Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Mordine & Company Dance Theatre

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Our image of a dancer is of a young, lithe, healthy, beautiful animal--an image of perfect youth. When a dancer grows old, she cannot move like a young animal anymore, and she is often pushed behind the scenes into other roles. This tragedy echoes the everyday tragedy of many middle-aged women, who in their youth were prized for beauty and vivacity but with their diminished energies might be found spending the evening alone in a cluttered apartment. This is the setting for Franz Xavier Kroetz's Request Concert, a one-act play without words that focuses on a woman's quiet evening listening to a radio show. The woman's only companions are the announcer and singer of the radio program; the singer (Carol Loverde) appears behind a scrim to perform two arias and two songs. Otherwise, as the play's director Catherine Slade says, "The silence of the woman's isolation is the voice of the play." The work is a natural vehicle for company director Shirley Mordine, a woman who just keeps on performing. Mordine's choreography in Truth Spin, is far from middle-aged; six dancers in sleek white unitards move in a clean but complex pattern that reminds me of an electronic circuit board. When the dancers pass in front of a light sensor onstage, they trigger parts of Shawn Decker's electronic score. Also on the program is a memory dance for six dancers, last year's Stream of Recollection, which features soft-focused movement by Mordine and narration by Slade. This Thursday through Saturday and next Thursday through Saturday, May 13-15, at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $8-$14. Call 271-7928 for tickets. A free performance of excerpts, part of the "ChicagoDance " festival, will be presented Monday at 12:15 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; call 346-3278 for information.

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

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