Giordano Dance Chicago kicked off its 51st season with a fresh cup of joe - err, "JOLT," the two-year-old repertoire piece that depicts the daily grind, from the dancers' deep slumber and morning alarm to that feeling you get after a third cup of coffee.
I love that piece and have seen it before, along with the gripping duet "Gravity" and the all-male "Like 100 Men," all great works by Chicago's favorite jazz dance company. The real show-stealer, however, came in the form of 10 dancers and 26 a capella singers.
The world premiere of "Mist," choreographed by Autumn Eckman, paid tribute to longtime Giordano supporter and Chicago businessman Kevin Flynn. Flynn passed away last year in a tragic bike accident near his vacation home at the age of 46. If you're not crying already, hang on.
"Mist" starts out with dancers in pairs on the right side of the stage and the amazing, mostly a capella chorus group Bella Voce on the left side of the stage. For this piece, Bella Voce incorporated a number of sounds (chimes, bells etc.). The live chamber chorus took a minute or two to get used to - particularly their presence on stage with the dancers - but resulted in an extraordinarily calming effect. Eckman's choreography combined with the soothing sounds of the chorus made the tribute about lightness and letting go. The final duet with Maeghan McHale and Joshua Blake Carter was nothing short of perfect.