Contact: Erica Lee, Marketing
New Orleans Ballet Association & The NOCCA Institute
Hot and Cool Jazz with
River North Chicago Dance Company
“River North Chicago sizzled like ice droplets on a hot skillet.” The Arizona Republic
“River North is unabashedly, unashamedly entertaining…attracting big, wildly appreciative audiences.” Chicago Sun Times
The New Orleans Ballet Association and The NOCCA Institute are pleased to co-present the high-powered contemporary jazz company, River North Chicago Dance Company, Friday and Saturday, February 29 & March 1, 8 p.m. at NOCCA | Riverfront’s Freda Lupin Memorial Hall.
Under the artistic direction of Cuban-born choreographer and former Hubbard Street dancer, Frank Chaves, River North Chicago carries on the great Chicago jazz dance tradition. From its inception in 1989, the company’s tremendous popularity has catapulted it to the status of one the most vibrant and nationally recognized dance companies. Thrilling audience nationwide with a theatrical show-stopping performance style, this sleek, sassy ensemble makes its New Orleans debut with a program of thought-provoking, uplifting and entertaining dance. The 12 member ensemble “displays impeccable technique and a bravura performing style and is surrounded by superb production values, including beautifully designed costumes and artful lighting” Chicago Sun Times.
General Admission tickets are $30. Discounts are available for students, NOBA subscribers and NOCCA Institute members. For tickets or more information, call the New Orleans Ballet Association Box Office at (504) 522-0996 or online at www.nobadance.com. NOCCA | Riverfront’s Freda Lupin Memorial Hall is located at 2800 Chartres Street.
River North Chicago Dance brings a tailor-made program of seven works by today’s hottest dance makers including Robert Battle, Julia Rhoads, Ashley Roland, Lauri Stallings and the company’s artistic director Frank Chaves. The performances feature three works by Chaves including Habaneras, the Music of Cuba set to the celebrated music of Cuba’s most popular composers Ernesto Lecuona, Carlos Puebla and Silvio Rodriguez. Chaves pays tribute to his Cuban roots with this colorful full-company work. His inventive Take a Seat features the company’s men in a whimsical look at the relationship between people and chairs while The Mourning is a sophisticated and romantic duet set to contemporary Russian music with haunting vocals by Bielka Nemirovski. Beat by former MOMIX artist and current co-director of Portland’s Body Vox, Ashley Roland, is a heart-pounding and percussive improvised solo. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago alumna Lauri Stallings’ fierce and highly locomotive work, Ahimsa, opens the evening and features the entire company. The program also includes two brand new works to the River North repertoire; Train by Robert Battle, artistic director of New York-based Battleworks Dance Company and Between There by Julia Rhodes, artistic director of Chicago’s Lucky Plush Productions.
River North Chicago Dance Company in Residence
In addition to River North Chicago’s performances at NOCCA | Riverfront, the company will be in residence and work as artist educators in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Bernard parishes from February 25 - 28 as a part of NOBA’s Education Program. The company’s residency activities will include Street Beat – Dance Through the Decades young people’s performances, master classes and workshops that will reach over 5000 young people in the community. For more information about residency opportunities call (504) 522-0996 x. 203 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Street Beat – Dance Through the Decades - Young People’s Performances
Thursday, February 28 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
NOCCA | Riverfront’s Freda Lupin Memorial Hall, 2800 Chartres Street
River North Chicago Dance Company hand jives and hustles through history with its lively and informative program Street Beat- Dance Through the Decades. Street Beat teaches students about the historical and social conditions of the 20th century and how they influenced dance. Each decade from the Roaring 20’s and the Groovy 70’s to the Hip-Hoppin’ 90’s is introduced with a narrative that comments on major events, historical figures, popular music, and fashion. The dancers bring each decade to life with dance performances in true-to-times fashions including flapper dresses, poodle skirts and polyester. This performance program gives students a taste of a century of dance and features:
The 1920’s The Charleston
The 1930’s Ballroom
The 1940’s Jitterbug, Swing, Lindy Hop
The 1950’s Hand Jive
The 1960’s The Frug
The 1970’s The Hustle and the Bump
The 1980’s MTV/Street Dancing
The 1990’s Hip Hop
Community Jazz Master Class
Wednesday, February 27, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
NOCCA | Riverfront’s Third Floor Dance Studio, 2800 Chartres Street.
River North Chicago will offer a jazz master class taught by a company member. The hour and a half class will include warm-up, instruction on technique and combinations.
River North Chicago Dance Company is sponsored by Capital One. Media Sponsor is El Tiempo New Orleans. This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which believes that a great nation deserves great art; a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Arts Council of New Orleans (ACNO); a Community Arts Grant made possible through the City of New Orleans as administered by ACNO; a grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council through the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the NEA.
River North Chicago Dance Company History
Founded in 1989 by four visionary dancer/choreographers, River North Chicago has grown into a professional ensemble that performs at home in Chicago, tours nationally, and offers a contract period for its dancers that averages 38 weeks per season. Today, eighteen years after its founding, its works are created by choreographers with national and international reputations for excellence and innovation in many disciplines of dance. The Company has created a varied, eclectic, and entertaining repertoire that features a core of works by Frank Chaves and Sherry Zunker and the works of such choreographers as Daniel Ezralow, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Ashley Roland, Randy Duncan, Harrison McEldowney, Sam Watson, Ginger Farley, Robert Battle, Lauri Stallings and others. The works demonstrate depth and sophistication, yet what remains constant is the commitment to creating an accessible, enriching experience for audiences comprised of seasoned dance patrons as well as those having their first encounter with concert dance.
Frank Chaves, Artistic Director
Frank Chaves joined River North Chicago Dance Company in 1992 as a choreographer and, in 1994, became co-artistic director. In May 2001, Mr. Chaves assumed sole artistic directorship of River North Chicago. An international choreographer and teacher, Mr. Chaves has created numerous works for River North Chicago and other companies including Spectrum Dance Theatre, Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Point Park College for the Performing Arts, Barat Repertory Dance Company, Kaleidoscope Dancers, Pori Dance Company (Finland), and Ballet Pacifica's Choreographer's Workshop. Mr. Chaves' theatrical commissions include work for Steppenwolf Theatre and the Cleveland Playhouse. As a performer, Mr. Chaves has danced with Ballet Concerto of Miami, New York's Ballet Hispanico, Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, and six years with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2000, Mr. Chaves received a Ruth Page Dance Achievement Award for Mission, co-created with Sherry Zunker, Co-Artistic Director Emerita of River North Chicago, in honor of the Company's 10th anniversary. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Dance for Western Michigan University.