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Performance: 'Best of Dance'
Myra Eder, The Star - Orland Park

February 1, 2007

Orland Park kicked up its heels last Saturday and danced all night. Well, for two hours anyway. Tap, hip-hop, ballet, modern, jazz, Spanish ballroom flashed across the stage as Best of Dance Chicago returned for its fourth year in a row.

With enthusiastic support from villagers and elected officials, the Orland Park Arts Commission, under the leadership of Colleen Panega, packed the Sandburg High School Performing Arts Center for the dance concert featuring top companies from throughout the region.

Hip Hop ConnXion, a young troupe featured in a 2006 Firstlook feature, opened the show with enough energy to power the stage lights.

Hip-hoppers popped, froze and kept their bodies rhythmically following the complex choreography by Suave. Audience intensity was high when Hip Hop ConnXion left the stage.

Those who developed the art of tap dancing over the decades would have been ecstatic to see the next act, a cappella dance performance by the phenomenal Chicago Tap Theatre.

Chicago Ballet company members danced on pointe to a driving instrumental version of the Beatles "Revolution" by Kronos Quartet. Although this reviewer did not care for the music, the choreography and its execution were compelling.

One hardly thinks of park districts and high schools when professional dance is involved but the award-winning Bolingbrook Park District Danceforce, as well as Sandburg's own Orchesis Dance Troupe, brought youthful bravado and talent to the stage. Everyone of these young dancers should go forward in performance arts.

Live music by Stone has to be seen and heard to be believed. This guy plays several instruments at once -- with tremendous coordination and musical talent.

The elegant, exotic SurTaal Dance Company, Stick and Move Dance Crew, Choreography by Eddy Ocampo, Cerqua Riveral Dance Theatre, Culture Shock Chicago, Chicago Latin & Ballroom Dance, Tre with M.A.D.D. Rhythms and Inaside Chicago Dance kept the show moving with charisma, electricity and huge amounts of talent and hard work.

Hopefully 2008 will find Best of Dance Chicago back in town for another stellar show.


© Copyright 2007 Sun-Times News Group

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