The improvisations by Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser--life as well as dance partners--that I watched on DVD were naturally marked by intimacy, by the fundamentally dramatic polarities of imitation/opposition and approach/retreat. But these informal pieces also showed a strong sense of composition, developing a theme and using the entire space creatively. That's not surprising considering the dancers' backgrounds: Aiken has performed with all-star improv artists Steve Paxton and Nancy Stark Smith, and Hauser is a member of the Bessie-winning Bebe Miller Company. She says their commissioned premiere here, Dwell, will not be contact improv but a 60- to 75-minute piece that combines principles of composition with the "aliveness of the current moment." Cellist Stephen Katz of the Paul Winter Consort provides improvised music, and designer Rachel Damon is working on a palette of lighting choices whose use will also be ad hoc. As preparation for Dwell, an homage to Link's Hall, Hauser and Aiken have spent a week in residency there and researched its history and surroundings. a Fri-Sat 12/1-12/2, 8 PM, Sun 12/3, 7 PM, Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield, 773-281-0824, $10-$15. Contact-improv workshop Sat 12/2, 1-4 PM, at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan, $30.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/William Frederking.