David Rousseve is tackling an old theme in his new evening-length piece. But you can bet Love Songs won't be your everyday hearts 'n' teddy bears confection. This gay black choreographer specializes in pomo patchworks of music, talk, and movement from many eras and cultures, crossing the lines of race, class, and time to appeal to the polymath in all of us. Love Songs, a work in progress, is said to combine Puccini arias with the spoken word; several Chicagoans from all walks of life will be involved in the development and performance of the piece. Viewers may be familiar with Rousseve's unique approach from Urban Scenes/Creole Dreams, performed here in 1992--an inventive, heartfelt, but flawed piece based on Rousseve's memories of his grandparents. Whispers of Angels, shown here in 1995, similarly weaves together autobiography and aural and visual images of stunning clarity and imagination. Rousseve digs deep into his own experience, and while what he dredges up is rarely comfortable, he delivers his insights with jubilation. Thursday, February 19, through next Saturday, February 21, at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $16-$18. Call 773-989-3310 for tickets and information. (Rousseve also participates in a discussion with Thulani Davis, librettist of Amistad, Saturday at 2 at the Duncan YMCA Chernin's Center for the Arts, 1001 W. Roosevelt. It's free; call 312-421-7800 for information.) --Laura Molzahn
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Daniel Scott.