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Dancers to perform and offer workshops
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River North Dance Chicago performs Havana Blue by Frank Chaves, 3 p.m., at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St.
TARPON SPRINGS - The nationally renowned dance company River North Dance Chicago is coming to the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center October 11 to 13.

Funded in part by a prestigious South Arts Dance Initiative Grant, the company presents two dance workshops, a lunch and learn event and a Museum talk that culminate in a performance on Sunday, October 13 at 3 p.m.

Highly skilled and emotive dancers, stimulating music, and bold, commanding choreography are the hallmarks of the jazz-based contemporary River North Dance Chicago, led by Artistic Director Frank Chaves.

Founded in 1989 by four visionary dancers/choreographers, the company has established itself as one of Chicago’s leading dance companies, and one of the most popular national repertory companies, receiving critical acclaim in the U.S. and internationally.

River North concerts include several works spanning a wide variety, offering performances enjoyed by seasoned dance patrons as well as those having their first experience with concert dance. Chaves aims for audiences to feel the complete spectrum of human emotions in a single evening, and leaves them feeling joyful and exhilarated at the end of each program.

Chaves strives to explore new types of dance to keep the mix new, but is careful to never let the company stray from its jazz roots.

"What we've still kept from jazz is that entertainment value. You don't just see it, you feel it,” said Chaves.

RNDC has toured extensively in Illinois, throughout the United States and, in 2008, embarked on its first European tour.

Events scheduled while the dancers are in town include:

• Friday, Oct. 11 - Lunch & Learn: Cuban Roots with Executive Director Gail Kalver at Heritage Museum, 100 Beekman Lane, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Talk begins at noon.

Note: Frank Chaves was originally scheduled but has since had emergency back surgery.

Cost is $15, $12 for members and students. Seating is limited. Ticket includes talk, catered box lunch and soft drink. Please call the Box Office in advance if you have special dietary needs.

• Friday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m. - Havana Blue Pre-performance Talk in the Challenge of Modern Art Gallery, at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, 600 Klosterman Road. Call 727-712-5762

In conjunction with Tomás Marais: Artist in Exile on view through Nov. 24, the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art on the St. Petersburg College campus, Tarpon Springs, is hosting a pre-performance talk for River North Dance Chicago.

Enjoy light refreshments and creative insights into Havana Blue, an Afro-Cuban inspired contemporary dance production by River North Dance Chicago. Members of this national repertory company discuss how Cuba influenced the production’s creation. The performance was choreographed by Frank Chaves to music written by Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Director Orbert Davis.

Free with museum admission.

• Saturday, Oct. 12 - Master Class for Dancers, 10 a.m., at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St.

Learn with River North Dance Chicago in a Master Classes taught by company members. Class

includes warm-up, instruction on technique and combinations. Classes are customized to the participants at various levels of ability in jazz, ballet, modern and partnering. Cost is $10.

• Saturday, Oct. 12 - Dance for Non-Dancers, 5 p.m., at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St.

River North Dance Chicago teaches movement specifically tailored for those who don’t have a dance background but would like to experience a dance class. Cost is $10.

• Sunday, Oct. 13 - River North Dance Chicago Repertory Performance of Havana Blue by Frank Chaves, 3 p.m., at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St.

Not a modern dance fan? This company will change your mind…fast! In a momentous collaboration, artistic director of River North Dance Chicago, Frank Chaves, and Chicago Jazz Philharmonic director Orbert Davis explore their shared Cuban/Afro-Caribbean roots for a vibrant world premiere of an original music score by Davis and choreography by Chaves, bringing the culture’s rich history to life in a contemporary way.

Cost is $30, $28 for members and students.

For tickets or more information, call 727-942-5605 or visit
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