Giordano Dance Chicago dancers Joshua Blake Carter and Rachael Berube take their final bows as company members June 10 during Giordano Dance Chicago’s closing performance of its 54th season.
The show, part of the Auditorium Theatre’s “Made in Chicago” series, features five company favorites: Lost in This World choreographed by Liz Imperio, Grusin Suite by Frank Chaves, Exit4 by Roni Koresh, Commonthread by Autumn Eckman, and A Ritual Dynamic by Jon Lehrer.
The show also feature’s the company’s 160th world premiere, Before My Eyes by Carter, who is leaving the company after seven years as a Giordano dancer.
“I have a feeling it won’t feel real until the fall,” Carter said. “It’s very interesting to kind of have it planned, to have known about it for so long and now it’s here. It doesn’t quite feel real yet.”
Carter spoke with the company about transitioning to the administration side back in August and will be staying with the company in an office role. His piece, Before My Eyes, recounts a car accident involving his father. While his father is doing much better, the experience of the accident and his father’s ensuing hospitalization left a mark.
“It was a nice way for me to be able to kind of place feelings about it and just create something,” Carter said. “It seems very cliché to say out loud, but that’s what we do with art.”
Carter described Before My Eyes as a contemporary jazz piece rooted in jazz traditions, offering just a moment in time of a larger story. He likes the idea of the curtain coming up and the audience entering a story that’s already happening, catching a glimpse of it, and wondering what happens next as the curtain goes down, knowing the story is unfinished.
Carter said his love for choreography partially inspired his transition with the company, as his new role will allow him to put more energy into creating new works. For Carter, having a piece in his final show feels like a fitting segue into his next step.
He said he’s looking forward to this show, dancing some of his favorite pieces, as well as one he performed during his first season with the company.
“Having in the back of your mind all season that it is your last one, I think it allows you to dance with a little bit more abandon,” he said. “I’m excited for the pieces I’m dancing.”
Berube is similarly excited for her final show with the company. But unlike Carter, she waited a bit longer to announce her departure.
“I had come to the conclusion that this might be my last season in the company, but in fear of making a decision that wasn’t completely my own…I didn’t want to tell anyone or get too many opinions,” she said. “This year was really about cherishing every rehearsal, hugging every person I could, taking all the small moments.”
She said that while she looks forward to her future spending more time teaching and choreographing dance, the final season has been bittersweet.
During her time with the company, she has enjoyed working with choreographers from all over the planet, traveling across the world, meeting new people, and dancing with the other company members.
“We are genuinely infatuated with each other,” she said. “We are a family, we fight like family, we love hard, we support each other, and we want each other to grow.”
Berube said her goal for the show is to make eye contact with every single dancer and connect with the audience, as well. She wants audience members to feel excitement and love as they watch the program.
As for future Giordano Dance Chicago company members, Berube had a simple message.
“My favorite quote is, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone, and if you want to go far, go together,’” she said. “It’s great to be an individual, but if you don’t have each other, I don’t think you can grow as much.”
Tickets can be purchased here. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. June 10.