There’s a new dance group in town. Made up of a group of Northwestern University alumni, the NU Group will be showcasing new and reworked pieces for two consecutive weekends starting this Friday. This is the first performance for the group made up of dancers, choreographers, lighting designers, tech crew and marketing gurus…all with Wildcat cred. The idea born from Jeff Hancock (River North, Same Planet Different World and NU dance professor) highlights the ever-growing presence of NU grads in the dance scene. “I was putting it all together in my head one day,” says Hancock. “I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to have a post-college concert where it was curated pieces by everybody…created by them, designed by them and presented as the fruits of the program.”
Reaching out via the college’s network, he asked for choreographic contributions, held an audition and selected the artists represented in the show. Aside from two dancers that are seniors in the dance program at NY, and Hancock himself, everyone is an alum. With so many creative forces collaborating, it could’ve been a nightmare, but Hancock set a structure and everything fell into place. “I wanted to keep it to recreating excerpts or refashioning pieces that already exist, because I knew we’d have a very low budget and not a lot of time,” he says. “I was trying to set up a model that would be beneficial to everybody. We divided time up into little islands where each choreographer was the director of that part of the show, so I’m really curating.” Choreographers include Julia Rhoades (Artistic Director) and Meghann Wilkinson (dancer) of Lucky Plush, Peter Carpenter, Adam Gauzza of Same Planet Different World, Annie Beserra of Striding Lion, Michala Stock of New York’s Eyes of A Blue Dog and Hancock. Incorporating text, singing, rhythm work, humor and ingenious theatrical and choreographic devices, this one-of-a-kind showcase will make you stop, think, laugh and enjoy.
The Building Stage, 1044 W Kinzie
April 22 & 23 at 8 pm
Marjorie Ward Marshall Ballroom Theater, 10 Arts Circle, Evanston
April 29 & 30 at 8 pm