It is a given by now: Chicago is fast becoming a
major center of dance, with both homegrown and imported companies on
stages large and small. The audience of 10,000 that filled Millennium
Park for this summer’s Chicago Dancing Festival finale, and the 3,800
fans who packed the Auditorium Theatre for Dance for Life a week
earlier, were certainly solid proof of this.
Additional evidence comes in the form of the
planned spring 2012 engagement of the Paris Opera Ballet (at the Harris
Theater for Music and Dance), and at the Auditorium Theatre, visits by
American Ballet Theatre (which has made a multiyear commitment to
Chicago); the return of Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, and the annual
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre season.
Every bit as important is the increasingly impressive work of many Chicago-based companies. (Visit www.seechicagodance.com
for a continually updated calendar of all their activities.) This
proliferation of ensembles and independent dance artists is reminiscent
of the earliest explosion of the theater scene here, and it suggests
dance might very well follow a similar trajectory.
Following is a glimpse of some of the more intriguing offerings on the fall schedule:
Joffrey Ballet in
“Don Quixote,” Oct. 12-23 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress: In
his “re-imagined” full-length ballet about that aging, chivalrous
nobleman who battled windmills and conjured an elaborate fantasy life,
choreographer (and former Bolshoi Ballet star) Yuri Possokhov will give
us all the characters from the 19th century Petipa original. But he also
will let us experience the story from Don Quixote’s perspective, with
help from set and lighting designer Jack Mehler, animated projections by
Wendell Harrington and a life-size animated puppet of Don Quixote’s
horse, created by Chicago puppeteer Cynthia Von Orthal. The Chicago
Sinfonietta will play the Minkus score. Tickets: (312) 386-8905 or visit
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