Nana Shineflug, who founded the Chicago Moving Company more than 30 years ago, has always set a steadfastly personal course: she recently performed with her young grandson, for example. That tradition continues with Cindy Brandle, now coartistic director with Shineflug. Brandle says her trio on this program--Thrown, premiered last fall--had its origin in her own enforced inactivity during a pregnancy that required bed rest. She wanted to make something kinetic and at the same time convey a new mother's sense of being thrown here and there by the vagaries of her child's needs. And the dancers do frequently sprawl in contorted positions as if tossed onstage: balanced on one shoulder with a cheek pressed into the floor or peering out at us from beneath upended legs in yoga's "plow" pose. Spanish duo Proyecto Mirage provides the manic percussive music. Brandle's new piece for six, The Edge of Restraint, bears some resemblance to Thrown: dancers do a backward somersault into a toppled position that they hold, and occasionally peer at us from beneath an upraised arm. But it's quieter, communicating a sense of anticipation or uncertainty expressed most poignantly in a cutting motion of the hand across the chest. Shineflug says that her new piece for the entire company, Reflections, is meant to be unpredictable and unconventional. (When I asked about her role in the piece she said, "I am the odd thing, the thing that's not understandable.") Set to a clattering score by Bang on a Can's David Lang, the first section is appropriately fiery, verging on martial-artsy, while the second alternates the movements of three very jiggly dancers with tableaux by four serene dancers who barely move. Also on the program is a revised version of Shineflug's April, premiered last spring. Harold Washington Library Center, auditorium, 400 S. State, 773-880-5402. Through April 3: Fridays-Saturdays, 8 PM. $12-$15.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Erika Du Four.