The fifty-five year journey of Giordano Dance Chicago is such a compelling story, such a convincing accomplishment in the world of dance, that it’s easy to think about that first when you hear about the Company’s upcoming Summer Series. That’s only natural, because in a world where very, very few dance companies can prosper for even a couple of decades, Giordano Dance just keeps bringing it; they never falter, they never fail.
The reason Giordano Dance can keep bringing it year after year, decade after decade, is because they’re always bringing so much that’s so new. Their Summer Series at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre on June 9th is a gleaming example of that; the Company will perform works by Ray Mercer, Joshua Blake Carter, Ray Leeper and Christopher Huggins in a multichromatic display of contemporary voices in choreography.
Even the two legendary works by Giordano’s founder, Gus Giordano, represent what is new as much as they do what is classic. Giordano Moves has been restaged by Artistic Director Nan Giordano, and when Cesar G. Salinas returns to the stage to perform Gus Giordano’s classic Wings, the Auditorium Theatre audience will be seeing an artist who in many ways embodies the new legacy of Giordano Dance Chicago. It’s a legacy that somehow has always managed to include and embrace the artistic voice and journey of the many artists who have always brought their own creativity to what, when it’s all put together, makes Giordano Dance Chicago what it is.
Nan Giordano, Artistic Director of GDC, wanted to pay homage to jazz dance and the many veins that represent the diversity of the art form.
We asked Cesar Salinas to give us a little closer look at the performance, and here’s what he told us:
Johnny Nevin: The program for Giordano Dance Chicago’s Summer Series at The Auditorium looks really impressive — what will be seeing from this famous Company on that famous stage?
Cesar G. Salinas: This show is a one-of-a-kind as Nan Giordano, Artistic Director of GDC, wanted to pay homage to jazz dance and the many veins that represent the diversity of the art form. You will see two works by Founder, Gus Giordano: Giordano Moves performed by the full company and Wings, which I am coming out of retirement to perform. Also on the program is Ray Mercer’s edge-of- your seat piece Tossed Around, Joshua Blake Carter’s suave all-male work Take A Gambol, Ray Leeper’s steamy Broadway jazz thriller Feelin’ Good Sweet, and Christopher Huggins’ crowd pleasing closer, Pyrokinesis.
By the end I have arrived to the gates of heaven and feel clouds all around me, prepared to be free, to fly.
Johnny: Can you tell us the story behind Gus Giordano’s legendary work Wings?
Cesar: In Wings, the dancer represents the voice of the afterlife; what happens to us once our spiritual being leaves the physical body. The music drives the dancer as The Bourné Family sings “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” This work leaves you exhausted at the end [as a dancer] as every phrase demands the strictest mastery of the Giordano Technique. The marriage both musically and choreographically offers a journey that landscapes an ethereal and emotional connection.
For me, the beginning of the work feels like I am slowly running through wheat fields. I put myself in this rustic, coarse, and dry, yet serene and divine place. The middle represents the preparation of flight with feeling your wings begin to transition you to the afterlife. By the end I have arrived to the gates of heaven and feel clouds all around me, prepared to be free, to fly. When the last word “Amen” is sung I have arrived with nothing more to give.
Giordano Dance Chicago will present their Summer Series in one performance only, at 7:30pm on Saturday, June 9, 2018, at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre. Tickets are available online from The Auditorium.