Circle in the Square | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Circle in the Square

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Choreographer Winifred Haun says she told dancer Erika Gilfether years ago that she was dying to give her a certain role: Cathy from John Steinbeck's novel East of Eden. "She's evil!" Haun explained. Petite, fragile-looking Gilfether was a little surprised but embraces the part in the aerial duet Haun created. She nails Cathy's attack on her passive lover (Andrew Adams), turning on him in a single taut motion, climbing swiftly up and over him, and flattening him. Part of a projected evening-length work based on the book, called Promise, the duet will be performed outdoors, the two principals dangling from a sturdy tree branch. Most of the other six pieces in the site-specific Circle in the Square program are presented inside Oak Park's Pleasant Home mansion, though Jill Heyser performs her vampy 4 Minute Crush on stilts on the front porch. The other artists contributing works are Christopher Ellis, Dawn Marie Galtieri, Sarita Smith Childs, the Space/Movement Project, and Chicago Ballet. a Fri-Sat 9/14-9/15, 7:30 PM, Sun 9/16, 4:30 PM, Historic Pleasant Home, 217 S. Home, Oak Park, 773-782-9471, $20-$25. --Laura Molzahn

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