From 2007’s New Dances


"It’s like opening a gift," says Melissa Thodos of her contemporary dance troupe Thodos Dance Chicago’s eighth annual showcase, New Dances. We say it’s more like listening to a fabulous new playlist for the first time—with the music come to life.

A collection of dances handcrafted by the company’s own emerging choreographers as well as guests, this year’s program features a soundtrack ranging from Icelandic folk-pop group Sigur Rós to minimalist composer Michael Nyman to rock icons Led Zeppelin. Of special note: the world premiere of choreographer Zachary Whittenburg’s Beach House, inspired by the ghostly pop of the eponymous chart-climbing Baltimore duo. Whittenburg hopes to capture the dreamlike quality of the songs, which he compares to something heard "spilling out an open window at dusk." 

July 11, 12 at 8; July 13 at 5. $35, D. Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N Dearborn. 312-266-6255.

Photography: Cheryl Mann