When choreographer Ginger Farley decided to make a dance about her car breaking down, she asked for a funky rock 'n' roll score from musical director Cameron Pfiffner. A jazz musician, he wasn't too enthused--until he started getting into the sounds of power tools at his day job at a scenery shop. Now, for the raucous Autobody, the 58 Group musicians play power tools as they stroll among the dancers. Sounds dangerous to me, but then the kind of fluid collaboration that characterizes this troupe of seven dancers and seven musicians--it's their raison d'etre--will always be a bit risky. There's also a big payoff, evident in the piece called 567 W. 18th (Pfiffner's address when he wrote the piece). The music has a Latin air, luscious but casual, and the ensemble dancing has the presentational style of flamenco or tango. But what's really seductive is the interaction between individual dancers and musicians--the eye contact between a guitarist and a solo dancer or their slow, meandering travels across the stage in an almost imperceptible pursuit. This subtle dance, added to the live music, makes the show seem more like a party than a performance. Four new works will be on this program, which includes Autobody, 567 W. 18th, The Birth of Venus, Blood Oranges, and Over the Rainbow. Thursday, September 16, at 8; Friday at 7; Saturday at 8; and Sunday at 2:30 and 7 at the Vittum Theater at the Northwestern University Settlement House, 1400 W. Augusta; $10-$15 (or pay what you can on Thursday), $58-$158 for the Friday performance, a company benefit that includes a reception and silent auction. Call 773-388-0558 for tickets and information. --Laura Molzahn
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Brian Hill.