What a fun lunch! Today I went to the Harris Theater‘s Eat to the Beat series, a lunchtime $5 dance performance where you can take your lunch or partake in the fantastic food truck offerings on the lower level of Randolph Dr. and enjoy a show. Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC), celebrating 50 years with performances at the theater this weekend, took the stage to a scattered, but substantial house at noon. I got there early to stake my claim, since it was open seating, and grabbed a delicious Paneer Wrap from Bombay Wraps, a glass of wine – don’t judge, it’s Friday! – and a cupcake from Gigi’s Bake Shop for the road. Unfortunately, I didn’t have stomach room or time for a tamale from the Tamale Spaceship…next time, for sure.
The show opened with Giordano Moves, a retrospective of Gus Giordano’s famous jazz style, set by his daughter Nan and former GDC dancer John Lehrer in 2005. Although the style is a bit antiquated by today’s standards, it is a lovely historical look back and it’s nice to see the tradition carried on. The old school jazz moves (lots of triple turns, double stag jumps and “Gus” arms) look way different on these younger dancers bodies. The second company performed River, by former dancer Cesar Salinas. Wow! These five ladies are the future. Tons of energy and beautiful technique. You can tell they are young and hungry (in an artistic way, not like me…still eating my paneer).
The main company followed with a 2012 work by Artistic Associate Autumn Eckman. G-Force is a fun look at what dance might be in the future. Hints of jazz, lyrical, contact improv, street with inventive partnering show off these eight dancers talents well. Funky! I had to leave early to make it to work on time, but GDC closed the mid-day show with a world premiere by L.A. choreographer Liz Imperio titled La Balleza De Cuba (The Beauty of Cuba). Luckily, I will get a chance to see it at tomorrow night’s performance.
Giordano Dance Chicago has two performances left this weekend, Friday-Saturday, March 22-23 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available by calling 312.334.7777 or at www.harristheaterchicago.org.