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Choreography: Frank Chaves
Assistant Choreographers: Christian Denice and RIcky Ruiz

Music: Miles Davis*

Costume Design: Jordan Ross

Costume Construction: Lynn Ziehe
Lighting Design: Joshua Paul Weckesser


So What:

Dancers: Ensemble

Bitches Brew
Dancers: Ensemble

Blue in Green:

Dancers: duet

Half Nelson:
Dancers: Ensemble

"To forge a dance worthy of Miles Davis is no easy feat, but... [Frank Chaves'] Simply Miles, Simply Us rises to the task, immensely enjoyable while married to its music with intelligence and cool." 

 - Sid Smith, The Chicago Tribune, 2011

"Frank Chaves' recent work, Simply Miles, Simply Us, set to music by Miles Davis, is a superbly insightful 'inside' evocation of jazz by way of dance."

- Hedy Weiss, The Chicago Sun-Times, 2011

"What Sets Chaves' use of jazz apart here is the way he has fully sidestepped both 'illustrating' the music and tapping into the cliches of jazz dance. Instead, he delves into the structure and instrumentation of Davis' work with keen intelligence and a sense of the beautiful, elegant and at time playful aspects of his work."

- Hedy Weiss, The Chicago Sun-Times

Simply MIles Jennifer Girard 2
Simply MIles Jennifer Girard2
Simply Miles Jennifer Girard 3
Simply Miles, Simply Us, choreographed by Frank Chaves (2011).  Photo by Joshua Paul Weckesser.

A four-movement suite dedicated to Miles Davis, Simply Miles, Simply Us was created for a month-long celebration of the 85th anniversary of the birth of the jazz legend. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chaves’ “masterful use of Davis’ lushly seductive, rhythmically complex and invariably mood-altering jazz recordings,” which include classics such as Bitches Brew, Blue in Green and So What, “delves into the structure and instrumentation of Davis’ work with keen intelligence and a sense of the beautiful, elegance and play[fullness]… Not only did the troupe’s bravura dancers pull out all the stops from first move to last, inspiring rapturous applause at every turn, but they demonstrated that River North is one of this city’s most accomplished ensembles.”

Simply Miles, Simply Us was co-commissioned by the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois and the Wharton Center for Performing Arts of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan; with additional support from William D. & Orli Staley/Bill & Orli Staley Foundation; Sara Colleran & Kevin Eichorst; Scott Hughes; and ReedSmith LLP. Artistic assistance by Christian Denice and Ricky Ruiz was underwritten by the Lauren G. Robishaw Creative Fund.


*Used with permission by EMI Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Columbia Records and Concord Music Group.

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