On Saturday, January 31, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University will present Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC) in the company’s first full-length performance at the venue as part of the “Made in Chicago” Dance Series. The evening will be highlighted by the world premiere of “Shirt Off My Back,” a full-company work choreographed by award-winning choreographer Ray Mercer of Disney’s hit Broadway musical The Lion King, and an all-new version of Autumn Eckman’s Pilsen-themed “Moving Sidewalks.”
“Giordano Dance Chicago is one of the leading dance companies performing in the United States,” notes the Auditorium Theatre’s executive director, Brett Batterson. “For more than half a century, this terrific ensemble has dazzled audiences with incomparable energy, creativity and style. We’re privileged to host this group and to bring an exclusive world premiere to the Auditorium stage as part of our ‘Made in Chicago’ series.”
Featuring all 10 members of GDC’s main company, “Shirt Off My Back” explores the inherent sacrifices people make as they enter into a relationship. Mercer—winner of The Joffrey Ballet’s prestigious Choreographers of Color Award in 2012 and a former company member with Chicago’s Deeply Rooted Dance Theater—returns to Chicago to stage his first work for Giordano Dance Chicago.
Along with Mercer’s world premiere, the company will present an updated, never-before-seen version of former GDC assistant artistic director Autumn Eckman’s “Moving Sidewalks,” based on the changing landscape of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood of the mid-19th century. Eckman’s re-worked version features new costumes and now includes the members of Giordano Dance Chicago’s main company, plus the members of Giordano III—a total of 16 dancers.
January’s performance marks the first dedicated program of works by Giordano Dance Chicago on the Auditorium’s landmark stage; the company has previously performed works at the Auditorium as the headlining ensemble of the “MOVEMENT + MUSIC Festival” in 2013, and regularly at the annual “Dance for Life” fundraiser, supporting HIV/AIDS research and The Dancer’s Fund. For more information about the upcoming performance or for tickets, visit AuditoriumTheatre.org, or call (800) 982-ARTS (2787).
Giordano Dance Chicago in "Jolt" (photo courtesy of Giordano Dance Chicago).
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts