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In Lips of Their Fingers—the title is an expression for body language—the Leopold Group kicks off with a mock half-time show on an enormous strip of Astroturf set to a Beastie Boys soundtrack. Tuxedo-clad cheerleaders execute rhythmic rolls, unison splits, and goo-goo-eyed boudoir poses before removing their overcoats in a striptease down to athletic trunks. The final solo clears the onstage spectacle with sweeping, open movements—high kicks with flexed feet—after which the dancer lies on the turf and slowly wraps herself in it.
While Leopold Group turns on the flash then sweeps the stage bare, in The Dismantlers, the Space Movement Project is more interested in natural demolition. These women too wear layers of clothing so they might remove their mantles—a pun. But mostly the dancers are forces of unstoppable doom: termites destroying houses and tornado winds sending household detritus crashing into broken, splayed shapes. When they rocked together to and fro on their bellies, I worried the floor would rattle open like the lid on Pandora's box.
Fri-Sat 3/28-3/29, 7:30 PM; Sun 3/30, 3 PM, Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, 847-702-5493, ruthpage.org, $20-$30.