Petitmal | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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PETITMAL, Cupola Bobber, at Link's Hall. Stephen Fiehn and Tyler B. Myers, the experimental performance duo Cupola Bobber, seem much too young to be experiencing a midlife crisis, but they clearly understand the condition. This 80-minute revised version of a work presented at last spring's PAC/edge festival, performed mostly behind a triptych of scrims on which crudely drawn empty rooms are sometimes projected, depicts life as a series of quotidian exercises, interspersed with a desire for joy and connection to other beings, leading to an eternal void. Fiehn and Myers spend a lot of time running on treadmills and panting out epigrammatic observations such as "I'm amazed at my ability to ignore beautiful things." In between are snippets of Kevin Bacon's ode to dance in the 80s hit Footloose and a spelling bee that focuses on words like "anxious," "bored," and "appetite." This sort of endurance art isn't for everyone, but the two deliver intelligent and sensitive performances with understated wit and pathos.

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