Dreaming the Divine | Dance Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Dreaming the Divine


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Dreaming the Divine

I've always thought that dance is peculiarly suited to exploring spirituality. Maybe it's the trancelike state dancing sometimes induces. Maybe it's dancers' understanding that physical being is nothing without human will and intention. Maybe it's their knowledge of the body's fragility, which they're always seeking to overcome. Whatever the reason, dance can sometimes--not often--open a door on another realm. The performers in Ralph Lemon's Sleep opened one several years ago at MoMing Dance & Arts Center, now defunct. I've seen Same Planet Different World do it in their performances of Trinity, and Nana Shineflug in some of her intensely purposeful dancing. It's not so much that these artists make dances about spirituality--though they might--as that they bring it into the room. Now Jason Ohlberg and Federico Hewson of Same Planet Different World have curated a four-week festival devoted to the divine, and the first weekend features two works by their company--one about angelic rivalry, the other exploring the need for divine intervention--and Shineflug's performance piece Shimmering on the Edge, about mathematics and chaos. Also on the opening program are Cerulean Dance Theatre and performance artist Judith Harding, who discusses her pious siblings in A Take From the Chalice; subsequent weeks feature other dancers, performance artists, and musicians. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 7 through March 14 at Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield; $10 (festival discount also available). Call 773-281-0824 for tickets and information. --Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Cerulean Dance Theatre uncredited photo.

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