Rolled up and leaning in a corner of the Link's Hall office is a 30-foot-long, 11-foot-high painting on paper of a Greyhound bus, left over from a wonderful dance by Bob Eisen called Bus Tales, part of last year's monthlong Chance Dance Fest. Every summer since 1990 the Chance Dance Fest has combined some fascinating dances and performance art with other looser, more experimental work. Some performers use the fest to preview pieces they're working on, the way Jellyeye did with its acclaimed drum opera Blood Lotus last year. Full-blown performances like theirs and Eisen's Bus Tales share bills with improvisations like the one Fluid Measure and Friends plan for the opening night of this year's fest, Wednesday, August 3. It's impossible to say what will happen that night--even Eisen, the curator, doesn't know what the performers will do exactly--but if the past is any guide, at least parts of it will be memorable. Each of the five performances this summer will start with a dance by Eisen that combines four dancers in four solos, six duets, four trios, and one quartet. The sequence in which the sections are performed will be determined by chance. Boom boxes in the closets and hallways will provide the music, but they'll be turned on and off in a sequence also determined by chance. Eisen thinks he'll have the dancers painting something on the back wall, but that's not for sure. In fact the only thing certain is that the place will be hot, so bring a fan or come prepared to sweat. Later in the month Eisen shares the bill with Frank Melcori (August 10), Charlie Vernon (August 17), Anthony Gongora (August 24), and Jenny Magnus (August 31). (New this year are weekend Offchance events, August 19-21 and 26-27.) Wednesdays at 8 through August 31 at Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield; $5. Call 281-0824 for tickets and info.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael P. Filler.