Dance review: Giordano Dance Chicago

High energy, athletics, vivid spirit and dedication on display.

(photo credit: GORMAN COOK)
Founded by Gus Giordano in the late fifties as a jazz company, Giordano Dance shifted through the years and became a repertoire company when strictly jazz-based dance became an obsolete art form.
The Giordano Dance Company opened its door to a line of choreographers, yet retained through the dancers’ bodies echoes of the old schooling. Though the evening included six choreographic works by different makers, there were common denominators in their performance skills, which affect the company’s true versatility and options by trying to preserve the notions of its original founder.
The company’s capabilities are basically satisfying, though not outstanding, and their strong points include high energy, athletics, vivid spirit, and dedication.
Perhaps the most impressive piece was choreographed by Israeli-born Roni Koresh, founder of his own company in Philadelphia. His demanding Exit 4 is high-voltage work, which challenged the dancers.
It was interesting to see flashing references to Israeli dance works zealously performed by the Chicago group. One of the more interesting pieces of the evening, Like a Hundred Men (2002) choreographed by Jon Lehrer, drew attention with its sleek presence of five male dancers and captivating music by refined jazz musician Johnny Frigo. This piece retains the old school jazz-style dancing, in direct form. It is dated, for sure, but at least it knows where it is coming from and going, culturally.
All in all, Giordano Dance reflects the mainstream belt of American dance, with expected choices and conservative paths, and it often succumbs to entertainment horizons suited to audiences that grew up on mass media.