At the age of 32, Nana Shineflug did a crazy thing: she decided to become a professional dancer and choreographer. True, she'd studied ballet as a child, but she'd come to realize she was no ballerina and so earned a degree in math, got married, and had two kids. She was inspired to take up modern dance after seeing the Paul Taylor and Merce Cunningham companies in the 60s, even pursuing her career briefly in New York--with her children (she'd divorced by then) and no money. Returning home, she started the Chicago Moving Company in 1972 and has been running it ever since, though she recently made Cindy Brandle her coartistic director. Now 64, Shineflug is obviously still a seeker, someone with an interest in other cultures (she's visited Bali, Israel, India, Brazil) and in spiritual growth: her seminal work is Coming Forth by Day, an evening-length piece based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Well-known as a teacher, she says she's been able to see "qi," or the life force, in people since she was a child, and tries to correct blocks to its flow. And in the last few years she's been doing a series of solo improvisations, often dealing with aging and death. This weekend she'll perform another--Roadwalk, set to music by Malian singer Rokia Traore--for her company's appearances at the Storefront Theater; she'll also revive excerpts from her 1987 John Somebody, based on the photos of Robert Longo. The other world premieres on the program are Mindy Meyers's solo Volitional and M.K. Victorson's romantic duet set in the produce aisle, Ruby Red Easy; also being performed are Tiffany Bowden's The Edge of Center and two works by Brandle, The Midnight Diaries and In Passing. Storefront Theater, Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph, 312-742-8497. Through December 2: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM. $12.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jennifer Girard.