Deeply Rooted Dance Theater | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Deeply Rooted Dance Theater

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Deeply Rooted gathers old and new dances under the rubric "Classical Roots," divided into three acts: European, gospel and blues, and contemporary African-American. The European section includes artistic director Kevin Iega Jeff's 2004 Tleftraeh (heartfelt spelled backward), set to music by Dvorak. A family of four are first seen in the stiff poses of late-19th-century photographs, but then they suffer a series of emotional disruptions. Jeff says he was aiming for photography's simultaneous simplicity and depth of expression, and this restrained piece does have gravity. The same family reappears in the second act during a funeral supper accompanied by a "shout" song from the Gullah tradition, but associate artistic director Gary Abbott adds two characters: a dancer daughter and her singer husband, meant to suggest Thomas A. Dorsey. The third act features Staceyann Chin's poetry and Anthony Moten's hip-hop music. a Opens Thu 10/26, 7:30 PM. Through 10/29: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM, Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan, 312-344-8300, $30. Thursday's performance, dedicated to HIV/AIDS awareness, is followed by a reception; $30-$50. A professional women's brunch and the performance on Sunday are $75. A family matinee on Saturday, 3 PM, is $10, $6 for kids 12 and under.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/John Nelson.

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