It's not every choreographer who'd devote an evening-length work to food. But with Mouth, a suite of dances examining the relationships between eating and the family, eating and sex, eating and our culture, Robin Lakes not only confronts the subject, she exhausts it. Happily she doesn't take a programmatic approach--Lakes is just an intelligent person who has let her mind run free on a human need so basic that we hardly ever think about it, at least not in this metaphoric way. And though I wouldn't expect this work to be easy viewing--a few years ago Lakes treated the Holocaust in an affecting piece called Dissonance--her knack for theater should make it accessible. Three sections about gluttony, Hungry Heart Dances (originally performed last year), are grotesquely comic: half a dozen ravenous women attack a tableful of food in what at times seems a ritual, at times sheer chaos. A duet for Ginger Farley and Jeff Carpenter is more nuanced: nine brief scenes scattered throughout the evening culminate in a longer, more abstract dance reprising the seductive and deeply hostile gestures of the "snapshots"--biting, kissing, even devouring. It's so close to the bone it's guaranteed to give you the creeps. Chicagoan Lloyd Brodnax King has provided an allusive score of blues, jazz, and folk music. Thursday through next Saturday, April 2, at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $12-$15. Call 271-7928 for tickets and information.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Eileen Ryan.