The hour-long In Plain Clothes is like an elegant pencil sketch, unassuming but confident in its light, clean strokes. To create it, choreographer Siobhan Davies talked to other professionals interested in what she calls the body's "use of space": a linguist, a cardiothoracic surgeon, a landscape designer, and an architect. Whatever their input was, it's been thoroughly integrated. In the main structuring device, a line of dancers strides across the stage at intervals, dropping off or picking up others along the way to initiate or end solos, duets, trios. The movement itself is plain and uninflected but extremely original; by the end it seems to define each dancer. Though occasionally you'll find a real-world gesture like an embrace, overall Davies's choreography is so unusual that you find yourself second-guessing any straightforward interpretation. In that sense, In Plain Clothes is a sort of detective story with no clear arc or conclusion. First performed in her company's newly constructed London studio, it clearly gained from its setting, as many critics at the time remarked. How it'll fare in a more traditional black-box theater remains to be seen. a Opens Thu 9/28, 8 PM. Through 9/30: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan, 312-344-8300, $22-$26. A postshow discussion Thursday and preshow discussion Friday are free to ticket holders. Davies also gives a free talk Saturday at 1 PM at the International Museum of Surgical Science, 1542 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Gautier DeBlonde.