Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Doug Varone and Dancers returns to Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, 1306 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, for an evening of repertoire February 8–10.
Bringing his company to the Dance Center for the first time since 2001, Varone makes a rare onstage appearance performing two solos that span his company’s history. In 1987 he created a solo, set to Chopin’s Nocturne #8 in D-flat Major, Op. 27, No. 2, that explored the blur between pedestrian movement and pure dance and set in motion a vocabulary and style Varone has been mining ever since. Thirty years later, he choreographed its companion solo to Chopin’s Nocturne in E minor, Op. 72, which premiered with its original at Jacob’s Pillow this past summer. His performances of these two works thus serve as a look back at his company’s origins and a look ahead to where the company is going.
The program also includes revivals of Varone classics and more recent works. Boats Leaving (2006), with music by Arvo Pärt, concerns community and an unfailing faith in the triumph of the human spirit, sharing a universal message that crosses diverse boundaries, languages and cultures and creating dialogues that embrace our similarities rather than our differences. Lux (2006), with music by Philip Glass, is “what dancing really feels like…sates you with dancing, but you’re still reluctant to leave the feast,” according to The Washington Post. The duet “folded,” which examines the fragile and precarious nature of intimacy to music by Julia Wolfe, is an excerpt from a cycle of five episodic vignettes, in the shelter of the fold (2016), that explore the many forms of faith and belief, as well as the acts of coping, realization, choice and the expectations attached to them.
For more than 30 years, Doug Varone and Dancers has devoted itself to the humanity and virtuosity of dance, reaching out to audiences well beyond the proscenium arch. The company believes this philosophy has contributed to its longevity, earning the reputation as one of the most respected dance companies working today. The recipient of 11 Bessie Awards, the company has toured to more than 125 cities in 45 states across the U.S. and in Europe, Asia, Canada and South America. Award-winning choreographer and director Doug Varone works in dance, theatre, opera, film and fashion. He is a passionate educator and articulate advocate for dance. His work is known for its emotional range, kinetic breadth and the diversity of genres in which he works.
There is a post-performance conversation with the artists Thursday, February 8, free to ticket holders. Additional residency activities with community partners and Columbia College Chicago students take place throughout the week leading up to the performance weekend.
February 8, 9 and 10 7:30 PM
The Dance Center of Columbia College
1306 South Michigan