Noism07 | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader
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In his evening-length Nina Materialize Sacrifice--Simple Version, 31-year-old Jo Kanamori offers a bleak vision relieved by glimpses of hope. Born in Japan and trained in Europe by Maurice Bejart, Kanamori founded Noism in Niigata, Japan, in 2004. His stark and spiky choreography produces unforgettable images: the first scene shows men in dark suits brusquely manipulating doll-like women whose stiff bodies, in nude-colored leotards, seem so incapable of volitional movement that it comes as a shock when they later move on their own. As the piece grows increasingly sexual, the images become more horrifying: each man crawls atop a woman, for example, then creeps away like a bug. A spare but passionate score by Vietnamese-French composer Ton That An augments this meditation on dominance and control, whose harshness is somewhat mitigated by Kanamori's evenhandedness: in the rigid society he envisions, men are as constrained as women. The heroes and heroines are those who try to break ranks. a Opens Thu 2/1, 8 PM. Through 2/3: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan, 312-344-8300, $22-$26. Kanamori participates in a free panel discussion, "Body and Sound," Mon 1/29, 6:30 PM, Experimental Station, 6100 S. Blackstone. He also offers a master class Tue 1/30, 6:30 PM, at Lou Conte Dance Studio, 1147 W. Jackson, $15, register at 312-344-8300.

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

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