RTG Returns for “Return”

CHICAGO — My second job as a young Stage Manager was in 2010 for RTG Dance; it just so happened that this was Rachel Thorne Germond’s last show in Chicago.  I can vividly recall my experience working for Rachel… her quiet yet forceful demeanor made a deep impression on me, and if I nothing else I felt like she was an important person to know.

With Germond hanging out near Norfolk, VA for the past several years, Chicago’s dance community has been itching for her to return.  Always a smart and sagacious voice in our indie/modern dance scene, many have tried but none have quite been able to replace her spirit.  RTG was carving a path that others attempted to follow.  Her work is weird and wacky, while her marketing, presentation, and professionalism are decidedly astute.

As I gave the pre-show speech on her behalf in 2010, I promised Chicago she would return, and it is with her same sharp sensibility that she brings along several friends to her re-debut in the Windy City.  Collaboration, in fact, seems to be the name of the game to a successful weekend engagement these days, and we are seeing more and more double and triple bills popping up around the city.  Bringing two solos and a duet of her own, Germond is also playing host to LiChiao Ping (Wisconsin), Janet Schmid (Chicago), Jen Stone (Virginia), the Space/Movement Project (Chicago), and Johannah Wininsky/Anna Sapozhnikov (Chicago).

By bringing esteemed friends and RTG family along, Return is sure not to disappoint.  I won’t be stage managing this time, but you can bet I’ll be in the audience.

Catch RTG Dance and Friends’ Return June 22-24 at Links Hall.  Tickets and more information at linkshall.org. Photo of Rachel Thorne Germond by Brad Taylor.

Author: Lauren Warnecke

Lauren Warnecke is a freelance dance critic, contributing to the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine. She is senior editor of See Chicago Dance. Lauren covers dance across the Midwest and writes regularly for Dance Magazine and Pointe with additional bylines in Milwaukee Magazine, St. Louis Magazine and Dance Teacher. Forthcoming publications include essays on ballet training in Chicago (University of Illinois Press) and Shirley Mordine (University of Akron Press). In 2020, Lauren published an opinion piece on the impact of COVID-19 on the arts in the South African journal Agenda. Lauren holds degrees in dance and kinesiology and has presented research on dance training practices at the National Dance Education Organization and the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. She has co-facilitated critical dance writing intensives in Chicago and Durban, South Africa, and participated in writing residencies at the National Center for Choreography, Bates Dance Festival and JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience. Lauren teaches dance history and kinesiology for dancers, with part-time appointments at Loyola University Chicago and Illinois Wesleyan University.