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

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Deeply Rooted Productions

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Holding back is not a concept that Deeply Rooted dancers understand. If you make a move, you make it big. That aesthetic also drives artistic director Kevin Iega Jeff, who's setting his Naeemah's Room (created for River North Chicago Dance Company three years ago) on the troupe in celebration of its tenth anniversary. The piece represents a fierce and tender act of imagination, as Jeff tries to get into the head of a sister who suffered from depression and died too young. In the first section, she's surrounded by three dancers acting as the walls of her room, personified to reflect and perhaps aggravate her distress: are they mocking her or sympathizing with her? The middle section shows Naeemah in what is obviously a troubled relationship with a young man: their attraction and repulsion are magnetic, their interactions savage as a cockfight. In the third and final section, she loses herself in her own mind. Music by Bjork and Philip Glass adds additional layers to the piece. Also new to the company is associate artistic director Gary Abbott's Hand to Mouth, a tribute to the African survivors of the 2004 tsunami, Somalian and Kenyan people who've suffered droughts and famine too. For its benefit performance this weekend, Deeply Rooted also performs Junto and The Dance We Dance. For the company's series November 17-20, it adds Dedication and Desire. a Sat 11/5, 7:30 PM. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph, 312-334-7777. $25-$45, $100 for performance and postshow reception. 11/17-11/20: Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 2 and 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th, 773-445-3838. $25-$35.

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

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