Chance Dance Fest | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Chance Dance Fest

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Patrick Scully is a big, powerful guy who specializes in giving his power away. An improviser who works with words, sounds, and movement, he gives himself to whatever gale-force wind or eddying breeze is blowing at the moment. When I saw him seven years ago at Link's Hall, he squeezed his partner (Chris Aiken) like an accordion, told a story about a stick of butter he and the other kids threw on the ceiling in the school lunchroom, and made noises, segueing from squeaks to yawns to roars. He did a lot of other things too, moving from one moment to the next as fluidly and unself-consciously as a child playing. The improvisation he did in New York in 1995 with Ishmael Houston-Jones and Keith Hennessy--Unsafe/Unsuited (A High Risk Meditation), which I watched on tape--seemed more focused, perhaps because of the title and the fact that these were three gay men living in a perilous time. Here the Minneapolis-based artist will improvise a piece called I Left the Space Bare--though I'm sure he'll leave his audience warmed by his gentle, generous sense of fun. Also on the bill (as they are every week in the tenth annual Chance Dance Fest) are Bob Eisen and Asimina Chremos in A + B, Improvisations, a duet set to randomly selected instructions on a boom box. Guests in subsequent weeks are the participants in Scully's workshop (August 18) and San Francisco artists Kathleen Hermesdorf and Albert Mathias (August 25). Wednesdays at 8 through August 25 at Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield; $5. Call 773-281-0824 for tickets and information, including information on various workshops. --Laura Molzahn

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