Dance St. Louis and Edison Theatre OVATIONS! Series to present River North Chicago Dance Company Jan. 21-23

*Note: This event replaces a previously scheduled concert by Les Ballets jazz de Montréal.*

The River North Chicago Dance Company, the eclectic, 13-member ensemble known for packing concerts with short, engaging works by contemporary choreographers, will return to Washington University’s Edison Theatre for a trio of performances Jan. 21-23.

River North Chicago Dance Company
“5 Easy Lessons,” choreographed by Harrison McEldowney.

Shows — sponsored by Dance St. Louis and the Edison Theatre OVATIONS! Series — begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 21 and 22, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23. Tickets are $28; $24 for seniors and Washington University faculty and staff; and $18 for students and children.

Tickets are available at the Edison Theatre box office, (314) 935-6543; the Dance St. Louis box office, (314) 534-6622; the Dance St. Louis Web site,; and through MetroTix, (314) 534-1111.

Edison Theatre is located in the Mallinckrodt Student Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd. The Dance St. Louis box office is located at 634 N. Grand Ave.

For more information, call (314) 935-6543.

Calendar Summary

WHO: River North Chicago Dance Company

WHAT: Dance concert

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 21 and 22; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23

WHERE: Edison Theatre, Washington University, Mallinckrodt Student Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd.

TICKETS: $28. Available through the Edison Theatre Box Office, (314) 935-6543, Dance St. Louis, (314) 534-6622, and all MetroTix outlets

SPONSOR: Dance St. Louis and the Edison Theatre OVATIONS! Series

Founded in 1989 by Mark Dow, Karen Frankel Jones, Ronna Kaye and Julie Burman, River North Chicago began as a homespun, no-budget grass-roots dance troupe whose repertoire consisted mainly of works by local choreographers. Pieces tended to be short because the dancers could practice for only a few hours each week. Yet what was born of necessity soon evolved into a company trademark, with programs typically featuring eight or 10 works, rather than the more traditional three or four.

Over the last 15 years, River North — under artistic director Frank Chaves and artistic director emeritus Sherry Zunker — has evolved into one of the Midwest’s finest professional touring companies.

The 1995 season was a particular turning point: bookings almost tripled over the year before and the troupe was the subject of a half-hour documentary, Reality of a Dreamer (1993), which garnered two local Emmy Award’s for Chicago’s WTTW/Channel 11 before national broadcast on PBS. A second, hour-long documentary, River North Rising, premiered in 1999.

At the same time, River North has developed a core repertoire that today ranges from jazz dance to modern, and includes works by Zunker and Chaves as well as pieces by Paul Christiano, Randy Duncan, Daniel Ezralow, Ginger Farley, Kevin Iega Jeff, Harrison McEldowney, Ashley Roland, Margo Sappington and Sam Watson.

Monique Haley
Dancer Monique Haley

At Edison Theatre (which previously hosted River North in 2002 ) the program will include Zunker’s A Mi Manera (2001); Chaves’ Grusin Suite (1996) and The Mourning (2003); and their collaborative The Sweetest Sounds – A Tribute to Richard Rodgers (2003). Other works include McEldowney’s The Box (2002) and 5 Easy Lessons (2003); Duncan’s Lean on Me (1994); and Roland’s structured improvisation Beat (2001)

For more information about River North Chicago, visit

Edison Theatre’s OVATIONS! Series serves both Washington University and the St. Louis community by providing the highest caliber national and international artists in music, dance and theatre, performing new works as well as innovative interpretations of classical material not otherwise seen in St. Louis. Focusing on presentations that are interdisciplinary, multicultural and/or experimental, Edison Theatre presents work intended to challenge, educate and inspire. Edison Theatre events are supported by the Missouri Arts Council and the Regional Arts Commission.

Dance St. Louis brings great dance of the world to St. Louis audiences. Dance St. Louis is a funded member of the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis, and receives support from the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds, the Regional Arts Commission, the Missouri Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources.

River North Chicago Dance Company
Jessica Wolfrum and Joseph Caruana in “The Mourning,” choreographed by artistic director Frank Chaves.