crowd-pleasing 22-member ensemble incorporates a range of dance traditions, fr om
Kevin O'Day to Twyla Tharp, who has chor eographed pieces ex clusively for H ubbard
Street. Although the troupe spends most of the y ear touring, it has regular 2- to 3-week
Chicago engagements in the fall and spring. In the summer the dancers often perform at
Ravinia Festival (p. 21). Office: 1147 W. Jackson Blv d. & 312/850-9744. www.hubbardstreet
dance.com. Tickets $20-$75.
Joffrey Ballet of Chicago Ages 10 & up. Now based in its own, brand-new home
at 10 E. Randolph S t. (at State St.), the Joffrey is committed to the classic wor ks of the
20th century (all performances take place at the A uditorium Theatre; the Joffrey Tower
is the location for rehearsals and training, although a box office is also found on-site). Its
repertoire extends fr om the ballets of Arpino, R obert Joffrey, Balanchine, and J erome
Robbins to the cutting-edge wor ks of Alonz o King and Chicago chor eographer Randy
Duncan. The J offrey continues to draw cr owds to its popular r ock ballet, Billboards,
which is set to the music of Prince, and tours internationally. The company is usually in
town in the spring (M ar or A pr), fall (S ept or O ct), and D ecember, when it stages its
popular rendition of the holiday favorite The Nutcracker. 10 E. Randolph St. & 312/739-0120.
www.joffrey.com. Tickets $25-$135.
Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago Ages 8 & up. The tribal costumes, drumming,
and energetic moves of this widely touring group, which focuses on both traditional and
contemporary African and African-American dance, are always a hit with audiences. The
company per forms in to wn sev eral times a y ear, at the H arris Theater for M usic and
Dance in December and in spring (Apr or May). Office: 6800 S. Wentworth Ave. & 773/602-
1135. www.muntu.com. Tickets $25-$50.
River Nor th Dance Company Ages 10 & up. Chicago can be a br utal testing
ground for start-up dance companies, which hav e to struggle to find performance space
and grab publicity. But the odds didn 't buckle the w ell-oiled knees of the Riv er North
Dance Company. This terrifically talented jazz dance ensemble per forms pr ograms of
short, Broadway-style numbers b y established and emerging chor eographers. You never
know where they'll pop up next, so call for information on upcoming shows. Office: 1016
N. Dearborn St. & 312/944-2888. www.rivernorthchicago.com. Tickets $25-$30.
7 PUPPET SHOWS
Redmoon Theater Finds Ages 10 & up. Redmoon Theater might well be the most
intriguing and visionar y theater company in Chicago . Founded in 1990, the company
produces “spectacle theater,” comprising masks, objects, and an international range of
puppetry styles in indoor and outdoor v enues around town—including, at least once a
year lately, in Steppenwolf Theatre's studio space. Utterly hypnotic, highly acrobatic and
visceral, and using minimal narration, their adaptations of M elville's Moby Dick, Mary
Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Rachel's Love, an
original work based on Jewish folk tales, were revelations that have earned the company
an ardent and burgeoning following. Every September, Redmoon presents a “spectacle,”
transforming a public park into a site for performance art, larger-than-life puppet shows,
and dramatic visual effects. Office at 1438 W. Kinzie St. & 312/850-8440. www.redmoon.org.