Dancing around the issue | Dance Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Dancing around the issue

Carrie Hanson looks at how we look at climate change in Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead


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Seldoms artistic director Carrie Hanson picked a couple contentious questions to explore in her new 75-minute dance-theater work, Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead: Is climate change real? And if it is, what should we do about it? Though she came down in favor of eco-friendliness in her 2008 Monument, Hanson's subsequent research convinced her that the debate over environmental change had become a baffling circus. So she's opened the sextet to "all these different voices," as she puts it—from the skeptics to the "militantly eco-conscious." On the eve of a significant election, Hanson's satirical, deadly serious piece bursts a lot of bubbles on a high-stakes subject.

Hanson may not pick a side in the environmental debate, but she does cleverly skewer consumerism. Exit Disclaimer features new vignettes, added after a June preview, that suggest the complex interactions and consequences of consumption: a surreal cooking demo, a guest appearance by an idling car. Painter Anna Kunz provides the movable set—dozens of repurposed cardboard boxes—and Mikhail Fiksel contributes the sound design. Performed by her expressive dancers, Hanson's choreography cuts, as usual, like a well-honed knife.

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