Though DanceLoop Chicago is offering its first full-length concert in the city this weekend, its artistic directors have been around the block. Paula Frasz performed with the Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble, which disbanded in 1992, and with Mordine & Company Dance Theatre for eight years before setting out on her own. She received a Ruth Page award for choreography in 1999. And three years ago she and fellow artistic director Dmitri Peskov--once her student at Northern Illinois University, where she still teaches--began producing Spectrum Dances, a showcase for themselves and other independent choreographers. Frasz's interest in storytelling is evident in this show, where she's remounting Songs My Mother Sang Me (which won her the Ruth Page) and Voices of Light, a piece for ten set to excerpts from Richard Einhorn's recently composed score for Carl Dreyer's 1928 silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc. Frasz saw the movie only after she made the dance; she says that what inspired her to create it were the music and her amazement that Joan was "so young" when she played her brief but crucial historical role, "buffeted back and forth" by various forces. In her piece, a corps of nine plays the army, the church, the townspeople, and angels; Jill Economakos is passionate in what she calls the "emotionally exhausting" role of Joan. Peskov offers two works: the duet Ophelia, Ophelia, inspired by Shakespeare's character, and the new 3 Solos to 3 Songs, set to Russian and Italian music. Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, 630-552-8428. Opens Thursday, September 18, 8 PM. Through September 20: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM. $10-$15.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/George Tarbay.