Tenuous as it might seem, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s relationship with Chicago has certainly packed a wallop. The ballet-superstar-turned-contemporary-dance-advocate has repeatedly dipped his sublimely arched feet into the city’s avant-garde scene, creating waves in unexpected places. In advance of his return to the Harris, we follow the ripples.
1. Baryshnikov and his White Oak Dance Project were among the first performers at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago in 2000.
2. At the center, Baryshnikov shared the spotlight with an ensemble of local experimental artists, including Asimina Chremos.
3. Chremos, a much admired innovator, has taught at the Lou Conte Dance Studio, home of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, where Aszure Barton—an artist-in-residence at New York’s Baryshnikov Arts Center—won a choreography competition in 2003.
4. In 2007 Baryshnikov danced a challenging piece by Barton in a program at the Harris Theater. The performance brought down the house.
5. Now a headliner in her own right, Barton’s troupe performed as part of the blockbuster Chicago Dancing Festival at the Harris in August.
6. Back at the Harris in September, Baryshnikov tackles the witty, cerebral choreography of the Swedish-born Mats Ek, a frequent collaborator with Nederlands Dans Theater, the new home of Jim Vincent, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s artistic director emeritus.
GO: Mikhail Baryshnikov in Three Solos and a Duet. Sep 25, 26 at 7:30; Sep 27 at 3. $55-$75. Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph. harristheaterchicago.org
Photograph: Julieta Cervantes