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Paula Josa-Jones/Performance Works

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Paula Josa-Jones/Performance Works

Is it possible to take a rational, even calculated approach to irrationality? That's the surrealist's dilemma underlying Paula Josa-Jones's evening-length dance-theater piece Antigone's Dream. Clearly an intelligent and intellectual choreographer, she undertakes a narrative with "a dream logic" here, poetically reinterpreting the myth of Antigone, who chose to give her brother Polyneices a decent burial rather than leave his body to the vultures as Creon had decreed. Josa-Jones says that what makes the ancient story relevant is the issue of defying the law--"Who are our heroes? What defines honor?" she asks--and compares Antigone to Rosa Parks; she also refers to the story's implicit feminism and the immense dysfunctionality of Antigone's family (among other things, she was both Oedipus's daughter and his sister). Employing a text by Obie-winning playwright Laurie Carlos, a score by Pauline Oliveros, vocalizations by her dancers, and such images as a woman being whirled around on an iron bedstead, Josa-Jones evokes a place that's far from the everyday world yet informs it at every turn, a place where stories and feelings are detached from their moorings in quotidian experience. As the New York-based choreographer says, this piece "touches on the myth, torques the myth, inverts the myth....I want the audience to leave with a sense of mystery." Free performance Thursday, February 10, at 6:30 in the Claudia Cassidy Theater of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Regular performances are Thursday, February 17, through next Saturday, February 19, at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College (free lecture on Antigone by Raymond Ciacci from 7 to 7:30 Friday night), 4730 N. Sheridan; $16-$20. Call 773-989-3310 for tickets and information.

--Laura Molzahn

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