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Ballet Chicago with Simone Messmer preview 4/27/19 & Harris Theater 5/11/19

Jack Reed

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The remaining preview is at 5:00 tomorrow in their studios at 17 N. State Street in Chicago; the shows are on Saturday May 11 at 2:00 and 7:30 in the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Street, in Millennium Park.  Here's a link to a little bit about the show:


I've written a little here previously about B.C. and in the forums devoted to single companies farther down the board.  Technically, they are a Balanchine-oriented school drawing students from across the country and placing them in companies across the country (and the oceans) which has a top echelon of "pre-professional" students, dancers who appear in a few shows a year; others argue they look "young professional".  

On some occasions, they will include a guest, either as performer or teacher or both; though this is the exception among their performers, it's a fact worth mentioning this Spring, although I can't say who she is.   

The preview is free, but it's best to RSVP:


Edited by Jack Reed
adding link to RSVP & Messmer's name
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Simone Messmer and Jordan Nelson to perform in Concerto Barocco

In this year's performances, guest dancer Simone Messmer will reprise her performance in Balanchine's Concerto Barocco seen here when she danced as a principal with MCB in the Harris Theater on November 9, 2018.   Messmer has previously been a soloist with ABT and then with SFB before moving on to MCB as a principal dancer.  

Not only does Ballet Chicago occasionally cast a guest or two, it also casts alumni.  Messmer's partner will be an alumnus of Ballet Chicago, Jordan Nelson, currently with St. Louis Ballet (which does not list its twenty-one dancers by rank).  I had considerable pleasure watching this pair perform in BC's "Sneak Previews" on April 26 and 27 :  Well matched, they dance to large effect, clear and strong, without affectation or exaggeration.  And as far as I can tell, he gives her everything she needs.

What attracts me about the dancing I see when I watch the Ballet Chicago Studio Company is their engagement.  Their dancers are secure in their moves, but beyond that, they are continuing to explore how their moves fit their sounds, their music.  

Ballet Chicago being a school, an exceptional Balanchine-oriented one, drawing students from outside the area and outside the country sometimes, this is almost guaranteed among the dancers, for whom the ballets are new, but it's true among the faculty, too:  At the second of these previews, artistic director Dan Duell, speaking of this program's repertory, all revivals - or nearly - from different past programs, said that they are showing revivals rather than all new repertory this year because they continually make discoveries in these ballets.  



Edited by Jack Reed
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