Spectrum Dances 2002 | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Spectrum Dances 2002


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Last year and the year before, this event organized by Paula Frasz and Dmitri Peskov was billed as a mentored show, with some choreographers riding herd on other, less experienced artists. Now it's evolved into a concert in which the choreographers give one another feedback but there's no one-on-one teacher-student interaction. And watching the youthful Peskov's Ophelia, Ophelia, I could see that he's a choreographer in no particular need of help: he has a vision and a fine sense for repetition and variation. A duet for two women and two chairs, this piece uses one of Shakespeare's most enigmatic female characters as a jumping-off point to explore what I saw as the two poles of madness: intense anxiety and frustration, expressed in confined, self-involved movements, and a sense of freedom, expressed in big, flung motions of the limbs and torso. Playful and serious at once, Ophelia, Ophelia uses childish moves like leapfrogging and duckwalking to take us out of the realm of the pretty and conventional and into a meditation on the workings of the mind. Also on the program are Anna Simone Levin performing a solo about the female followers of Bacchus, Eclat, made for her by Amsterdam choreographer Marcelo Evelin; Cindy Brandle's untitled piece for women, featuring a song she composed and sings; Rachel Bunting's solo The Afterwords, accompanied by video projections; Frasz's The Death of Marat, based on a painting by Jacques-Louis David and featuring dancer Michael McStraw and a "Greek chorus" of three women; McStraw's solo Crave, performed by Frasz; and a piece inspired by people's bags, Portraits on a Journey 1998, by Mary Wohl Haan, a former member of Mordine & Company Dance Theatre now living in New York. Duncan YMCA Chernin Center for the Arts, 1001 W. Roosevelt, 312-738-5999 or 312-902-1500. Opens Saturday, July 27, 7 PM. Through August 4: Saturdays, 7 PM; Sundays, 2 PM. $15-$20.

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

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