Night Fractal | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Night Fractal

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Night Fractal, Tangerine Arts Group, at the Performance Loft, through February 23. Writer-director Alexis Macnab's program note for her movement-based performance piece reads: "There are connections everywhere. There is truth in every story." What she fails to realize is that things that are true aren't necessarily compelling.

Macnab attempts to weave together a hodgepodge of scientific theories--about the big bang, the expansion of the universe, the Mandelbrot set. Interspersed with her "physics for dummies" lectures (winsomely delivered by Nathan Clifford) are mind-numbingly dull and self-absorbed monologues by Sadie (Nicole Cardano), a young woman endlessly fascinated by the mundanity of her existence. For example, upon learning that her favorite professor is retiring, Sadie says solemnly, "I felt sad for the students who wouldn't know her--who would not then be connected to me." Sadie is the universe, and the universe is Sadie. Okeydoke.

The other ensemble members lack the vocal and physical skills to give the material the definition and energy it needs, and the movement vocabulary is of the most rudimentary and cliched variety. There are some piquant images, and composers Corey Dargel and Stefan Tcherepnin supply a pleasant soundscape, but this cosmic soup needs a more discerning chef.

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