Jan Erkert & Dancers | Dance Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Jan Erkert & Dancers


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In last spring's UnWeavings Jan Erkert created a dance about the end of relationships; in her new piece, still in progress, she explores their beginnings, using as inspiration Japanese love poems more than 1,000 years old. In a duet section called "The Heart Feeds Itself First," Erkert contrasts the slow, sensuous movement of a woman (Kim Nelson) who curls into the floor in a plantlike twining motion with the more kinetic energy of a man (Jason Ohlberg) who twitches and whirls but generally maintains his distance from the ground. In either case their movement seems involuntary, outside any conscious control or intention. In a solo, "Butterflies in My Stomach," Erkert exploits Krenly Guzman's extraordinary quickness and wiry strength in motions simultaneously suggesting nausea and transcendence; it culminates in a spectacular dive, arms outstretched, that's the image of surrender. Another section of the six completed so far, "I Want You, I Need You," is almost parodic. And so Love Poems grows, running the gamut of feelings in love's first chapter. Erkert and company preview this work (inviting audience members to submit their own brief poems) and offer a look at Robbie Cook's duet, Two, over two weekends. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 8 at Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield, through November 23; $8-$10. Call 773-281-0824 for tickets and information.

--Laura Molzahn

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

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