SAN MARCOS — The acclaimed River North Chicago Dance Company make its return to Texas State University-San Marcos with two shows Feb. 26 and 27 as part of University Performing Arts’ Encore Series.
The Feb. 26 show, “Street Beat--Dance Through the Decades,” begins at 7 p.m. The Feb. 27 show, a repertoire of classic River North dance selections, begins at 8 p.m., with Friends of Fine Arts and Communication hosting a pre-performance fundraiser dinner prior to the show. Both performances take place in Evans Auditorium on the Texas State campus. Free event parking is available on the first level of the Pleasant Street Garage on campus, located at the corner of North LBJ Drive and Pleasant Street. The performances are co-sponsored by Grande Communications with additional support by the Heartland Arts Fund, a program of the Mid-America Arts Alliance, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
“Street Beat” is designed specifically for youthful audiences, teaching about the historical and social conditions of the 20th century and how these influenced dance. Each decade from the Roaring 20s to the Groovy 70s through the Hip-Hoppin’ 90s is introduced with a narrative that comments on major events, historical figures, popular music and fashion.
River North’s repertoire show features the passionate, show-stopping style and theatrical, engaging contemporary jazz dance that makes River North one of the most successful national touring companies today. Opening with a five-piece selection, the dancers treat the audience to renditions of Thief (1993), At Last--Excerpt from Mission (1999), In the Oasis (2002), The Box (company premiere 2002) and Reality of a Dreamer (1993) before breaking for intermission. Following the break, the dancers return to perform the four-part Grusin Suite (1996), A Mi Manera (2001), the structured improvisation Beat (2001) and the finale, 5 Easy Lessons (world premiere 2003).
Over its 14-year history, River North has created a varied, eclectic, and entertaining repertoire that constantly challenges and enriches its dancers and audiences. The repertoire features a core of works by Frank Chaves and Sherry Zunker and the works of such choreographers as Randy Duncan, Daniel Ezralow, Ginger Farley, Kevin Iega Jeff, Harrison McEldowney, Ashley Roland, and Sam Watson. The company has produced two television documentaries in partnership with HMS Media: 1993’s Emmy-award winning Reality of A Dreamer and 1999’s hour-long River North Rising.
In May of 2001, Frank Chaves assumed sole artistic directorship of River North. From 1994-2001, Sherry Zunker and Frank Chaves served as co-artistic directors of the company; and this partnership shaped River North and its repertoire into the entertaining, engaging company that it is today. Zunker continues her work with the company through teaching and choreographing.
Advance ticket sales for both performances begin Feb. 16. Ticket prices are $2 for the Feb. 26 “Street Beat” show (general seating), with $1 group rate tickets available by calling the Events Coordinator at (512) 245-3501.
To purchase tickets for the Feb. 27 show at $10 for the general public and $5 for students, please call (512) 245-2204. The Evans Box Office will open at 5 p.m. the night of the performance, with all seats reserved.