The only Windy City organizations the actress-choreographer has collaborated with to this point are The Goodman Theatre and the Joffrey Ballet.
Thodos is an instructor at Reinking's Broadway Theatre Project each summer in Tampa, FL, and their relationship led to the invitation for Reinking to create something for Thodos & Dancers.
Reinking will come to Chicago in February to put the piece together and it will premiere at Melissa Thodos & Dancers' 7th Annual Home Engagement and Benefit, March 11-14. That run will include three world premieres: a new work by dance legend Reinking, Elements by Melissa Thodos, and Paul Christiano's First Love; Second Sight. Performances play at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago.
"Chicago is a city that fills me with so much creative inspiration, and Melissa Thodos & Dancers is a rising dance company with a fresh, vibrant, athletic style I so admire," Reinking said in a statement, in anticipation of her upcoming week of rehearsals Feb. 17-21. "I look forward to exploring and creating a new fusion of contemporary dance and dramatic theatricality, because when the best of both worlds are combined, something incredibly dynamic and entertaining can take flight."
Reinking won the 1997 Tony Award for Best Choreographer for the hit revival of Chicago, in which she also played the role of Roxie Hart. She was previously nommed for her performance in the Bob Fosse revue, Dancin' and was nominated for playing Joan of Arc in the musical, Goodtime Charlie. She co-directed and co-choreographed Fosse, the Tony Award-winning Broadway tribute to choreographer Fosse and appeared in the show late in its Broadway run (with pal Ben Vereen). Her film appearances include "All That Jazz" and "Annie."
Reinking choreographed Pal Joey and The Visit for The Goodman Theatre, and Legends for the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.
Thodos' Elements will feature members of Chicago's Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, and an original set design by Chicago artist Christine Mekhitarian.
First Love; Second Sight is by ensemble member Paul Christiano, recently named "Best Dancer in Chicago" by Chicago Magazine, and recipient of the Dance Chicago 2003 Choreography Award. The program will also include a selection of the company's most acclaimed original works.
On March 11, Reinking will be the honorary chair for the debut of her world premiere dance at Melissa Thodos & Dancers' Home Engagement Gala Benefit and Performance. The Harold Washington Library Auditorium is at 400 S. State St., in Chicago. A private performance featuring the company's three new works starts at 6 PM, followed by the gala benefit, with cocktail reception, hors d'oeuvres and silent auction, at the Standard Club, 320 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago, at 7:15 PM.
Tickets to the gala benefit and performance are $150 $300.
Melissa Thodos & Dancers' 2004 Home Engagement will continue with public performances Friday and Saturday, March 12 and 13 at 8 PM; and Sunday March 14 at 2 PM. Tickets are $25 ($20 for students and seniors). Special group rates are available.
Call (773) 883-1487 for tickets and information, or purchase tickets online at www.thodosdancers.org.