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Giordano Dance Company moves into new mode

For its 50th anniversary season, the dance company founded by Gus Giordano, the legendary jazz dance master long based in Chicago — which, for many years, has been overseen by his daughter, artistic director Nan Giordano — will be making many changes.

For a start, it will be tweaking its name. The company — called Dance Incorporated Chicago when it was founded in 1963, and, since 1996 has been known as Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, will now simply be called Giordano Dance Chicago. And it is getting a new logo and website to match.

The company, which has undergone significant reorganization since the death of Gus Giordano in 2008, also is getting a new address — moving from its former base in Evanston to the heart of the Loop, where it will become one of the resident companies of the Collaborative Space for Sustainable Development in the Fine Arts Building at 410 S. Michigan.

The complex of three rehearsal studios there (still being readied) will also be shared with Lane Alexander’s Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Kalapriya (the Indian dance troupe), Luna Negra Dance Theatre and other companies, with a variety of dances classes eventually being offered. The Giordano company’s offices will be in another South Michigan Avenue building nearby.

“Out of several years of adversity came a new strength, thanks to great support from the larger dance community here,” said Nan Giordano. “And being downtown for the first time in our history is really exciting for us.”

Along with all the changes, some things will remain the same, including the troupe’s fall and spring performance seasons at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance (with one additional performance now added to the spring lineup, as well as an “Eat-to-the-Beat” show). The company also will continue with its extensive touring schedule and outreach programs. With a budget of close to $1 million, it will maintain its principal roster of 10 dancers, along with two additional “performance associates” and a “backup” group of five dancers-in-training.

In August, the company will make its first appearance with the Chicago Dancing Festival, performing a new pas de deux created for it by Alexander Ekman, a Swedish-born dancer who began choreographing while part of Nederlands Dans Theater II, and has since become a hot property internationally.

Three additional new works will be created for the 2012-2013 season, including pieces by Christopher Huggins (whose “Pyrokinesis” is a Giordano rep favorite); Autumn Eckman, an artistic associate with the company; and Liz Imperio, a hugely successful commercial choreographer who had strong ties with Gus Giordano, and has staged work for Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan and Madonna.



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