Aeros | Dance Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Gymnasts are not like dancers. They tend to be more heavily muscled, and the competitive nature of the sport means they communicate physical and mental tension, not emotion or ease. But gymnastics is a lot more commercially viable than dance, which may be the raison d'etre for this project: Aeros is a supposedly dancelike presentation of gymnastics meant to rival Stomp in its popularity (Stomp creators Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas also happen to be on Aeros's creative team). American choreographers Daniel Ezralow, David Parsons, and Moses Pendleton handpicked 15 athletes from the Romanian Gymnastics Federation for this 90-minute show, which, judging from a brief video, involves flying hair, sexy costumes, odd contraptions, and lots of flips. Pendleton, who founded and still directs the imagistic performance troupe Momix (appearing at two suburban locations this weekend), apparently contributed such props as a giant lantern that visually breaks up the body of the performer inside it, but it's hard to say what modern dancers Parsons and Ezralow (who's done a couple of pieces for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago) have added to the mix. Appearing at the Grammys last week, Aeros was indistinguishable from all the other beautiful bodies writhing onstage--on the video they make "romantic" couplings look like athletic feats. However, this one-night-only event does promise to be unique in the world of dance. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, 312-902-1500. Friday, March 2, 8 PM. $21-$35.

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