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Choreographer Lauri Stallings says she got the name for her new evening-length piece from the spot in Georgia where she and her family gathered for reunions when she was a child. It taught her that "people can come from all over," she says, and yet have "all their differences dissipate"; she hopes to evoke a similar communal consciousness in her piece, a sense that people on individual paths can merge. She also hopes Moody Hollow takes on its namesake's sense of place--at the end of the rehearsal I watched, after kissing every one of her dancers Stallings urged them to make the Athenaeum their home in the coming week, perhaps by waving incense around so that people won't smell the musty old plumbing. This down-home gal has gathered some of the top dancers in the city: from Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (her own home as a performer), the Joffrey Ballet, and River North Chicago Dance Company. And she shows a striking sense for the striking image. She's incorporated an earlier work for two couples, Talking Is for Liars, in which the two men wear petticoats--one long, one short--that they toss like the skirts of flamenco dancers. That section also includes a projected film with a smoky, undressed aura that's extremely sexy. The final section of 11 is a tango for six couples that again reveals Stallings's deft sense for the surprising: at one point the men use the backs of their necks to lift their partners. In addition to the recorded music, Howard Levy provides live accompaniment on the cello, harmonica, and piano; Richard J. Carvlin is credited with the multimedia aspects of the production. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 773-722-5463. Friday, April 2, and Sunday, April 4, 7:30 PM. $20.

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