I just returned from 48 hours in Chicago immersed in dance. It was nice to escape St. Louis and surround myself with individuals that do what we do to share ideas, compare notes and view work with different eyes.
Compagnie Käfig and The Joffrey Ballet were the two major attractions I saw and each, with a different point of view, was exciting. Compagnie Käfig with its sophisticated Hip Hop based language surprised everyone, especially with their work AGWA. The Joffrey Ballet, following in the tradition of their founders, Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino with Ashley Wheater pushing the envelope, presented three varied and exciting works. Each piece had its appeal to me, one more than the others, but what was fascinating to appreciate was the versatility and commitment of the dancers to all these new works. The audience was also taken by it all.
I also saw part of a Master Class by Kyle Abrahams, a distinct new voice in the dance world. He is a charming and talented young man which we hope to bring to St. Louis to create on our companies. I could not stay for the entire thing as I had scheduled myself too tight, but I understand that what I missed was superb.
Conversations with Julie Nakagawa and Andreas Böttcher of DanceWorks Chicago and Liz Silverstein of Siegel Artist Management, made for heated discussions, lots of laughs, and a greater understanding of the art form, reassuring us all that we are in the right place doing the right thing.
So, scarf around my neck, hat on my head, and gloves on my hands, I braved the cold wind of Chicago on Sunday morning. I stood on the platform waiting for the Orange Line to take me to Midway so Southwest Airlines could get me to St. Louis, where the excitement of what is to happen this weekend began to build.
DIAVOLO, having just returned from an incredibly successful tour of Australia, is about to burst into town. Their creativity, physicality, and vibrancy will rock us all I can’t wait! Hope you will join us Friday, February 28th and Saturday, March 1st at the Touhill.