rogers, both Chicago dancers.

Into the Agape has not fleshed out its thematic significance; however, Naska's revival of Enchanted proved concise and profound. …

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