Breakbone DanceCo. | Constellation | Dance | Chicago Reader

Breakbone DanceCo. Brief Run (Theater) Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Nov. 20 2010

In Course of Empire, Breakbone artistic director Atalee Judy tackles nothing less than the rise and fall of civilizations, as recorded in towering and crumbling architecture. Judy, Anita Fillmore, and Mindy Meyers give the five sections in this hour-long piece a definite arc: starting out as lowly construction workers, they become architectural visionaries, awed observers of soaring spaces, fearful or combative inhabitants, and, finally, weary, stalwart rebuilders. Carl Wiedemann's photographic and video projections--of cathedral arches, a winding staircase, an ominous tunnel, an abandoned church filled with rubble--are crucial in contextualizing the movement. Among the highlights of the piece are rhyming moments between Judy's whittled-down choreography and Wiedemann's images, shot while moving through a space or wheeling around it from a central point. Sometimes the action stalls as the dancers diligently embody ideas about the pastoral and the man-made, the lofty and the lowly, ecstasy and constraint. But I was left with the feeling of having taken an epic journey with ordinary yet heroic master builders. --Laura Molzahn

Price: $20-$22


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