Current Reno Weather
May 6, 2008 - Dancing with the stars and all that jazz! The Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago collaborate with the U of Nevada, Reno's stars of tomorrow
By Jack Neal
If you’re looking for pyrotechnics and finesse, the astonishing Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago comes as close to perfection as is humanly possible.
The company, who worked with the University of Nevada, Reno’s dance students for the better part of last week, joined UNR’s Spring Dance Concert Thursday and Friday nights (5/1 & 2/2008) for surprisingly efficient, pleasant student offerings, and highly energized, athletic dance from the GJDC troupe.
Whiplash dance that’s as lyrical as it’s physical is the foundation for the amazing things in movement this sensational collection of ten dazzling dancers – five men, five women - from Chicago do.
“Le Grand Futur Is Here!,” a choreographic feat by Mia Michaels, is a display piece showing off the magnificence of the human form. The company is unique for its pelvis-thrust, hip-flash style. Wearing white spandex and dancing to the music of Amon Tobin, the rapid-fire flash and dash of the company’s super-energized activity is far more exciting than the car crash and explosions of blockbuster Hollywood summer movies.
“Let’s Play,” with choreography by Kiesha Lalama-White to original music by Jason Coll, and “Pyrokinesis,” with choreography by Christopher Huggins set to music by George Winston, completed the GJDC’s exciting excursion into breathtaking dance. With radiant lighting designs by Kevin Dreyer, John Imburgia and Andy Ostrowski, and attractive body-cling costumes by Banimira Ivanova and Nan Zabriskie, the GJDC portion of the program was superb in every way.
“Pyrokinesis” offers a look into the highly physical world of Alvin Ailey by Alvin Ailey alumnus Christopher Huggins. “Pyrokinesis,” in a bawdy display flashiness and personality, was a hit and a surefire way to close that shows off GJDC with damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead zeal. With swooping arm motions, barrel-like spins by the women and exhilarating tours en l’air by the men the concert’s grand finale prompted – actually demanded – a deserved standing ovation.
The program, organized by UNR’s director of dance Barbara Land, as a before intermission showcase for student talent, featured the animated Giordano company after intermission.
Former Giordano dancer and choreographer Jon Lehrer created two dances – “Here, in this Eden” and “Ritual” – for students. The first was notable for using a quintet of musicians (students) as a fusion of music and dance; the second because of its explosive use of young talent in such a flamboyant manner. “Grace by River’s Edge” was choreographed by the superb L. Martina Young with live, soulful music supplied by trumpeter Trevor Young. Hints of “Appalachian Spring,” sans Copland, for a plaintive piece of Americana. Barbara Land choreographed “In Response” using the music of Black Sabbath. It was hypnotic. Choreographers Kristen Avansino (“Together”), and Cari Cunningham (“In Three Words or Less”) contributed interesting works nicely brought off by their young dancers.
Michael Fernbach designed the effective lighting for the UNR segments. Nan Giordano is the artistic director for the Girodano Jazz Dance Chicago. She is the keeper of the flame for her father and the founder of GJDC, the late Gus Giordano. The company is in excellent hands.
The students were excellent, but it was the thrill of the Giordano after intermission that made the evening soar. Thrilling athleticism and lyricism mark all this remarkable collection of dancers do, for dance at its finest.
Bravo to all for a superlative evening of inspiration - and dance.
For future presentations by the University of Nevada, Reno Department of Music and Dance call 775-784-4278 or visit www.unr.edu/arts.
|Are you interested in submitting event information on this site, or would you like your event reviewed? If so click here to contact a member of our staff or click here to submit event information yourself.