Choice Cuts | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The Field Chicago again hosts performers from other cities as well as Chicagoans in "Choice Cuts," an evening of interdisciplinary work. The common thread for these pieces is the act of breaking from stasis into action, from emotional deep freeze to exuberance. In Seattle performer Cody Strauss's clever Igloo Nine, she's surrounded by kitchen utensils and stuffed animals, reading the stage directions for the ultimate performance piece--"too many dancers" manage to stampede the orchestra. What makes the looniness of Strauss's piece so endearing is her wide-eyed, matter-of-fact delivery, like a kid narrating a holiday pageant. New York solo dancer Rachel Shao-Lan Blum offers two works. Dark: In Larva, Pupa, and Flight details the transformation from a chrysalid state of frustration--rendered here by a dark, mechanistic environment complete with droning soundscape--to a fleeting interlude of freedom. In Winter in New York, 2002, she dances in a heavy parka, which she eventually sheds as her restless, eloquent hands move out of their down prison toward light and flight. I can't honestly say if the piece is intended as a meditation on post-9/11 life in the Big Apple, but the sense of defiant rebirth is poetic and moving. Local light Nana Shineflug presents two pieces as well, including the witty Do You Know Where You Are?, in which the archetypal Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe is freed by the energy of youth (personified by Shineflug's grandson). Also worth noting is a remount of Chicagoan Julie Laffin's grandly conceived Over, in which she lies on the floor with a 30-foot red velvet gown billowing up from and responding to subtle movements of her body. The gown twists in a funnel shape, like a fantastic version of the cyclone in The Wizard of Oz--another tale of cataclysm and change. Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield, 773-281-0824. June 20-22: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 7 PM. $15.

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