Hedwig Dance’s “One Grand Dance” Review – Marking 30th Anniversary

Dancers (l to r): Odbayar Batsuuri, Edson Cabrera and Victor Alexander


Lucky for Chicagoans, we have many dance troupes that call the city their home. 



Only Hedwig Dances however has the distinction of a two-decade stint as the Dance Company in Residence at the Chicago Cultural Center.  There and at other well-established dance venues in Chicago, Hedwig Dances has logged more than 1500 performances. 




The hometown roots of Hedwig Dances seemed apparent at the first night of their 30th Anniversary performance, “One Grand Dance”, at the Athenaeum Theater. 



Company founder Jan Bartoszek seemed to have a personal word for many in the audience, before the show began and during intermission.  



Though this is a group that has traveled abroad a good deal, and most notably to collaborations in Cuba where many of its dancers originally hail from, last night the performers clearly could bank on a hometown advantage.


The program opened with a debut piece, “Bangweulu” choreographed by Edson Cabrera.  This was a lamentation on relationships, built by sewing three duets together. 


After intermission “One Grand Dance” used a set of two moveable walls to frame five of choreographer Jan Bartoszek’s history works drawn from the decades, including: 
“Waltz #3”; “I Depend on Tango”; “Sweet Baby, Baby Suite”; “Ache of the Arc”; and “Polka”. 


Both Bartoszek’s and Cabrera’s choreography heavily favor vertical or horizontal sculpture like configurations in duets. 



The interaction of the dancers with a soft sculpture doll is immediately endearing.  Bright lights against two walls configured in a 45 degree angle enabled a duet to seem at times like a dancing crowd.   These and other signatures of Hedwig Dances choreography make it a good night for Hedwig Dances fans.


Second performance is tonight, May 16, 7:30 PM

Athenaeum Theatre

2936 N. Southport



For tickets and information visit the Hedwig Dances website or call the Athenaeum box office at 773 935 6860.




Photos:  Eileen Ryan Photography, unless otherwise indicated




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