Giordano Dance Chicago explores boundaries of jazz

After the billowing red curtains parted in Wadsworth Auditorium on Saturday Nov. 9, Giordano Dance Chicago swept the stage, impressing the audience with a captivating and dynamic performance. Giordano Dance Chicago is an American jazz dance company stationed in downtown Chicago. The company is known for its high-impact and high-energy artistry throughout the world, redefining the boundaries of jazz. Limelight & Accents brought Giordano Dance Chicago to campus as a part of its 2013-2014 Performing Arts Series.

The company began the night with “Alegría,” choreographed by Kiesha Lalama in 2011. This piece included the entire company, bursting through space wearing red costumes that highlighted everyone’s perfected movements.

For its second piece, the company returned for a smaller group number titled “Commonthread,” choreographed by Autumn Eckman in 2009. This dance took a different stylistic turn from the first piece, exemplifying a more contemporary feel.

The entire company returned for the third piece of the first act, performing in a 2013 piece by Roni Koresh called “Exit 4.” Unlike the other pieces in the show, this dance was separated into four different sections. Each section seamlessly transitioned into the next section, with all the parts making one whole.

The dance involved a mysterious but intriguing narrative interwoven into music and movements. The dancers chanted and screamed, speaking to ideas of conformity and contemporary romance.

After intermission, the lights dimmed and the audience hushed once more, as the entire company returned to the stage for a 2009 piece titled “Give and Take,” choreographed by Brock Clawson. This piece focused on partner work, showing the reliance and trust built among the dancers. The dancers wore dynamic yet classic gray and red costumes. This piece showcased the strength and power of the dancers.

Sticking with the partner theme but breaking away stylistically, the fifth piece of the evening showcased two dancers in a 2011 piece called “Alloy,” another by Eckman. This dance seemed to be a favorite of the night, with thunderous applause and comments throughout the auditorium. The two dancers exhibited their brilliant lines and skill while performing to classical music by Beethoven and Mendelssohn. Their chemistry and unique partner choreography, including some extremely difficult and visually powerful holds, was enthralling.

For the final piece of the night, the entire company joined together one last time for a fun dance piece with a Hispanic flair, choreographed by Liz Imperio in 2009, titled “La Belleza de Cuba” or “The Beauty of Cuba.” The choreography combined traditional music and dance movements of Cuba with modern-day jazz. The company dressed in bright blue hues with the females in flowing dresses and the males in bowler hats.

One dancer dropped his hat partway through the piece but wowed the audience when he expertly picked his hat up with the tip of his foot, causing the mishap to simply look like a part of the choreography.

Giordano Dance Company amazed the crowd of both students and community members and received a lengthy standing ovation.