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BEST CHOREOGRAPHER Minneapolis 1998 -

Riverdance, Stomp, and Tap Dogs have put percussive dance epics on the mainstream map, but local choreographer Joe Chvala seems to prefer the more obscure potential within his pagan soul--and we're all better off for it. References to Nordic myths, fairy tales, and medieval spiritual journeys abound in this hoofer's imaginative body of work: dances that startle with their hard edge at one moment, only to lapse playfully into rhythmic fireworks the next. Chvala's recent endeavor with his tightly rehearsed Flying Foot Forum, Tr (translated as "wood"), was an ambitious sweep of several Scandinavian sources including Swedish rock music and Finnish poetry. Indeed, all his efforts are bold, magical, a tad bizarre, and rarely off the mark when it comes to satisfying the heathen within.

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