Last Wednesday night Rhode Island College hosted River North Dance Chicago to kick off the 2011-2012 RIC Performing Arts Series, and the dance crew started the Series by blowing away the audience.
Specializing in a jazz-based contemporary style, River North Dance Chicago presented dynamic works that combined athletic prowess and artistic perspective with bold, theatrical flair. River Dance North Chicago was founded in 1989 and has grown to become an internationally acclaimed company that embodies a true flavor of “Americana” in its versatile repertoire.
The start of the show could only be described an explosion of music, lights, and dance to form a breathtaking Jazz piece to music by David Stewart and his Rock Fabulous Orchestra, mashed up with Annie Lennox’s “Sweet Dreams.” As soon as the first beat moved through the dancers, the entire audience was hooked. Even more captivating was dancer Ahmad Simmons who took the stage for a solo titled Beat. Barely moving from the center of the stage, he entranced the audience with every moment. After intermission the show didn’t lose any stride as they came back with a modern piece depicting business “robots” breaking free from a strict schedule and format. Ending the show was a six part piece dedicated to the movement and music of Cuba.
Under the artistic direction of Frank Chaves, River Dance North Chicago demonstrated a depth and sophistication along with a commitment to creating an accessible, enriching experience for audiences ranging from seasoned dance patrons to those having their first encounter with concert dance. Chaves aims for audiences to feel the complete spectrum of human emotions in a single evening, and leaves them feeling joyful and exhilarated at the end of each program. River North Dance has a varied, eclectic and powerful jazz-based contemporary repertoire which was definitely shown at full force at the Performing Arts Series debut.
River North Dance Chicago was a great way to kick off this year’s Performing Arts Series, but it’s just getting started. Be sure to be at Roberts Hall on October 19 when Tap Kids comes to perform. Made up of a cast of talented young dancers, Tap Kids takes tap dancing to new heights while telling the story of a group of teenagers coming to terms with love, graduation, and impending adulthood in this family-friendly celebration of American youth culture. Following Tap Kids is Compania Flamenco Jose Pocel from Seville, Spain. For more information on the Performing Arts Series and other shows happening at the Nazarian Center, check the Performing and Fine Arts tab on the RIC website of find information at the Roberts Hall Box Office.