“The ‘Made in Chicago’ Dance Series is an opportunity for the Auditorium Theatre to showcase some of the country’s best dance companies that just happen to be right here in Chicago,” said Auditorium Theatre Interim CEO Henry Fogel in a statement. “The legacy of Gus Giordano lives on through the eyes of his daughter, Nan Giordano, and Giordano Dance Chicago. It’s an honor to have one of America’s foremost jazz dance companies perform on our stage.”
The company’s involvement in the “Made in Chicago” series is a point of pride, as they have been dancing in Chicago for 53 years. The company was one of the first to put Chicago directly into its name.
“My dad wanted people to know where we are from,” said Artistic Director Nan Giordano, daughter of company founder Gus Giordano. “It was always my father’s dream that his company perform on the Auditorium stage.”
The company will perform five pieces from its 157-piece repertory, showcasing a range of styles.
“I like to take the audience, as well as the dancers, on a journey,” said Nan Giordano.
She said the show demonstrates who the dancers are as a company, highlighting their mastery of an array of styles.
The show opens with Crossing/Lines, a piece Nan Giordano described as cutting edge and powerful. Choreographed by Israeli-born Roni Koresh, Crossing/Line is the second work Koresh created for Giordano Dance Chicago.
The second work, which Nan Giordano called “very close to my heart,” is Can’t Take This Away, one of Gus Giordano’s favorite works. In fact, alumni of the company performed the piece at his funeral. The 15-member dance is choreographed by Chicago’s Randy Duncan and features live singers taking the stage with the dancers.
The company’s third piece showcases Broadway jazz in Ray Leeper’s Feelin’ Good Sweet, which is followed by the more theatrical jazz Sneaky Pete, choreographed by Brock Clawson.
The evening comes to a close with Sing, Sing, Sing, a hallmark of the company choreographed by Gus Giordano.
When selecting which pieces to include with a show, Nan Giordano said she likes to sit with her decision for a while. She’ll pick some pieces, change them around, and switch other ones in and out. She said it’s always an evolution, and the variety of this show allows the evening to be a journey for the audience musically, as well as in dance style. And the addition of singers to Can’t Take This Away elevates the piece to an entirely different level.
This helps the audience connect with the dancers and pieces, which is the ultimate goal for Nan Giordano. She said they should leave thinking “I could have seen more.”
“If they don’t feel us, then we haven’t done our job.”
Tickets start at $28 and are available online at AuditoriumTheatre.org, by phone at 312-341-2300, or in-person at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office (50 E. Congress Parkway).