It's raining men! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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It's raining men!

Nomi's "A Few Great Men" is one great evening.

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Men who dance are in short supply. So to scare up five male choreographers for a single performance is a feat. Nomi Dance Company's "A Few Great Men" does just that—and never mind the fact that only two performers in Laura Kariotis's company of nine are male. Noting that men "approach passion and aggression differently," Kariotis is reviving two works by men and sought out male dance makers to choreograph three new pieces. A premiere by Ahmad Simmons, (In) Suspending, is full of dizzying circular patterns—not just turns but rolls across the floor. A performer with the sleek River North Dance Company, Simmons opposes taut moves with luscious release; a duet suggests a relationship achieved and lost. Impressed by the Nomi dancers, Simmons says he asked them to give blood to his "skeleton." They do.

Nomi dancer Paul Christiano choreographed the witty, dark Done & Done last fall, and edited it for "A Few Great Men." Calling the piece "Tim Burton-esque, skewed and gothic," Christiano addresses the body's treachery and a dancer's short shelf life. Rounding out the program are two additional premieres—the "emotionally unstable, physically powerful" sextet Ōs (Latin for "mouth") by former River North dancer Brandon DiCriscio and Nomi La-Latin by Alex Arteaga—and a revised version of D.C.-based Robert Priore's Le Fil de la Vie.

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