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The best things to do in Chicago this month,
selected by our culture criticsFebruary 2016

Avant Garde, Ballet, Modern

Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler
Hamburg Ballet performs Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler Photo: Holger Badekow


2/26 at 7 DanceWorks Chicago’s popular “open-mike night” is an informal way for three randomly selected choreographers to show 15 minutes of work followed by a moderated discussion in which artists and audiences engage in a conversation about what they have seen. $3 donation. Lou Conte Dance Studios, 1147 W. Jackson. danceworkschicago.org


2/23–24, 26–27 A year after an electrical fire forced the cancellation its performance, the German company returns to the Harris Theater for two pieces by American-born director and chief choreographer John Neumeier, including Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler, long considered one of Neumeier’s most important works. $35–$125. Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph. harristheaterchicago.org



2/10–21 Per tradition, the Joffrey dedicates its February program to contemporary works. Under the title Bold Moves, this season’s mix includes a world premiere from former Scottish Ballet director Ashley Page and Yuri Possokhov’s stunning Japanese-inspired RAkU. $32–$170. Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress. auditoriumtheatre.org



2/4–7 Created over a year and through the support of a grant from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, Buffer Overrun is an evening-length work from Krebs, a contemporary choreographer inspired by the post World War II Japanese dance form of butoh. $10–$15. Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph. gingerkrebs.com


2/19–3/4 One of the highlights of this festival mounted by Links Hall and DCASE is award-winning choreographer Dana Michel. She’ll perform Yellow Towel, a piece that explores black stereotypes and was heralded by The New York Times as one of the most remarkable performances at the 2014 American Realness festival. Free. Multiple venues. cityofchicago.org


2/19–28 The theatrical contemporary dance group presents The Great and Terrible Doctor Faustus, an adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s mystical story of a scholar-turned-magician who bargains with the devil. This version will require you to move around the century-old Athenaeum Theatre, so bring comfortable shoes. $20–$30. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. athenaeumtheatre.org


2/20 at 7:30 In a Chicago-inspired program, the contemporary dance company presents world premieres by guest choreographers Kevin Iega Jeff and Robyn Mineko Williams. Artistic director Melissa Thodos will also premiere an exploration of her roots in Chicago’s Greek community with Thio Kosmos. $28–$68. North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie, Skokie. northshorecenter.org


2/18–20 Trumpeter John Coltrane serves as inspiration for Walking with ’Trane, a suite of dances created by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar for the Brooklyn contemporary company dedicated to stories from the African diaspora. Grammy-winning pianist George Caldwell provides accompaniment. $24–$30. Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, 1306 S. Michigan. colum.edu/dance-center


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