Garth Fagan Dance | Dance Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Garth Fagan Dance

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Garth Fagan Dance

Somehow Garth Fagan's dancers look glassy and fragile despite their obvious tensile strength. Maybe because he often tortures the body into unnatural lines, I fear that his dancers' legs might snap in two or their torsos be irreversibly twisted. And though Fagan's unusual style is often accounted for by his diverse background--from his childhood in Jamaica to his experience with both ballet and modern dance--I suspect the uncommon bent of his imagination is its real source. Add to his unique choreographic shapes the quirky response Fagan has to music, and you have an artist who molds space and time differently from anyone else. (I haven't seen his choreography for the stage adaptation of The Lion King, but on the face of it he seems way overqualified.) Garth Fagan Dance returns as part of the Spring Festival of Dance for its first full appearance here since 1994--when the company performed Griot New York--with a potpourri of short, mostly recent pieces: the prelude to the 1983 Discipline Is Freedom, one "postcard" from the 1994 Postcards: Pressures & Possibilities, "River Song" from the 1995 Earth Eagle First Circle, four sections from the 1997 Nkanyit, and the 1996 Mix 25. The music ranges from Max Roach to a "jazz/Indian" score to Brahms, John Cage, and Wynton Marsalis. Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 3 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress; $12-$35. Call 773-955-2787, 312-902-1500, or 312-431-2357 for tickets and information. --Laura Molzahn

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

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