Mordine & Company dances the Internet | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Mordine & Company dances the Internet

"All at Once" explores the blessings and horrors of digital media.


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Digital connectivity: can't live with it, can't find a decent restaurant without it. The paradoxes of instant, around-the-clock communication drive "All at Once" from Mordine & Company Dance Theater. The concert features a world premiere, All at Once/Acts of Renewal, in which choreographer Shirley Mordine focuses on the negative aspects of new media. "There's no time to think about things," she says. "It's like being in multiple places at once." Mordine's deft octet first pulls small groups—rushing, nearly toppling—to the center of a thrust stage. The mood is that of gladiators in an arena. At other times the dancers quietly connect, perhaps with a gentle hand on a shoulder. Shawn Decker's eclectic sound collage mixes his own compositions with familiar classical music and the ambient sounds of a rehearsal.

On the pro side, the Internet fosters easier, more direct interaction with other cultures. Mordine illustrates the benefits accruing from that fact by sharing the bill with two troupes culturally different from her own. On Thursday and Friday, the Latin-inflected Clinard Dance Theatre performs Wendy Clinard's ambitious From the Arctic to the Middle East (Broken Narratives by an American Flamenco Dancer). Saturday and Sunday, it's African-American troupe Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, offering Kevin Iega Jeff's piece about depression, Naeemah's Room. Mordine's 2011 LifeSpeak completes each program.

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