Encountering the Other | Dance | Chicago Reader

Encountering the Other Recommended The Short List (Theater) Critics' Picks Brief Run (Theater)

When: July 29-Aug. 1 2010

Collaboration is difficult enough. When the collaborators are two strong-willed, well-established choreographers from very different dance traditions, it's even more of a challenge. Bharata natyam artist Hema Rajagopalan and modern dance choreographer Shirley Mordine have been wrestling together for three years, and three of the works on this program are their joint creations. The only premiere, Elements, is a duet for male bharata natyam performer Vinay Srinivasan and female modern dancer Alitra Cartman, set to a musical collaboration between sitar master Ravi Shankar and violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Drawing on the choreographers' interpretations of various forces of nature, it's a fascinating portrait of two cultures intersecting and diverging. Even more or less identical actions are inflected differently: trained in bharata natyam’s mudras, Srinivasan moves his hands in a more detailed and angular way than Cartman does. The two previous collaborations--Two Rivers (2007) and Sahridaya (2008)—are also on the program, as are Rajagopalan's male-female duet Ardhanari and Mordine's male duet Thin Ice. --Laura Molzahn

Price: $15-$20

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