Best Chicago dance premieres
The top ten Chicago-made dances of the aughties.
1. Extremely Close by Alejandro Cerrudo, Harris Theater (2008). Cerrudo’s feather-filled piece is a dream from which we didn’t want to wake.
2. third Swan from the end by Darrell Jones, Galaxie (2007). Voguing never felt so triumphant and universal.
3. My Name Is a Blackbird by Molly Shanahan, the Building Stage (2007). On her own, the choreographer took the biggest risks of her career. The effort paid off.
4. Train by Robert Battle, Harris Theater (2008). A lot of dances are described as high-energy, but most can’t match Battle’s assault.
5. Endplay by Julia Rhoads, Athenaeum Theatre (2003). Rhoads took a short Samuel Beckett play for a ride and never looked back.
6. It’s Aching Like Birds by Goat Island Performance Group (2001). This film was mostly shot indoors, but Goat Island’s piece felt like a drive in the country.
7. DryLand by Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts, Ruth Page Center for the Arts (2003). Sheldon B. Smith and Lisa Wymore’s multimedia opus internalized the Great American West.
8. Nube Blanco by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Harris Theater (2009). We hope Ochoa’s brilliant first creation for Luna Negra Dance Theater wasn’t her last.
9. The Sky Hangs Down Too Close by Peter Carpenter, Galaxie (2008). How do you turn a Brecht play about lumber and prostitutes into a dance-theater piece? Squeeze it until it turns into a diamond.
10. GIANT FIX by Carrie Hanson, Hamlin Park Pool (2005). It was a bold move to stage a world premiere in an empty swimming pool—in October, no less—but Hanson’s vision was well worth the shivers.