Chicago Dance Crash and Gingarte Capoeira | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Chicago Dance Crash and Gingarte Capoeira

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So what's the link between these two groups, the first a contemporary "fusion" company and the second devoted to a Brazilian martial art? Turns out members of both troupes were running into one another at the gym, where they were all working on the gymnastics component of their art. They'd hoped to collaborate on some pieces but ran out of time (gosh, how'd that happen?), so this is a joint concert. Gymnastics definitely informs the work of Christopher McCray, whose two excerpts from an evening-length piece for Chicago Dance Crash open the show. The first section, "Lazy Bones," is a solo for himself that involves lots of tricky items like backflips that start from the floor, back bends from a standing position, and walking supine on his hands and feet, looking at us upside down like a quizzical four-legged spider. These moves are in sharp contrast to most of the piece, however, which consists largely of floor work--in fact, when he's not leaping around McCray appears barely able to move. That theme continues in the second section, "Sleepers' Procession," which begins with ten dancers in a pile and progresses through some pretty violent catches and somersaults. Meanwhile the torchy music (from the All Seeing I's album Pickled Eggs & Sherbet) provides a powerful but mysterious subtext. Similarly athletic work by Gingarte Capoeira has no subtext, though some of its sections include little dramas: a fight over a card game, flirtations. Here what you see is what you get--fighting, though in the peculiarly graceful mode of the Brazilian martial art of capoeira. The rehearsal I watched, overseen by Marisa Cordeiro, featured almost as much arguing as physical combat. Gingarte Capoeira has three pieces on the program--a warrior dance and two capoeira demonstrations, one morphing into the samba--and Chicago Dance Crash four: McCray's piece, Marissa Moritz's female trio What Acceptance Must Feel Like, and artistic director Mark Hackman's tribute to singer-songwriter Elliott Smith, along with Katerina, the Female Hero, a solo for Moritz that he says is about the "beauty of hitting rock bottom." Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, 312-337-6543. Opens Thursday, May 27, 8 PM. Through May 29: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM. $15, $8 Thursday night for college students.

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