Jim Self | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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If you look at his resume, Jim Self may be the most talented of the former Chicago choreographers Link's Hall has invited back to perform in its Homecoming Series. He danced for Merce Cunningham for several seasons; collaborated closely with Robert Wilson on his performance epic Civil WarS; ran his own dance company, which toured internationally; and won a Bessie award in New York. Even before moving away, at the age of 22, he accomplished impressive things here, helping to found MoMing and the studio that is now Link's Hall. Self also seems to have made a long inner journey. His dances are dreamlike, witty, and gentle; his film Beehive, for which he won the Bessie in 1985, is the story of how a drone turns a worker bee into a queen. When the demand for expensive productions throughout the 80s wore Self down, he closed his company and spent an empty, Zen year as a gardener before starting to teach at Cornell University. His recent performances have been rituals; his performance at Link's will be a ritual about homecoming. Both Chicago and Self have changed a great deal since he was working here, so the core of the ritual will be a dance conversation between him and four Chicagoans, exploring what they still have in common. As part of the ritual, audience members will be greeted at the door and asked to make a circuit of the room before setting up their chairs in places of their choice. Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 7 at Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield; $7. Call 281-0824 for tickets and information.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Paula Court.

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