Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-08-15
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



DANCE REVIEW Modern Masters
by Lauren Emily Whalen

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Choreography by: Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Nicolas Blanc and Myles Thatcher

At: Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Pkwy. Tickets: or; $34-159. Runs through: Feb. 18

Ballet is much more than The Nutcracker. As Joffrey's Modern Masters program shows, ballet can inspire, frustrate and ultimately revive. It's also the most ephemeral of art forms: dancers give endless time, money and energy to frustratingly short careers, risking injury for performances that can't be preserved. Showcasing the work of four very different and influential choreographers, Modern Masters answers the question, "is ballet worth it, for dancers and audiences?" with a resounding "yes."

The evening opens with George Balanchine's The Four Temperaments. "Mr. B," as dancers called him, revolutionized ballet in the United States, choreographing in a unique way that—even decades later—is both gorgeous and distinctly odd. The Four Temperaments is classic Mr. B: very basic costuming, deceptively simple movements with drama in every flexed foot and raised arm, and an emphasis on story if not plot. Soloist Greig Matthews shines in the third variation, his expressive articulation carrying to the very back row of the Auditorium Theatre.

Myles Thatcher's Body of Your Dreams is the evening's shortest and most powerful ballet. It's everything The Four Temperaments is not: fast-paced, frenetic and decidedly un-classical. Jacob ter Veldhuis' dynamic score mixes piano with snippets from infomercials, promising the ideal physical form in a way that is "so easy." Men dance with men and women dance with women as they appropriate physical fitness in tight, bright spandex in front of a mirrored set. Anyone who thinks ballet is dated must see Body of Your Dreams: in a brief snippet of time, Thatcher effectively sums up humanity's collective narcissism and desire for perfection.

Beyond the Shore is a world premiere from choreographer Nicolas Blanc, a celebration of exploring everywhere from the netherworld to the moon. While the ensemble movements burst with energy, the piece's two pas de deux are its most memorable. Set in Hawaii, "Aerosol Melody ( Hanalei )" brings to mind colorful flowers, and is beautifully executed by Christine Rocas and Rory Hohenstein. Immediately following, "Gemini in the Solar Wind" reimagines the first walk in space, using sound clips courtesy of NASA. Dancers Victoria Jaiani and Fabrice Calmels illustrated both weightlessness and deep uncertainty.

Finally, Glass Pieces by Jerome Robbins mixes postmodern movement with 1980s urban sensibility. Though it's a large ensemble piece, with several solos and duets, Glass Pieces accurately conveys the isolation of city living. You're never fully alone, yet you're constantly reaching inside yourself for comfort. Glass Pieces feels like a true collaboration between Robbins and composer Philip Glass. Both choreography and music are bare-bones, and it's there the emotions shine through. On the whole, Modern Masters is a triumph for the Joffrey, a love letter to the constant innovation and utter timelessness of ballet.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Dance for Life continues to celebrate life, honoring those who have passed 2018-08-15 - In the darkest days of the 1980s, Chicago's dance community was gamely pirouetting through a Giselle-mist insufficiently shrouding the HIV/AIDS tragedy, dancers involuntarily ...

Gay News

DANCE Revolutionary steps, dancers point past the binary 2018-07-25 - Chicago is not lacking queer spaces in the arts, and that includes dance and performance art. Now in its ninth season, the ...

Gay News

Joel Hall's new leader Jacqueline Sinclair takes steps to continue the work 2018-07-04 - "I'm house-hunting today!" Jacqueline Sinclair giggled to Windy City Times over the phone. She's not your average house hunter. The newly named Artistic ...

Gay News

TELEVISION Former 'Drag Race' contestant makes 'Dance' history 2018-07-03 - Miss Estranja ( AKA Jay Jackson, and sometimes known as Miss Laganja Estranja ) made her television debut on season 6 of RuPaul's ...

Gay News

Dance for Life 2018 names companies 2018-06-20 - For its 27th annual event, Dance for Life Chicago presents a diverse group of companies and artists performing Saturday, Aug. 18, at the ...

Gay News

DIFFA/Chicago marks 30th anniversary 2018-06-14 - Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS ( DIFFA )/Chicago marked its 30th anniversary June 9 with a gala, "DIFFA XXX," at the Modern Wing ...

Gay News

Disco documentary to screen June 15 2018-06-12 - The documentary Jewel's Catch One will screen Friday, June 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S. Stony Island ...

Gay News

Queen! show with CeCe Peniston, Dajae June 22 2018-06-12 - Red Bull Music will present "Queen!" on Friday, June 22, at 9 p.m. at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St. DJ Steve "Silk" Hurley ...

Gay News

Back Lot Bash, fifteen years and still going strong 2018-06-12 - Despite having full-time jobs, the dynamic duo of Amie Klujian and Christina Wiesmore-Roberts have put on the famed lesbian-focused yet all-inclusive Back Lot ...

Gay News

National Museum of Mexican Art hosts annual queer prom 2018-06-06 - On June 1, The National Museum of Mexican Art presented its 13th annual gay prom. The event, in Pilsen, attracted students from all ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.