Breakbone DanceCo. | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Breakbone DanceCo.

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In the blistering Visions of Light, artistic director Atalee Judy further explores chamber dance-theater opera. This new hour-long solo show is both a meditation on the life and death of Joan of Arc and on Judy's father, a schizophrenic hospitalized several times before he died, when she was 12. At the age of six she believed that he "heard angel's voices, could walk on water, and could speak directly to God." The catalysts in her life and art, she says, have been "death, the afterlife, and figuring out the puzzle of my father's mind." After these performances she plans to take a yearlong break from dance. Visions of Light is divided into 13 sections--some accompanied by Carl Wiedemann's video and a few consisting entirely of it--and many are performed with singer Berianne Bramman. Though Judy occasionally employs her signature "bodyslam" style--notably in a chase scene called "Wolves"--more often she moves in a quieter but still highly passionate way. Of the sections I watched, the most moving were "Pray" and "The Noose," the latter performed using a silky sling that allows Judy to be sort of airborne but also close to the floor, a fine metaphor for the human condition. a Opens Thu 1/11, 7:30 PM. Through 1/19: Thu-Fri 7:30 PM, Hamlin Park field house, second floor, 3035 N. Hoyne, 773-841-2663, $12-$15.

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