The popular Chicago-based ballet troupe starred in Robert Altmans film The Company
and was favored as the Music Centers resident dance company for a few short years. The company retains an avid local fan base, which should welcome this weekends challenging program. The rep includes Deuce Coupe
, Twyla Tharps enthusiastic celebration of the Beach Boys hits; the West Coast premiere of Donald Byrds Motown Suite
(his first work for the company); and Laura Deans exquisite but underappreciated Sometimes It Snows in April
. The latter was originally the opening segment of Billboards
, a full evening tribute to the music of Prince; it was Deans third dancework for the company, and the sensuously playful choreography broke new ground in exploring where the Joffrey dancers could take her whirling-dervish-infused modern idiom. Unfortunately, Deans delightful offering was overwhelmed by the toe-shoe-in-the-mouth excesses of the other three Billboards
choreographers. This revival gives it a chance to shine on its own. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Thurs.-Fri., March 22-23, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., March 24, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; $25-$115. (213) 365-3500 or www.ticketmaster.com.